Cyberfret.com: Theory for Guitar: Natural minor scales
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Natural minor scales

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Minor scale basics

In the constructing major scales lesson, you learned that a major scale is just a series of whole steps (2 frets) and half steps (1 fret). And if you take the natural notes from C to C, this is a C major scale.

 

 

 

 

C major scale

whole steps and half steps in a C major scale

If you take those same notes (C D E F G A B) and rearrange them to go from A to A, you create a different pattern of whole steps and half steps. And if you take the natural notes from A to A, this is an A minor scale. Specifically it is called an A natural minor scale. There are a couple of other minor scales (harmonic minor, and melodic minor), but what we are go to take a look at in this lesson is just the plain natural minor scale.

A minor scale

whole steps and half steps in an A minor scale

So an A natural minor scale is just the same notes as a C major scale, only a minor scale starts and ends on the 6th degree of the major scale.

C D E F G A B C - C major
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6
          A B C D E F G A - A minor

One idea that confuses a lot of people at first is the idea that a C major scale, and an A minor scale have exactly the same notes. What makes the difference is how those same notes are used. Those same 7 notes can sound very different depending on the situation.

Listen to the the 2 scales just by themselves

Now listen to both scales in relationship to a C chord, and to an Am chord.

C major scale over a C chord
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C major scale over an Am chord
Play MIDI file
get crescendo MIDI player

A minor scale over an Am chord
Play MIDI file
get crescendo MIDI player
A minor scale over a C chord
Play MIDI file
get crescendo MIDI player

 

Page 2, The natural minor on the neck of the guitar


Natural minor scale jump zone

Minor scale basics
Natural minor on the neck of the guitar

Major is minor and minor is major
Parallel minor and the minor scale formula



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