Most scales contain seven notes.
You already know at least one: the major scale (“Doe a Deer a Female Deer, Ray a drop of golden Sun” and other horrible, upbeat songs)

Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

 

 

In the key of G the major scale would contain these notes:

G A B C D E F# G note
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 nr.
2 2 1 2 2 2 1 nr. of frets up

 

 

 

It’s called a major scale because it contains a major third.
This ‘third’ is the interval (meaning distance) between the tonic and the third note of the scale, in this case a G and a B.
This interval is 4 frets and sounds upbeat.
Every scale that has this formula (2,2,1,2,2,2,1) of frets between notes is a major scale.
As you can see, a scale is nothing more than a bunch of notes lined up with a certain formula of intervals.

016-G-Major
Each interval has a name:

G A Major Second 2 frets
G B Major Third 4 frets
G C (Perfect) Fourth 5 frets
G D (Perfect) Fifth 7 frets
G E Major Sixth 9 frets
G F# Major Seventh 11 frets
G G Octave 12 frets

 

If you continue to play the scale up from the octave, you’ll encounter these intervals:

G A Major Ninth 14 frets
G C Eleventh 17 frets
G E Major Thirteenth 21 frets
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