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Author Topic: Minor Scales  (Read 9557 times)

Offline T-Block

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Minor Scales
« on: December 27, 2006, 05:16:07 PM »
Minor Scale(s)


Natural Minor Scale

We have been talking a lot about how to form the major scale.  Now, let's talk about the natural minor scale.  The natural minor scale begins on the 6th degree of the major scale.  Also, the natural minor scale uses the same notes as it's relative major scale. So, if you want to find the relative minor of a major key, you go to it's 6th scale degree, or count down 1 1/2 steps. The reverse is also true, if you want to find the relative major of a minor key, you go to it's 3rd scale degree, or count up 1 1/2 steps. Here are the formulas for building the major and natural minor scales so u can compare the 2:

Major scale =  W  W  H  W  W  W  H   (1  2  3  4  5  6  7)
Natural minor scale =  W  H  W  W  H  W  W   (1  2  b3  4  5  b6  b7)

I'll give u the list of all the major and it's relative minor scales:

C major =  C  D  E  F  G  A  B  C
A minor =  A  B  C  D  E  F  G  A

C# major =  C#  D#  E#  F#  G#  A#  B#  C#
A# minor =  A#  B#  C#  D#  E#  F#  G#  A#

Db major =  Db  Eb  F  Gb  Ab  Bb  C  Db
Bb minor =  Bb  C  Db  Eb  F  Gb  Ab  Bb

D major scale =  D  E  F#  G  A  B  C#  D
B minor scale =  B  C#  D  E  F#  G  A  B

Eb major scale =  Eb  F  G  Ab  Bb  C  D  Eb
C minor scale =  C  D  Eb  F  G  Ab  Bb  C

E major scale =  E  F#  G#  A  B  C#  D#  E
C# minor scale =  C#  D#  E  F#  G#  A  B  C#

F major scale =  F  G  A  Bb  C  D  E  F
D minor scale =  D  E  F  G  A  Bb  C  D

F# major scale =  F#  G#  A#  B  C#  D#  E#  F#
D# minor scale =  D#  E#  F#  G#  A#  B  C#  D#

Gb major scale =  Gb  Ab  Bb  Cb  Db  Eb  F  Gb
Eb minor scale =  Eb  F  Gb  Ab  Bb  Cb  Db  Eb

G major scale =  G  A  B  C  D  E  F#  G
E minor scale =  E  F#  G  A  B  C  D  E

Ab major scale =  Ab  Bb  C  Db  Eb  F  G  Ab
F minor scale =  F  G  Ab  Bb  C  Db  Eb  F

A major scale =  A  B  C#  D  E  F#  G#  A
F# minor scale =  F#  G#  A  B  C#  D  E  F#

Bb major scale =  Bb  C  D  Eb  F  G  A  Bb
G minor scale =  G  A  Bb  C  D  Eb  F  G

B major scale =  B  C#  D#  E  F#  G#  A#  B
G# minor scale =  G#  A#  B  C#  D#  E  F#  G#

Cb major scale =  Cb  Db  Eb  Fb  Gb  Ab  Bb  Cb
Ab minor scale =  Ab  Bb  Cb  Db  Eb  Fb  Gb  Ab

Those are all the major and it's relative minor scales.  By now, I bet you are probably wondering why I keep saying natural minor scale instead of just saying minor scale.  Well, the first reason is because it uses all the same notes of it's relative major scale.  The second reason is  because there is more than one type of minor scale.  In fact, there are four types of minor scales:  natural,  harmonic,  melodic ascending,  melodic descending

We just learned about the natural minor scale, so now let's explore the other 3 types of minor scales:
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Offline T-Block

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Re: Minor Scales
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2006, 05:16:50 PM »
Harmonic Minor Scale

The harmonic minor scale is a little different from the natural minor scale.  The difference is that the 7th scale degree of the natural minor key is raised 1/2 step.  Here is the formula for the natural minor scale and the harmonic minor scales so u can compare the 2:

Natural minor scale =  W  H  W  W  H  W  W   (1  2  b3  4  5  b6  b7)
Harmonic minor scale =  W  H  W  W  H  W  W+H  (1  2  b3  4  5  b6 7)

I'll give an example of the harmonic minor scale using the C minor scale:

C natural minor scale = C  D  Eb  F  G  Ab  Bb  C
C harmonic scale =  C  D  Eb  F  G  Ab  B  C
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Offline T-Block

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Re: Minor Scales
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2006, 05:17:29 PM »
Melodic Minor Scale (ascending)

