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 … See these intervals illustrated below:Intervals can also be used to describe the structure of a scale category. The natural minor scale is maximally even. Tritonic scales – three notes per octave. The natural minor scale is the naturally occurring diatonic scale with no altered scale degrees or added accidentals. 8 ( Octonic) note scales are also used, however mostly in jazz. on Google+, Ben Dunnett LRSM is the founder of Music Theory Academy. Once again, you can see how the ascending and descending scales are different. For example, both the major and minor scales are heptonic, while the pentatonic minor and major scales consist of 5 notes. [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. Harmonic Minor – natural minor with #7. As with any scale, it pays to learn it in as many fretboard positions as possible. The natural minor scale can be thought of as a major scale with the 3rd 6th and 7th notes lowered by one half step. Subscribe to our mailing list and get FREE music resources to your email inbox. A natural minor scale is a sequence of notes x1, x2, x3, x4, x5, x6, x7, x8 such that. I think for whatever reason there has always been some confusion when it comes to minor scales. 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). Listen to G major scale. It follows a set pattern of note intervals. The natural minor scale follows the notes set out in the key signature for the scale without any changes. The audio examples play all 3 minor scales in turn – the natural is 1st, then the harmonic and finally the melodic. The distinctive sound of the Harmonic Minor comes from the three semitone interval between the sixth and seventh notes. 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: 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. 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. Let’s h… • x6 is 1 semitone higher than x5. This set pattern of note intervals beginning on D leads us to a scale with all white notes except for a B Flat instead of a B natural: Now raise the 7th note by another semitone so the pattern becomes: This is caused by the raised seventh note of the scale. 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. A number with a flat represents a minor interval. By altering these notes we also change the intervals which make up the scale. But minor scales have their own, unique scale patterns. Let's take a look at the scale notes to get a clearer picture. Note that the major pentatonic took 5 notes of the major scale, as we have already commented, and these were degrees … 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♯). The first scale you learn is the A minor pentatonic. Using A harmonic minor as an example, it means raising the 7th note, G natural, by a semitone to G# as shown below. This augmented fifth chord (♯5 chord) played a part in the development of modern chromaticism. He is a music teacher, examiner, composer and pianist with over twenty years experience in music education. 14), and Schubert (for example, in the first movement of the Death and the Maiden Quartet). It's a pretty simple concept and a huge building block for scales and chords. 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). The triads built on each scale degree follow a distinct pattern. 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]. It’s easy to work out any harmonic minor scale. In this role, it is used while descending far more often than while ascending. A natural minor scale can also be constructed by altering a major scale with accidentals. The scale that is created by playing all the notes in a minor key signature is a natural minor scale. on Twitter Remember, if you’re looking at a major scale, lower scale degrees 3, 6, and 7 to get the minor scale. Here you'll find guitar scales explained in an easy, step by step format. 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. Unfortunately, no matter how hard I practiced I couldn't connect the dots between my scales and actually reading music or writing songs. Basic Music Terms #: Translating to sharp, when the note needs to be raised by one semitone Each type of minor scale uses a slightly different formula of semitones and tones but they all have that minor third. Minor scales provide a darker, and often more complex sound than major scales. The melodic minor scale is formed by using both of these solutions. 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♯. Let’s review the three types of minor scales. In the Western system, derived from the Greek modes, the principal scale that includes the minor third is the Aeolian mode (the natural minor scale), with the minor third also occurring in the Dorian mode and the Phrygian mode. 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. Using these notations, the two melodic minor scales can be built by altering the parallel major scale. For more info about the types of minor scales check out my post here. When coming down the scale you use the natural minor. Ways is according to the augmented second, these composers either raised the sixth seventh. 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