What makes the major scale major?  It has to do with the first note and it's 'distance' from the third.  Unfortunately I don't feel I have the time to go into all these aspects of basic music theory.  I highly recommend that if you don't have a teacher you should take some classes or at least buy a book or two that describe the basics of music theory and composition as well.  They will be very helpful to you, believe me.  Check out this website for some great help in basic music theory:


When beginning on the oud, and any instrument for that matter, it is very helpful to practice the major scale in every key.  This is because this scale has regular intervals, and by practicing it up and down the neck, in various keys, you will become much more familiar with your instrument.
If you are using the first Turkish tuning start practicing E major, from the third string (E).   Perhaps you could divide your practice time between several keys.  Start with E major, then move down to D major, C major, B major, A major, G major, F major, and to E major again.  Explore all the octaves, use different fingering combinations.  Be able to identify immediately any note that you play. In other words, KNOW YOUR INSTRUMENT. 
How can you learn to identify the notes you play quickly?   Try an exercise where as you slowly play the scale, you sing aloud the name of each note as you play it.  It is a big help. 
Make sure you practice the scale up and down each time (ascending and descending).  Remember that getting to know your instrument well is like any relationship, it takes time.


Some examples:

Note:  The low D in this exercise cannot be played with the first Turkish tuning .  The 6th string would have to be tuned down to D.

Copyright Mavrothi T. Kontanis. All rights reserved 2008