Thinking Music Theory 101: Minor Scales


Thinking Music Theory 101: Minor Scales

There are many minor scales to choose from, but today we’re going to stick the Natural Minor.

When a major scale is played is tends to sound “happy” or “uplifting” but when a minor scale is played it tends to sound “sad” or “depressing” depending on the rhythm that is being performed.

note: If this is your first time reading this lesson, then I would suggest to start with the very first lesson. Things could get confusing, you need to start here first to understand this lesson.

Download the pdf exercises before you get started.

Natural Minor Scale

Many forms of music use the minor scale, like hip-hop, funk, soul, or even jazz. As said before there are many forms of the minor scales, but the major difference between a major and minor scales is the third degree or note.

The major third degree will suddenly be lowered a half step which would result in the minor third.

C Natural Minor Scale

This scale is made up of a sequence of whole steps and half steps. Look below and see how the scale in constructed.

C natural minor scales

When you construct the scale it would be the same as any other scale. Starting with the root note and you just build from there, using the minor scale formula. Don’t forget the sharps and flats if needed.

“A” natural minor scale. Using both treble and bass clef.

A natural minor scales

D natural minor scale.

D natural minor scales

Now it’s your turn to build the rest of the scales. Take your time.

9 minor scales

9 minor scales

Relative Minors Keys

Natural minor chords or scales all pertain to a major relative key. For example the A natural minor scale notes are exactly like the C major scale notes. The A minor scale would be relative to the C major scale. Think of it like the members of your family.

To find the relative key to the minor scale all you have to do is count a minor third or three half steps to the relative. The A natural minor key is exactly three half steps distance from the C major key.

Here’s a bit of home work for you. I have all minor keys, now it’s your turn to find it’s relative by just counting up a minor third or three half steps.

12 relative minor keys

Download the pdf exercises.

That’s it for now, go over these exercises and make sure to review them.

Please leave a comment or question below.

Talk to you later.

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