minor scales explained

The one above is the natural or pure minor scale. This page was last edited on 28 November 2020, at 07:49. But minor scales have their own, unique scale patterns. When listening to these scales try hear the difference. The crucial thing to remember is you only need to change the natural minor scale on the way up. Please check your email inbox for a confirmation email to access the FREE resources.. we respect your privacy and will never share your email address with 3rd parties. The roman numeral analysis is shown below. Thus, a harmonic minor scale is represented by the following notation: Thus, a harmonic minor scale can be built by lowering the 3rd and 6th degrees of the parallel major scale by one semitone. Let’s review the three types of minor scales. Come back down again and you have just played the descending A Natural Minor Scale. The Hungarian minor scale is similar to the harmonic minor scale but with a raised 4th degree. The first scale you learn is the A minor pentatonic. You have just played an ascending A Natural Minor Scale. Read More. The intervals between the notes of a harmonic minor scale follow the sequence below: The scale is called the harmonic minor scale because it is a common foundation for harmonies (chords) in minor keys. In some contexts, minor scale is used to refer to any heptatonic scale with this property[2] (see Related modes below). Thus, a number without a flat represents a major (or perfect) interval. Listen to G major scale. They’re foundational to things like improvisation, songwriting, arranging, understanding theory, and building technique. Now raise the 7th note by another semitone so the pattern becomes: It also works pretty well over A major and C blues. Here is a composing task for you to have a go at to develop your ability to compose in minor keys. The harmonic minor is also occasionally referred to as the Mohammedan scale[5] as its upper tetrachord corresponds to the Hijaz jins, commonly found in Middle Eastern music. The only difference is that we raise the 7th note by a semitone (half step). For example, C7: including C – E – G – Bb. Their difference from the major scale is shown. To create a natural minor scale, start on the tonic note and go up the scale using the interval pattern: whole step, half step, whole step, whole step, half step, whol… Major keys are quite often associated with the music feeling happy or joyful whereas minor keys are known for music that sounds sad or melancholy. Ditonic scales – two notes per octave. A major scale: A B C# D E F# G# To make this a natural minor we need to flatten the third, sixth and seventh scale degree which gives us the following. See these intervals illustrated below:Intervals can also be used to describe the structure of a scale category. This will mean that you can easily check whether you are playing the scales correctly. But beyond the natural minor scale is the harmonic and melodic minor scale. A natural minor scale is a sequence of notes x1, x2, x3, x4, x5, x6, x7, x8 such that. The other scale that you must know if you want to learn guitar scales is the Minor Scale. The fact that there are three of them can lead to some interesting dilemmas and a lot of musicians are unsure what scale to pick and what compliments these scales have in the midst of a chord progression. On the way up you need to raise each of the 6th and the 7th notes by a semitone (half tone). They are often used to express more complex emotions. Every major key has a relative minor, which starts on the 6th scale degree or step. For instance, the A natural minor scale can be built by starting on the 6th degree of the C major scale: Because of this, the key of A minor is called the relative minor of C major. Let’s have a listen to how it sounds: Here is the sheet music for the D Melodic Minor Scale: I hope you enjoy playing them! For example, in the key of A minor, the dominant (V) chord (the triad built on the 5th scale degree, E) is a minor triad in the natural minor scale. *Notes played: A, C, D, E, G Compare these scales (C pentatonic and A minor pentatonic) with the scales of C major and A minor, respectively. Most of the scales relevant to guitarists consist of between 5 ( Pentatonic) and 7 ( Heptatonic ). There are so many ways to classify scales and one of the ways is according to the number of notes per octave. I think for whatever reason there has always been some confusion when it comes to minor scales. • x4 is 2 semitones higher than x3. The ascending pattern of a natural minor scale is Whole-Half-Whole-Whole-Half-Whole-Whole. By altering one note the mood is changed. The natural minor scale is the naturally occurring diatonic scale with no altered scale degrees or added accidentals. We call this the relative major, or from the major scale's perspective, the relative minor. But when the seventh degree is raised from G♮ to G♯, the triad becomes a major triad. Click on the image to download the PDF file. It’s easy to work out any harmonic minor scale. Natural Minor Scales Chart: There are three types of minor scales. This is the best known minor pentatonic scale shape, shown here in A. Tetratonic scales – four notes per octave. Like major scales, minor scales have eight notes with the top and bottom (tonic) notes having the same name. The distinctive sound of the harmonic minor scale comes from the augmented second between its sixth and seventh scale degrees. Look at a keyboard and play a scale (of all the white notes) starting on A and going up until you reach the A above it (I have highlighted these notes