The melodic minor scale is broken up into 2 more scales, ascending and descending.  I'll start with the melodic minor ascending scale .  As with the harmonic minor scale, this scale is also a little different from the natural minor scale.  The difference is that the 6th and 7th scale degrees of the natural minor scale are raised 1/2 step.  Here are the formulas for the natural minor, harmonic minor, and melodic minor ascending scales so u can compare the 3:

Natural minor scale =  W  H  W  W  H  W  W   (1  2  b3  4  5  b6  b7)
Harmonic minor scale =  W  H  W  W  H  W  W+H  (1  2  b3  4  5  b6 7)
Melodic minor ascending scale =  W  H  W  W  H  W+H  W+H  (1  2  b3  4  5  6  7)

I'll give an example of the melodic minor ascending scale using the C minor & harmonic scales:

C natural minor scale =  C  D  Eb  F  G  Ab  Bb  C
C harmonic scale =  C  D  Eb  F  G  Ab  B  C
C melodic minor scale ascending =  C  D  Eb  F  G  A  B  C
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Offline T-Block

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Re: Minor Scales
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2006, 05:17:56 PM »
Melodic Minor Scale (descending)

Now that we have seen the melodic minor ascending scale, let's take a look at the scale descending.  As with the harmonic minor scale, this scale is also a little different from the natural minor scale.  The difference is that the 6th and 7th scale degrees of the natural minor scale that were raised 1/2 step for the melodic minor ascending scale gets lowered back down 1/2 step.  We have to view this scale backwards so it doesn't mirror the natural minor scale.  Here are the formulas for the natural minor, harmonic minor, melodic minor ascending, and melodic minor descending scales so u can compare the 4:

Natural minor scale =  W  H  W  W  H  W  W   (1  2  b3  4  5  b6  b7)
Harmonic minor scale =  W  H  W  W  H  W  W+H  (1  2  b3  4  5  b6 7)
Melodic minor ascending scale =  W  H  W  W  H  W+H  W+H  (1  2  b3  4  5  6  7)
Melodic minor descending scale =  W  W  H  W  W  H  W  (1  b7  b6  5  4  b3  2)

I'll give an example of the melodic minor scale descending using the C natural, harmonic, melodic minor ascending, & melodic minor descending scales:

C natural minor scale =  C  D  Eb  F  G  Ab  Bb  C
C harmonic scale =  C  D  Eb  F  G  Ab  B  C
C melodic minor ascending scale =  C  D  Eb  F  G  A  B  C
C melodic minor descending scale =  C  Bb  Ab  G  F  Eb  D  C
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Offline bossman

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Re: Minor Scales
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2006, 07:16:23 PM »
Thanks for the post T.  These are great.  But this is pandora's box for a newbie like me.  Now I am going to have trouble learning how to play songs because now I'll be thinking is it A minor or C major.  I have not studied the whole thing but the chords and turns are different aren't they.  Please clear up some things if you don't mind for me.

Offline T-Block

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Re: Minor Scales
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2007, 01:58:38 AM »
If the song ends with a lot of 2-5-1s, then u most likely in a major key.  If the song ends with a lot of 7-3-6s, then u most likely in a minor key.  As far as chords and progressions, the minor key uses the same notes and progressions as the major key.  The only difference is 6 becomes your 1.  You can tell from the sound of the song if it's in a major or minor key.
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Offline CESharp

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Re: Minor Scales
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2007, 09:54:30 AM »
Thanks T-Block! I wish I was in your area to get lessons

I have a lot to study
Carla E.
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Offline Amira

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Re: Minor Scales
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2007, 09:00:32 AM »
 :D Thank you. This is certainly great information, and is going to help me tremendously in developing my ear to hear chord progressions going from major and minor keys all within the same song. Amira

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Re: Minor Scales
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2007, 09:07:19 AM »
T-Block-you have to put all of this info in a pamphlet or book form,  and market it on this site, if you haven't done so already!! This is excellent stuff!! I know a lot about music theory and "circle of 5ths", etc., but it's always good to go back and review or "re-learn" what we've learned. I have to admit, I did forget some chord structures. (smile) Thanks for taking the time to share this information.

