Lesson #6 - Fundamental major scale


Playing your first scale

Recalling that button number one is the lowest pitch button, and closest to your chin: The first note of a “C” scale will be found on button number three on the push.

There is a notation system that lets us write that we want button number three to be held down while the bellows is pushed.

The nomenclature for pushing the bellows while holding down a button is to simply refer to that button by its number.  So, to indicate that you are to hold down button number three while the bellows is being pushed inward, we simply write it as:  3.

Now, say we want to have you pull the bellows while holding down button number three (and, we do want to do that).

We write it as: 3’

Note the easily overlooked apostrophe!  That apostrophe means “pull” the bellows out as you hold the button down.

You might try this a couple of times to get comfortable with all this “push-pull” stuff! OK?  Ready?  (Drum roll please ..) Here’s the entire scale, the foundation of western music as we know it:  

Button 3  (push)
Button 3’ (pull)
Button 4  (push)
Button 4’ (pull)
Button 5  (push)
Button 5’ (pull)
Button 6’ (pull)
Button 6  (push)  

It’s extremely important to note that the infamous “push-pull” pattern reversed itself for those last two notes!

We can write it like this:   

3     3’     4      4’     5      5’     6’     6  

The actual notes we played were:

C  D  E  F  G  A  B  C  

Incredible, eh!  All that phenomenal Cajun music and it just comes from those 8-buttons!  Well, there is a little more to it.

But this is a critical first step.  Make sure you really, really understand this before you proceed.