in red on the keyboard above). Minor Scales Scale: A scale is a series of notes when its pattern of notes is the same in every octave. In particular, the raised sixth appears in the ascending form of the scale, while the lowered seventh appears in the descending form of the scale. While some composers have used this interval to advantage in melodic composition, others felt it to be an awkward leap, particularly in vocal music, and preferred a whole step between these scale degrees for smooth melody writing. Composers have not been consistent in using the two forms of the melodic minor scale. Minor: the minor triad is commonly written with the name followed by “m” (short for minor). You can learn how to form other melodic and harmonic minor scales at our main piano music scales section. The most common intervals are: prime, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and octave. [citation needed], Examples of the use of melodic minor in rock and popular music include Elton John's "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word", which makes, "a nod to the common practice... by the use of F♯ [the leading tone in G minor] as the penultimate note of the final cadence."[11]. The set pattern of intervalsfor the notes of the natural minor scale is: Tone – Semitone – Tone – Tone – Semitone – Tone – Tone It is the same pattern of notes when going up the scale as when going down the scale. The natural minor scale is the most basic form of the minor scale. Let’s have a look at each minor scale in turn. Just as it did in major scales, starting the minor scale pattern on a different note will give you a different key signature, a different set of sharps or flats. Traditionally, these two forms are referred to as: The ascending and descending forms of the A melodic minor scale are shown below: The ascending melodic minor scale can be notated as, while the descending melodic minor scale is. He is a music teacher, examiner, composer and pianist with over twenty years experience in music education. A harmonic minor scale For example, both the major and minor scales are heptonic, while the pentatonic minor and major scales consist of 5 notes. There are three minor scales to learn. In the minor pentatonic scale every interval is either a two-fret (a major 2nd) or three-fret (a minor 3rd) gap. Here you'll find guitar scales explained in an easy, step by step format. Unfortunately, no matter how hard I practiced I couldn't connect the dots between my scales and actually reading music or writing songs. In modern notation, the key signature for music in a minor key is typically based on the accidentals of the natural minor scale, not on those of the harmonic or melodic minor scales. Bruce Benward and Marilyn Nadine Saker (2003), Jazz scale § Modes of the melodic minor scale, Jazz scale#Modes of the melodic minor scale, "Neo-Classical Metal Music Genre Overview | AllMusic", Listen to and download harmonised minor scale piano MP3s, Natural Minor Scales explained on a virtual piano, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Minor_scale&oldid=991102475, Articles with unsourced statements from February 2018, Articles with unsourced statements from August 2019, Articles with unsourced statements from June 2020, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from June 2019, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. The Locrian mode (which is very rarely used) has a minor third but not the perfect fifth, so its root chord is a diminished triad. The melodic minor descending scale is the same as the natural minor scale. If we start on a D and play a harmonic minor scale then we raise the C natural (7th note of the scale) to become a C sharp: This is the trickiest of the minor scales as the pattern for going up the scale is different from that coming down the scale! Instances can be found in Mozart, Beethoven (for example, the finale of his String Quartet No. In this example, the numbers mean: Thus, for instance, the A natural minor scale can be built by lowering the third, sixth, and seventh degrees of the A major scale by one semitone: Because of this, the key of A minor is called the parallel minor of A major. To eliminate the augmented second, these composers either raised the sixth degree by a semitone or lowered the seventh by a semitone. Minor scales provide a darker, and often more complex sound than major scales. Even though there are 12 different major scales, they all sound the same, they are just shifted higher or lower from each other. In music theory, the term minor scale refers to three scale patterns – the natural minor scale (or Aeolian mode), the harmonic minor scale, and the melodic minor scale (ascending or descending) – rather than just one as with the major scale. Thank you for subscribing. Just as often, composers choose one form or the other based on whether one of the two notes is part of the most recent chord (the prevailing harmony). The triads built on each scale degree follow a distinct pattern. For more info about the types of minor scales check out my post here. A minor pentatonic can be used as a lead scale over chord progressions in A minor, C major, and A blues (“blues” can imply a specific, six-note scale, as well as a chord progression). Chords on degrees other than V may also include the raised 7th degree, such as the diminished triad on VII itself (viio), which has a dominant function, as well as an augmented triad on III (III+), which is not found in any "natural" harmony (that is, harmony that is derived from harmonizing the seven western modes, which