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Minor scales guitar

A minor scale goes to have a number of a similar principle as a major scale. It still consists of eight steps, some whole steps, and a few half step. The formula for a minor scale is WHWWHWW. Memorize it! I have to explain really fast, there are 3 different types of minor scales, natural, harmonic and melodic. The formula above is for a natural minor scale. I’ll explain the distinction between a natural and harmonic minor scale later. it should be easier to know a natural minor scale by showing the individual steps of the scale.

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Remember, there are 8 steps to a scale. 1 2 3b 4 5 6b 7b 8. Steps 3,6,7 are lowered ½ step. You may ask yourself, why does it show a whole step for the last step of the formula. If you remember, on a major scale, step 7 to 8 is only a ½ step. If you lower step 7 by a half what is left is a whole step between the two (just like math 2 halves make a whole).

Let’s place what we all know to figure and construct our natural minor scales.

C minor scale: C D Eb F G Ab Bb C
D minor scale: D E F G A Bb C D
E minor scale: E F# G A B C D E
F minor scale: F G Ab Bb C Db Eb F
G minor scale: G A Bb C D Eb F G
A minor scale: A B C D E F G A
B minor scale: B C# D E F# G A B
C# minor scale: C# D# E F# G# A B C#
Eb minor scale: Eb F Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb
F# minor scale: F# G# A B C# D E F#
G# minor scale: G# A# B C# D# E F# G#
Bb minor scale: Bb C Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb

Harmonic minor scales

A harmonic minor scale builds off a natural minor scale. To play a harmonic minor scale you raise the
seventh step of the scale by a half step. Also, the formula for this scale is WHWWHWH.

For example:
Natural Minor Scale: C D Eb F G Ab Bb C
Melodic Minor Scale: C D Eb F G Ab B C

Your harmonic minor scales will look like this:

C harmonic minor scale: C D Eb F G Ab B C
G harmonic minor scale: G A Bb C D Eb F# G
D harmonic minor scale: D E F G A Bb C# D
A harmonic minor scale: A B C D E F G# A
E harmonic minor scale: E F# G A B C D# E
B harmonic minor scale: B C# D E F# G A# B
F# harmonic minor scale: F# G# A B C# D E# F#
C# harmonic minor scale: C# D# E F# G# A B# C#
G# harmonic minor scale: G# A# B C# D# E F##(G) G#
Eb harmonic minor scale: Eb F Gb Ab Bb Cb D Eb
Bb harmonic minor scale: Bb C Db Eb F Gb A Bb
F harmonic minor scale: F G Ab Bb C Db E F

MELODIC MINOR SCALES

A melodic minor scale builds off of each the natural and harmonic minor scales. Also, this can be
accomplished by raising the sixth step half step.

For example:
1. C Natural Minor Scale: C D Eb F G Ab Bb C
2. C Harmonic Minor Scale: C D Eb F G Ab B C
3. C Melodic Minor Scale: C D Eb F G A B C

Here’s the trick with a melodic minor scale! In classical music theory, a melodic minor scale is just used while ascending. when you go to descend, it switches back to a natural minor scale.

Here’s what that looks like C D Eb F G A B C C Bb Ab G F Eb D C.
Got it? Good!!!
But how do I know where flats and sharps go? Let’s go over this, it’s simple.

minor scales circle of fifths

Finally, here we are with the circle of fifths again! Because this will be your be-all-end-all for information. Let’s review. In a C major scale, the sixth step an A.  An A minor scale will have the same key signature (or the same number of sharps or flats) as the C major scale. You plug the notes into the corresponding minor formula and that’s it, you have a brand new scale. Also, what’s a key signature? Key signature will allow you to know if a note is sharp, flat, and which notes they are. So, let’s place this in a really good visual aid:

C major: C D E F G A B C ( WWHWWWH)
A natural minor: A B C D E F G A ( WHWWHWW)
A harmonic minor: A B C D E F G# A (raised 7th step)
A melodic minor: A B C D E F# G# A (raised 6th and 7th steps)

ALL OF THESE SCALES USE THE SAME KEY SIGNATURE.

So, if you follow the wheel around clockwise, every major scale contains a corresponding minor note that you just will find on the inside of the wheel. Therefore simply remember it is that the sixth note in the major scale. You’ll use the same sharps or flats as the major scale for you minor scale construction.

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