Learn To Play Natural Minor Scales
The Natural Minor Scale is made up of the 6th mode (Aeolian mode) of the Major Scale. Minor scales in Western music theory refer to any scale that is made up of a minor third and a perfect fifth, but in it's stricter sense refers to the 6th mode, or the harmonic or melodic minor scales. On this page we will be looking at the natural minor scales that start on the 6th note of the major scale as they shares exactly the same notes and key signature as their realtive majors.
The Sound of the Natural Minor Scale
The minor scale begins on a root note and extends out through seven notes before resolving on the same root note an octave higher. The difference to the major chord is that the minor chord contains a minor third, that is the 3rd note is a semi tone above the second note, unlike the major scale which contains a major or perfect third. On the major scale we looked at the C Major scale, so on this page we will look at the corresponding minor scale. Remember! The Natural Minor Scale begins on the 6th note of the Major scale, so if we count the 6 notes in C major we have: C,D,E,F,G,A. Therefore, A Natural Minor is the relative minor to C. Here it is in tab and notation:
Remember, the Natural Minor begins on the 6th Note of the Major Scale, therefore if you count 6 notes up form G (G,A,B,C,D,E)you will see that the Natural Minor for G Major is E Minor
Structure of the Natural Minor Scale
The difference in sound from the major to the minor scales is due to the intervals between the notes and as the natural minor begins on the 6th note of the major the tones and semi tones fall in different places.
All of the intervals in a natural minor scale are a note apart (Tone) except in two places, between notes 2 and 3 and between notes 6 and 7 where the notes are next to each other (semi tones). The semi tone interval between notes two and three is the minor third, which define the sound of the minor scale. For a more detailed explanation of this have a look at:
Two Octave Natural Minor Scale
The Minor Scale can also be played in two octaves and this is an extremely useful scale to learn.
This is an essential scale to learn so make sure that you learn it as soon as possible! When you have learned that and you think you are ready, try learning the natural minor in other positions on the fretboard.
Once you have learned the minor scale in A it is then easy to move it around into other keys.
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