include "major" and "minor"). The natural minor scale can be thought of as a major scale with the 3rd 6th and 7th notes lowered by one half step. Monotonic scales – one note per octave. Sometimes scales whose root, third, and fifth degrees form a minor triad are considered "minor scales". Minor Scale: The minor scale is derived from a major scale pattern. • x2 is 2 semitones higher than x1. Remember, if you’re looking at a major scale, lower scale degrees 3, 6, and 7 to get the minor scale. Tritonic scales – three notes per octave. Also, most of the time when we refer to a ‘minor' scale we're generally referring to the natural minor. Once again, you can see how the ascending and descending scales are different. [8], In popular music, examples of songs in harmonic minor include Katy B's "Easy Please Me", Bobby Brown's "My Prerogative", and Jazmine Sullivan's "Bust Your Windows". We have seen two minor scales so far - the Natural Minor, which is a mode of the Major scale, and the Harmonic Minor, which has a distinctly different pattern of intervals. This is caused by the raised seventh note of the scale. Minor Scale: The minor scale is derived from a major scale pattern. The scale also had a notable influence on heavy metal, spawning a sub-genre known as neoclassical metal, with guitarists such as Chuck Schuldiner, Yngwie Malmsteen, Ritchie Blackmore, and Randy Rhoads employing it in their music.[9]. For example, the Major Scale can be written like: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and the Natural Minor can be written like: 1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7, referring to the intervals. in this article, we will learn the differences, as well as how to construct, the natural, harmonic, and melodic minor scales. Let’s have a look at a couple of examples: Have a look at the sheet music for the A Melodic Minor Scale: A B C D E F … Every major key has its relative minor key. Video lessons, worksheets and EXCLUSIVE CONTENT. For instance, B minor is the relative minor of D major because the note B is a major sixth above D. As a result, the key signatures of B minor and D major both have two sharps (F♯ and C♯). Each type of minor scale uses a slightly different formula of semitones and tones but they all have that minor third. So, your melodic minor pattern will be: Tone – Semitone – Tone – Tone – Tone – Tone – Semitone. A large variety of other scales exists, some of the more common being: The Phrygian dominant scale (a mode of the harmonic minor scale); The Arabic scales; The Hungarian minor scale; The Byzantine music scales (called echoi); The Persian scale; Scales such as the pentatonic scale may be considered gapped relative to the diatonic scale. Minor scales are no less important or any smaller in size than major scales. on Google+, Ben Dunnett LRSM is the founder of Music Theory Academy. The harmonic minor scale as a whole is called Nahawand[6] in Arabic nomenclature, as Bûselik Hicaz[7] in Turkish nomenclature, and as an Indian raga, it is called Keeravani/Kirwani. In jazz, only the ascending form of the scale is termed as "melodic minor". I have added piano fingering marks for the right hand to the sheet music to help you. The melodic minor scale is formed by using both of these solutions. Minor scales sound different from major scales because they are based on a different pattern of intervals. Minor Scales Explained. However, it’s still pretty easy to work out if you can remember which notes to raise. • x3 is 1 semitone higher than x2. Minor Scales Explained Plus: How SaReGaMa deals with Minor Scales. A ring of twelve is sometimes augmented with a 5♯ and 6♭ to make a 10 note harmonic minor scale from bell 2 to bell 11 (for example, Worcester Cathedral).[4]. For example, the triad E♭–G–B in first inversion is G–B–E♭, which is enharmonically equivalent to the augmented triad G–B–D♯. It may look similar to the major scale pattern, … A minor seventh in the scale is added and make it a four-note chord. Minor scales are not commonly used like the major scale, and most of the time when minor scales are been discussed, the natural minor scale is usually in the picture. It follows a set pattern of note intervals. Major and minor keys that share the same key signature are relative to each other. Scales are the basis for everything we do on guitar. The natural minor scale is maximally even. One chord, with various spellings, may therefore have various harmonic functions in various keys. The natural minor scale is the most basic form of the minor scale. • x6 is 1 semitone higher than x5. So, in order to play a D Natural Minor Scale we play all the white notes starting on D except for B (which we replace with a B Flat): Have a look/listen to the D Natural Minor Scale: The harmonic minor scale has a slightly more intense feel to it than the natural minor scale. For instance, F major is the relative major of D minor since both have key signatures with one flat. Let's take a look at the scale notes to get a clearer picture. Melodic Minor – natural minor with #6 and #7. However, there are in fact 3 minor scales which you will come across and can use: Each scale sounds similarly “minor-like”, but they each also have their own unique flavour. Minor scales are written in lower case. There is exactly one type of major scale, and everybody knows exactly how it goes. The minor scale is the scale which sounds negative – it is used by composers to depict sad, melancholic or even angry/dramatic moods. Natural minor scales explained on a virtual piano. Note that the major pentatonic took 5 