E Major Scale

In this lesson we will learn how to play the E major scale. We will take a look at the notes of this scale, its intervals, degrees, modes, relative minor, diatonic triads, fingering and more. We will take a look at diagrams of this scale on the piano keyboard, treble and bass clef.

The notes of the the scale are E, F♯, G♯, A, B, C♯, and D♯. The note, E repeats one octave higher. Its key signature has four sharps.

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  • Tonic: E
  • Major 2nd: F#
  • Major 3rd: G#
  • Perfect 4th: A
  • Perfect 5th: B
  • Major 6th: C#
  • Major 7th: D#
  • Perfect 8th: E

Piano diagram showing the notes of the E major scale:E major scale notes on piano

Scale Degrees

  • Tonic: E
  • Supertonic: F#
  • Mediant: G#
  • Subdominant: A
  • Dominant: B
  • Submediant: C#
  • Leading tone: D#
  • Octave: E

Treble clef:E major scale on the treble clef

Bass clef:E major scale on the bass clef


Major Scale Formula

Major scales are constructed with the formula W – W – H – W – W – W – H. “W” represents a whole step, while “H” represents a half step.

Using this formula, let’s figure out the E major scale. First start with the root note, A, and follow the formula:

  • A whole step from E is F#.
  • A whole step from F# is G#.
  • A half step from G# is A.
  • A whole step from A is B.
  • A whole step from B is C#.
  • A whole step from C# is D#.
  • A half step from D# is E, back to the top.

The above ‘major scale formula’ is all you need to write a major scale in any key.

How to Play E Major Scale on Piano (Fingering)

What’s the fingering for this scale? It’s as follows:

  • Notes: E, F#, G#, A, B, C#, D#, E
  • Fingerings (Left Hand): 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 3, 2, 1
  • Fingerings (Right Hand ): 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

(Thumb is finger 1, index finger is finger 2, middle finger is 3, ring finger is 4 and pinky finger is 5.)

Video – How to Play E Major Scale on Piano:
E major scale piano fingering (left hand)E major scale piano fingering (right hand)

Chords in the Key of E Major – Based on E Major Scale

What are the triad chords in the key of E? They are as follows:

  • Chord I: E major. Its notes are E – G# – B.
  • Chord ii: F# minor. Its notes are F# – A – C#.
  • Chord iii: G# minor. Its notes are G# – B – D#.
  • Chord IV: A major. Its notes are A – C# – E.
  • Chord V: B major. It’s notes are B – D# – F#.
  • Chord vi: C# minor. Its notes are C# – E – G#.
  • Chord vii: D# diminished. Its notes are D# – F# – A.

Diatonic Triads In key of E major: E – F#m – G#m – A – B – C#m – D#dim

What are the chords in the key of E major? Triads, sevenths, notes, scale and key signature.

Here’s a video showing you the chords in the key of E major on piano.

The relative minor of E major is C# minor. The relative minor of a major key is based on the 6th note of the major scale. Major scales and their relative minors share the same notes. The notes of the B minor scale are: C♯ – D♯ – E – F♯ – G♯ – A – B – C♯.


  • Ionian/Major Scale: E – F♯ – G♯ – A – B – C♯ – D♯ – E
  • Dorian: F♯ – G♯ – A – B – C♯ – D♯ – E – F♯
  • Phrygian: G♯ – A – B – C♯ – D♯ – E – F♯ – G♯
  • Lydian: A – B – C♯ – D♯ – E – F♯ – G♯ – A
  • Mixolydian: B – C♯ – D♯ – E – F♯ – G♯ – A – B
  • Aeolian/Natural minor scale:  C♯ – D♯ – E – F♯ – G♯ – A – B – C♯
  • Locrian: D♯ – E – F♯ – G♯ – A – B – C♯ – D♯

Learn how to build piano scales here. How to form major, minor, chromatic scales, etc. on piano.

Learn how to form piano music scales here. Major and minor piano scales in all 12 keys. Includes video lessons.