Friday, September 18, 2009

The pattern for a natural minor scale

Much like you can find out what a major scale sounds like from playing the white keys from C to C on a piano, you can easily hear the sound of a minor scale by playing the white keys from A to A on a piano.

The pattern of half steps and whole steps in a minor scale is not the same as it is for a major scale, which is what gives it a different kind of sound.

A (whole step ) B (half step) C (Whole step) D (Whole Step) E (half step ) F (whole step ) G ( whole step ) A

In any natural minor scale the pattern will be whole, half, whole, whole, half, whole, whole.

Try E minor, for instance. The notes in E natural minor are E-F#-G-A-B-C-D-E. The fingering for both A and d minor is the same as the scales previously worked with.

Take note that the notes in A minor are the same as the notes in C major, they just start on A instead of C. Likewise, the Notes in E minor are the same as the notes in G major. Thusly E is called the relative minor of G major, and A is called the relative minor of C major. Every major scale has a relative minor, and every minor scale has a relative major.

To find the relative minor of any major scale, count down 1 and 1/2 steps.

To find the relative major of any minor key, count up one and 1/2 steps.

If you've been following along, we've now gone through the major scales starting on the keys of C, D, G, and A as well as the Minor scales A and D. If you are working on a poano, we have also discussed which fingers to use on which keys and how to progress from playing with each hand individually and then putting them together. More importantly, we've talked about how the patterns of half steps and whole steps work in each of these scales. If you understand that, you'll be able to figure out both major and minor scales starting on any key.

It should also be noted that there are several alternative forms of the minor scale; natural minor, melodic minor, and harmonic minor. I'll be explaining how to do that later after we have gotten through the primary basic scales.

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