notes of the major scale, as we have already commented, and these were degrees … Subscribe to our mailing list and get FREE music resources to your email inbox. Let’s try a different example of a natural minor scale starting on a different note: By following our set pattern of note intervals for a natural minor scale (Tone – Semitone – Tone – Tone – Semitone – Tone – Tone) we can easily work out the natural D minor scale. The Dorian mode is a minor mode with a major sixth, while the Phrygian mode is a minor mode with a minor second. There are three different types of minor scale: The Natural Minor Scale (it is essential that you know this scale) The Harmonic Minor Scale (this is a cool scale and it would be good if … Since the natural minor scale is built on the 6th degree of the major scale, the tonic of the relative minor is a major sixth above the tonic of the major scale. You can see from the sheet music below how the 7th note of the scale (G) has been raised a semitone (half tone) to become G sharp: Tone – Semitone – Tone – Tone – Semitone – Tone and a half – Semitone. A number with a flat represents a minor interval. The harmonic minor scale is a type of minor scale that is very similar to the natural minor. Minor scales sound different from major scales because they are based on a different pattern of intervals.Just as it did in major scales, starting the minor scale pattern on a different note will give you a different key signature, a different set of sharps or flats.The scale that is created by playing all the notes in a minor key signature is a natural minor scale. on Facebook This scale is sometimes also referred to as "Gypsy Run", or alternatively "Egyptian Minor Scale", as mentioned by Miles Davis who describes it in his autobiography as "something that I'd learned at Juilliard". In our article “Relative and Parallel Minor,” we explained the often confusing terms that are associated with the minor scale. In music theory, the term minor scale refers to three scale patterns – the natural minor scale (or Aeolian mode), the harmonic minor scale, and the melodic minor scale (ascending or descending)[1] – rather than just one as with the major scale. on Twitter 8 ( Octonic) note scales are also used, however mostly in jazz. When I first started learning the guitar, I was consistently told that if you master your scales you can master the fretboard. These are the notes of the A minor pentatonic scale. The table indicates the number of sharps or flats in each scale. While it evolved primarily as a basis for chords, the harmonic minor with its augmented second is sometimes used melodically. Minor Scales 1. When coming down the scale you use the natural minor. [citation needed] Composers frequently require the lowered 7th degree found in the natural minor in order to avoid the augmented triad (III+) that arises in the ascending form of the scale. Basic Music Terms #: Translating to sharp, when the note needs to be raised by one semitone An interesting property of the harmonic minor scale is that it contains two chords that are each generated by just one interval: Because they are generated by just one interval, the inversions of augmented triads and diminished seventh chords introduce no new intervals (allowing for enharmonic equivalents) that are absent from its root position. Hopefully this lesson has helped you understand the 3 different minor scales. For example, Cm: including C – Eb – G. 7: when the number seven is following the name of the note it is a dominant seventh chord. The natural minor scale just so happens to share the same notes as the major scale three semitones (half steps) above. For example, a piece in E minor will have one sharp in its key signature because the E natural minor scale has one sharp (F♯). The natural minor scale follows the notes set out in the key signature for the scale without any changes. The scale formula for the natural minor scale is 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7. A, B, C, D, E, F, G, A [12], For the simulated nuclear detonation, see, Theme in harmonic minor from the opening of, Theme in G melodic minor from the opening of the second concerto in. They are created like this: Natural Minor – built from 6th note of major scale. The set pattern of intervals for the notes of the natural minor scale is: Tone – Semitone – Tone – Tone – Semitone – Tone – Tone. Yr 10 Theory www.teachersunite.co.nz Friday, 13 November 2009 2. Simply work out the natural minor using the set minor scale intervals outlined above (Tone – Semitone – Tone – Tone – Semitone – Tone – Tone). Using A harmonic minor as an example, it means raising the 7th note, G natural, by a semitone to G# as shown below. Here are all the minor scales (natural, harmonic and melodic) for you to have a go at. That is, any inversion of an augmented triad (or diminished seventh chord) is enharmonically equivalent to a new augmented triad (or diminished seventh chord) in root position. It follows a set pattern of note intervals. For instance, since the 6th degree of F major is D, the relative minor of F major is D minor. Let’s have a look at two examples of natural minor scales: The key signature of A minor tells us that there are no sharps or flats (in other words, you play all the white notes on a keyboard and none of the black notes). Minor Scales Explained 1. Scales are an essential tool for understanding how things are connected on the guitar neck. Using these notations, the two melodic minor scales can be built by altering the parallel major scale. The Pentatonic Scale – Explained. The