Minor Scales (Lesson 10)


Relative or Natural Minor

In order to invoke the Relative or Natural Minor of a scale, simply begin at the sixth degree and follow the above interval formula of tone, tone, semitone, {tone}, tone, tone, semitone. Therefore, the sixth degree (note) of a C major scale will yield a Relative Minor of Am. Of course, as with the major scales, the minor scales are divided into two tetrachords. As one might incidentally observe that starting on the beginning of the upper tetrachord or 5th degree, you effect the next minor scale around a pattern similar to the Circle of Fifths. This is sometimes referred to as the Circle of Fourths.

C major relative A minor

C Major with relative A minor

Harmonic and Melodic Minor

To form a harmonic minor, simply raise the seventh degree of a natural minor (A, B, C, D, E, F, G♯). Likewise, to yield a melodic minor, the seventh and sixth degrees are raised (A, B, C, D, E, F♯, G♯).

A harmonic minor

A harmonic minor

A melodic minor

A melodic minor

Continue to Lesson 11: Modes