Piano Scales and Minor Scales




minor scale

In piano scales, two main scales are the major and minor scales. The MINOR SCALE uses the wh wwh ww pattern of intervals.

whole-half-whole-whole-half-whole-whole

You flat the 3rd note, the 6th note, and 7th note of the major scale and the wh wwh ww minor scale pattern is made.

The minor scale here is called the natural minor scale that is

determined by the key signature.

In piano scales, you have the major scale pattern as follows.

C D E F G A B C The C major scale w w h w w w h

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 When you flat the 3rd, 6th, and 7th notes of the C major scale

you get C D Eb F G Ab Bb C The C minor scale

In piano scales, you have the minor scale pattern as follows.

See how the intervals form a minor scale

w h w w h w w

The minor scale is found as a relative minor scale to every major scale. The relative minor scale uses the same notes of the major scale in a different position.

The tonic note or root note of a relative minor scale is always one and a half steps down from the major scale.

The C major scale uses the notes C D E F G A B C

One and a half steps down from C is A.

The relative minor scale of C is A minor.

A B C D E F G A

See how it uses the same notes of the C major scale in a different position.

The A minor scale has w h w w h w w

If you have a A major and you flat the 3rd, 6th, and 7th notes you get A minor.

To get the major scale that uses the same notes as A minor you go up one and a half steps to find the relative major scale. From A to C is one a a half steps. C is the relative major scale of A minor.

If you have C minor to find the major scale that uses the same notes as C minor you go up one and a half steps to find the relative major scale. From C to Eb is one a half steps. Eb major is the relative major scale of C minor.

HOW TO FIND THE NATURAL MINOR SCALE IN THE KEY SIGNATURE

For example, take the C major scale. In the key signature, there are no sharps or flats. If the first note of the song starts with a C note, you can call this a song in the key of C major.

The natural minor scale is only defined in the key signature by its relative major scale. You have to look at the first note of the song to see if the song is in the major or relative minor scale.

If the first note of the song starts with A, you can usually call this a song in the key of A minor. The song usually ends in the same note of A.

Another way to find out is by looking at the guitar chords above the treble clef. If you see that the first chord is C, the song is in C major.

If you see that the first chord is Am, the song is in A minor.

HARMONIC AND MELODIC MINOR

There are two other minor scales.

THE HARMONIC MINOR has a raised 7th note.

Take the natural minor scale of 1 2 3b 4 5 6b 7b and you raise the 7th it becomes 1 2 3b 4 5 6b 7

THE MELODIC MINOR has a raised 6th and 7th note ascending and it returns to the natural minor scale descending.

ascending it is 1 2 3b 4 5 6 7 descending it is 1 2 3b 4 5 6b 7b

Only the natural minor is defined in the key signature. The other minor scales are made with by adding sharps or flats in given measures.

Remember the major scale is wwh wwwh and the minor scale is wh wwh ww

Next lesson is Intervals


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