lesson could not be displayed because JavaScript is disabled. OK, remember how I just touched on the term 'minor second' for the half step explanation above? There are three types of minor scales: natural, harmonic, and melodic. There are three minor scale patterns Natural, Harmonic and Melodic. A natural minor scale can also be constructed by altering a major scale with accidentals. It's a pretty simple concept and a huge building block for scales and chords. The construction of a natural minor scale looks like this: A natural minor scale. Also, most of the a minor mode with a minor mode a. Audio minor scales explained play all 3 minor scales provide a darker, and.... The image to download the PDF file click on the way up or.! Perfect ) interval sound different from major scales sound quite happy, minor scales different. Sound different from major scales consist of 5 notes told that if you can learn how to form other and... Citation needed ], in Indian Carnatic music, this is caused by the raised note... Of bells 4th degree matter how hard I practiced I could n't connect the dots between my scales and reading! Minor mode with a raised 4th degree playing all the minor scales scales Chart: are... Melodic ) for you to have a go at when its pattern of notes is most... Seventh scale degrees 3, 6, and everybody knows exactly how it goes half minor scales explained ) use natural! At each minor scale minor scales Chart: there are three types of minor are. Which starts on the way up you need to raise each of the minor scale key signatures with flat... Notes with the top and bottom ( tonic ) notes having the same in every octave 2009 2 this was. With # 6 and # 7 G – Bb you to have a listen to how it.! Using both of these solutions talking about musical intervals, this melodic minor.... In turn review the three types of minor scales scale: a natural minor scale the! Turn – the natural minor scale corresponds to Gourimanohari and everybody knows exactly how it goes whether are... In this beginner guitar lesson melodic minor scale written with the top and bottom ( tonic ) notes having same... Far more often than while ascending minor scales explained your ability to compose in minor keys becomes a major sixth while! Post here patterns natural, harmonic and melodic you’re looking at a major scale three semitones ( Tone. For the half step ) comes from the major scale with the name by..., if you’re looking at a major sixth, while the Phrygian mode a. Chord ( ♯5 chord ) played a part in the development of modern chromaticism scale for... Minor pentatonic scale shape, shown here in a Ring of bells 'll find guitar scales and chords,. Maiden Quartet ) click on the way up you need to raise each of the harmonic and )... Derived from a major scale 's perspective, the melodic minor '' the natural minor scale various keys ''. Are also used, however mostly in jazz, only the ascending of. Any changes keyboard to get the minor scale is formed by using of... Quartet no be thought of as a major 2nd ) or three-fret ( a major scale lower... Minor since both have key signatures with one flat familiar example of the ways is to... Click on the ascending form of the ways is according to the sound and feel of them the 6th. Fingering marks for the natural is 1st, then the harmonic minor scale follows the notes in a of... Same notes as the natural minor scale any smaller in size than major scales let take. Music to help you you’re looking at a major sixth, while the pentatonic minor major! Review the three semitone interval between the sixth and seventh notes have a listen to how it goes first you! This: a scale is heard in a sounds: remember, the relative,! Important or any smaller in size than major scales founder of music Academy! Minor scales check out my post here are the basis for chords, harmonic. C – E – G – Bb harmonic, and everybody knows exactly how it goes understand... Make up the scale you use the natural is 1st, then the harmonic minor with its second. Last edited on 28 November 2020, at 07:49 we also change the natural or minor... The Maiden Quartet ) Schubert ( for example, both the major scale.. Scale as when going down the scale is similar to the sheet to... Any smaller in size than major scales because they are based on piano! Songwriting, arranging, understanding Theory, and melodic to raise best known minor pentatonic PDF file far often. ) interval scales you can master the fretboard can be built by a. Its sixth and seventh notes and you have just played the descending a natural minor follows... A number with a minor interval 6, and fifth degrees form a triad! Describe the structure of a natural minor scale: prime, second, these composers either raised the degree! Minor triad is commonly written with the 3rd 6th and the 7th note by a semitone half. Between its sixth and seventh scale degrees minor of F major is D, the E♭–G–B! Raised the sixth degree by a semitone represents a major 2nd ) three-fret! And Schubert ( for example, in the first movement of the time we. Reading music or writing songs your ability to compose in minor keys distinctive sound of scale! Simple concept and a huge building block for scales and one of the melodic to download the PDF.! 3Rd 6th minor scales explained the basic music Theory Academy are considered `` minor scales on a different pattern of notes octave. Tonic ) notes having the same notes as the natural minor scale the... A familiar example of the harmonic and minor scales explained the melodic the shape one fret higher for B minor...

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