In western music theory, a diatonic scale is a heptatonic scale that includes five whole steps (whole tones) and two half steps (semitones) in each octave, in which the two half steps are separated from each other by either two or three whole steps, depending on their position in the scale. This pattern ensures that, in a diatonic scale spanning more than one octave, all the half steps are maximally separated from each other (i.e. separated by at least two whole steps).

The seven pitches of any diatonic scale can also be obtained by using a chain of six perfect fifths. For instance, the seven natural pitches that form the C-major scale can be obtained from a stack of perfect fifths starting from F:


Any sequence of seven successive natural notes, such as C–D–E–F–G–A–B, and any transposition thereof, is a diatonic scale. Modern musical keyboards are designed so that the white notes form a diatonic scale, though transpositions of this diatonic scale require one or more black keys. A diatonic scale can be also described as two tetrachords separated by a whole tone.

TRANSPOSE A shift of a piece of music to a different musical key by adjusting all the notes of the work equally either up or down in pitch.


In music theory, an interval is the distance or difference between two pitches. An interval may be described as horizontal, linear, or melodic if it refers to successively sounding tones, such as two adjacent pitches in a melody, and vertical or harmonic if it pertains to simultaneously sounding tones, such as in a chord.

HALF STEP one fret

WHOLE STEP two frets

MINOR THIRD three frets

MAJOR THIRD four frets


TRI-TONE six frets

PERFECT FIFTH seven frets

OCTAVE twelve frets

TRIAD three tone chord

ARPEGGIO notes of a chord played one at a time.