Offline T-Block

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Re: Minor Scales
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2007, 08:13:14 AM »
T-Block-you have to put all of this info in a pamphlet or book form

I do have all this information in a 3-ring notebook.  I write it up on my computer, then print it out and put it in my notebook before posting it online.  Anytime I go to give music lessons, I always have my notebook with me.  As far as selling it, that may be someting I'll do in the future.
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Offline T-Block

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Re: Minor Scales
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2007, 03:00:24 PM »
Someone asked me about fingering for the minor scales.  I've been practicing with the natural minor scales and I found that you can use the same fingering as their relative major scales.  Here's how u do it:

C maj. scale (no # or b):  C  D  E  F  G  A  B  C 

R.H.   1   2   3   1   2   3   4   1   2   3   1   2   3   4   5
L.H.   5   4   3   2   1   3   2   1   4   3   2   1   3   2   1


O.K., since the minor scale begins on the 6th scale degree, the relative minor scale of C major is A minor.  So, what I'm gonna do is find where A is, then start playing it using the fingering of C major:

A min. scale (no # or b):  A  B  C  D  E  F  G  A

R.H.   3   4   1   2   3   1   2   3   4   1   2   3   1   2   3
L.H.   3   2   1   4   3   2   1   3   2   1   4   3   2   1   3

And u do the same thing for all the other minor scales.  What I'm saying is don't look at it as you learning different fingering, look at it as playing the major scale, the only difference is u starting and ending on the 6th scale degree.  So, here's the complete list, some are slightly different than the major scale:


Natural Minor Scale Fingering

A min. scale (no # or b):  A  B  C  D  E  F  G  A
B min. scale (2#):  B  C#  D  E  F#  G  A  B
C# min. scale (4#):  C#  D#  E  F#  G#  A  B  C#
E min. scale (1#):  E  F#  G  A  B  C  D  E
F# min. scale (3#):  F#  G#  A  B  C#  D  E  F#

R.H.   3   4   1   2   3   1   2   3   4   1   2   3   1   2   3
L.H.   3   2   1   4   3   2   1   3   2   1   4   3   2   1   3
         

Bb min. scale (5b):  Bb  C  Db  Eb  F  Gb  Ab  Bb
A# min. scale (7#):  A#  B#  C#  D#  E#  F#  G#  A#

R.H.   4   1   2   3   1   2   3   4   1   2   3   1   2   3   4   
L.H.   2   1   3   2   1   4   3   2   1   3   2   1   4   3   2   


C min. scale (3b):  C  D  Eb  F  G  Ab  Bb  C 

R.H.   1   2   3   1   2   3   4   1   2   3   1   2   3   4   5   
L.H.   2   1   3   2   1   4   3   2   1   3   2   1   3   2   1   


D min. scale (1b):  D  E  F  G  A  Bb  C  D 

R.H.   1   2   3   4   1   2   3   1   2   3   4   1   2   3   4
L.H.   5   4   3   2   1   3   2   1   4   3   2   1   3   2   1


D# min. scale (6#):  D#  E#  F#  G#  A#  B  C#  D#
Eb min. scale (6b):  Eb  F  Gb  Ab  Bb  Cb  Db  Eb

R.H.   3   1   2   3   4   1   2   3   1   2   3   4   1   2   3   
L.H.   2   1   4   3   2   1   3   2   1   4   3   2   1   3   2   


F min. scale (4b):  F  G  Ab  Bb  C  Db  Eb  F 

R.H.   1   2   3   4   1   2   3   1   2   3   4   1   2   3   4   
L.H.   2   1   3   2   1   4   3   2   1   3   2   1   3   2   1


G min. scale (2b):  G  A  Bb  C  D  Eb  F  G

R.H.   2   3   4   1   2   3   1   2   3   4   1   2   3   4   5   
L.H.   2   1   3   2   1   4   3   2   1   3   2   1   3   2   1   


G# min. scale (5#):  G#  A#  B  C#  D#  E  F#  G# 
Ab min. scale (7b):  Ab  Bb  Cb  Db  Eb  Fb  Gb  Ab
 
R.H.   3   4   1   2   3   1   2   3   4   1   2   3   1   2   3   
L.H.   3   2   1   3   2   1   4   3   2   1   3   2   1   3   2   


I'l have to come back later with fingering for the other minor scales.
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Offline chevonee

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Re: Minor Scales
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2007, 06:17:04 AM »
I know that I am a little late on this matter but I'm stuck on something. Will you please explain when is it neccessary to use such scales. I understand the major and minor scales but I am a bit confused about: When would it be appropriate to use such scales...Could you give me an example in a song please? I just want to understand what I'm doing. Thanks in advance for your help  ;)


Melodic Minor Scale (ascending)
The melodic minor scale is broken up into 2 more scales, ascending and descending.  I'll start with the melodic minor ascending scale .  As with the harmonic minor scale, this scale is also a little different from the natural minor scale.  The difference is that the 6th and 7th scale degrees of the natural minor scale are raised 1/2 step.  Here are the formulas for the natural minor, harmonic minor, and melodic minor ascending scales so u can compare the 3:

