The A Minor scale consists of seven notes. The following charts compare the different scale formulas of the major scale modes that are used for keys and chord progressions. In this lesson we will only focus on the natural minor scale first. By Desi Serna . For an example of a natural minor scale, let’s look at the E minor scale. Once you feel comfortable understanding the formula for a Major Scale and the chord formula for a Major Chord, you can start looking at other types of chords such as minor chords. On the guitar a scale or chord formula is its pattern of steps and intervals. For an in-depth lesson on the major scale, see Minor Scale Positions & Theory. A major scale is 1-2-3-4-5-6-7. In another lesson, we looked at the pattern of steps that allows us to form the major scale from a possible twelve notes.We also experimented with shifting the order of this pattern, and came up with the minor scale. For example, a major triad is 1-3-5. Like the major scale, the minor scale can be constructed from scratch by applying the following formula, WHWWHWW (W = Whole tone and H = Half/Semi-tone). 1. The A Minor is relative to C Major. A natural minor scale is taken from the major scale of the same name, but with the third, sixth, and seventh degrees lowered one half step.. Super Locrian is often used in jazz over an Altered Dominant chord (b9, #9, b5, #5, #11, b13) Melodic Minor w h w, w w w h 1 w 2 h b3 w 4 w 5 w 6 So from D to E is a whole step because it skips D♯. A whole step is the distance from one key to a key two half steps higher or lower. So from D to D♯ is a half step. Play the notes in the number order shown below. Playing minor scales on the guitar is simply a matter of following the pattern shown below. Understanding the minor scale will allow will help you build other minor scales including the harmonic minor scale. There is a method that’s used for understanding the fretboard called the CAGED system. E minor Guitar Scale 2. The minor scale also contains 7 notes (heptatonic) but differs in the fact that the 3rd, 6th and 7th steps are flattened by one semitone or fret on the guitar. The formula for a minor chord is 1 b3 5. The ‘b’ in this formula is a modification to the basic Major chord. This should be review, but a half step is the distance from one key to the very next. This scale has neither seven or five notes – Instead, it has six. A Natural Minor Scale Patterns. The last of our scales in today’s lesson, the minor blues scale is the rule-breaker of the bunch. Guitar Scales Chart: The Minor Blues Scale. Mode Formulas: How the “Church Modes” Are Made Major Scale Review. Constructing Major vs Minor Scales (Theory) Major Scale Formula. I will cover both melodic and harmonic minor scales in later lessons once you have the proper foundation knowledge. Both scales include the same notes but their tonal center differ. This formula can be applied to any note and by using the W H W W H W W formula, you can create a natural minor scale. In order to understand this scale, we need to understand the structure of the minor scale a little bit better. MINOR CHORDS. The next step is to play the natural minor scale in the way that guitar players actually use them. In classical music the Melodic minor scale is played going up and the natural minor scale is played going down. These can be described as intervals, as semi-notes or steps on the guitar fingerboard, written as 2 - 1 - 2 - 2 - 1 - 2 - 2 from the first note to the next octave. Starting on the 1st (or root) note of a scale, you’d use this formula to play the natural minor scale with the following intervals: • Whole step • Half step • Whole step • Whole step • Half step • Whole step • Whole step. This guitar scale reference contains the notes, formula, structure, positions, chords, and modes for the C Minor scale. 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