Natural minor scale =  W  H  W  W  H  W  W   (1  2  b3  4  5  b6  b7)
Harmonic minor scale =  W  H  W  W  H  W  W+H  (1  2  b3  4  5  b6 7)
Melodic minor ascending scale =  W  H  W  W  H  W+H  W+H  (1  2  b3  4  5  6  7)

I'll give an example of the melodic minor ascending scale using the C minor & harmonic scales:

C natural minor scale =  C  D  Eb  F  G  Ab  Bb  C
C harmonic scale =  C  D  Eb  F  G  Ab  B  C
C melodic minor scale ascending =  C  D  Eb  F  G  A  B  C




Melodic Minor Scale (descending)

Now that we have seen the melodic minor ascending scale, let's take a look at the scale descending.  As with the harmonic minor scale, this scale is also a little different from the natural minor scale.  The difference is that the 6th and 7th scale degrees of the natural minor scale that were raised 1/2 step for the melodic minor ascending scale gets lowered back down 1/2 step.  We have to view this scale backwards so it doesn't mirror the natural minor scale.  Here are the formulas for the natural minor, harmonic minor, melodic minor ascending, and melodic minor descending scales so u can compare the 4:

Natural minor scale =  W  H  W  W  H  W  W   (1  2  b3  4  5  b6  b7)
Harmonic minor scale =  W  H  W  W  H  W  W+H  (1  2  b3  4  5  b6 7)
Melodic minor ascending scale =  W  H  W  W  H  W+H  W+H  (1  2  b3  4  5  6  7)
Melodic minor descending scale =  W  W  H  W  W  H  W  (1  b7  b6  5  4  b3  2)

I'll give an example of the melodic minor scale descending using the C natural, harmonic, melodic minor ascending, & melodic minor descending scales:

C natural minor scale =  C  D  Eb  F  G  Ab  Bb  C
C harmonic scale =  C  D  Eb  F  G  Ab  B  C
C melodic minor ascending scale =  C  D  Eb  F  G  A  B  C
C melodic minor descending scale =  C  Bb  Ab  G  F  Eb  D  C

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Offline chevonee

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Re: Minor Scales
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2007, 12:22:23 AM »
I can hear a definite difference between these scales and I believe that I may know the answer. These scales can be used in some cases to help fill a song or makes it sound fancy...for lack of a better word  ?/?
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Offline T-Block

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Re: Minor Scales
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2007, 03:02:23 PM »
I can hear a definite difference between these scales and I believe that I may know the answer. These scales can be used in some cases to help fill a song or makes it sound fancy...for lack of a better word  ?/?

Honestly, i don't have a answer for you on this because I don't use other scales much.  If I am running a minor scale, it's usually the natural one, and I look at it like I'm running a major scale.

I'll have to look into how to use those other minor scales.  While I'm looking, if there is anyone else out there who uses these minor scales in songs, please give us some examples.
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Offline don_davio

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Re: Minor Scales
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2010, 04:06:41 AM »
Hey thanks T.Block for such great info. Can you tell if a song start with a A minor or simply a minor, does it means that I should play the all song in a the natural minor scale?

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Re: Minor Scales
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2010, 06:56:00 AM »
Hey thanks T.Block for such great info. Can you tell if a song start with a A minor or simply a minor, does it means that I should play the all song in a the natural minor scale?

It's really simple to tell if a song is in major or minor. The big key is listening for the 1 chord. If it is major, then chances are the song is in major. If it is minor, then chances are the song is in minor.

As for scale, if the song is in minor, then the notes and chords come from the minor scale, which comes from the relative major scale. However, u can play whatever you want to play at any time as long as it sounds good.
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Offline d42Master

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Re: Minor Scales
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2010, 03:09:37 AM »
cool.

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Re: Minor Scales
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2010, 12:51:23 AM »
I can hear a definite difference between these scales and I believe that I may know the answer.

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Re: Minor Scales
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2010, 04:08:06 PM »
Thanks TBlock. Im trying to better my skills on the minor scales because a lot of beautiful songs are written in minor keys.

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Re: Minor Scales
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2010, 02:50:23 AM »
When I practised the harmonic minor scale for instance,it gave out an exotic/eastern or arabic sound,you know type of you hear in movies that have desert scenes or to be more specific,take a look at the hulk movie(the one with eric bana and jennifer connelly)where the hulk is jumping all over the mountains,for natural minors are used in a lot of jewish songs like "jehovah jireh,my provider he's grace is sufficient for me"also can be in the martha munizzi song "glorious",another example is when playing a D chord for example and you want to go to G,you play Em to F#m to G,that's another way to use minor chords,and scales
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