Minor Scales

A minor scale (its full denomination should be natural minor scale) is a scale is which we have semitones between intervals 2 and 3, and between intervals 5 and 6. The other intervals are a full tone. Following the rule that we apply to the major scales, with whole and half, the minor scale should be w-h-w-w-h-w-w.

Let’s take an example. We are going to write the A natural minor scale. We put the 7 notes beginning with A, and we correct interval distances when needed, using sharp notes.


That was pretty easy, right? As a matter of fact, we didn’t have to alter any note. Does it remind you of something? That’s right, the C major scale doesn’t have any alteration either. This is because these two scales, C major and A minor, are actually the same thing seen through a different prism.

Let’s have another example, the E minor scale.

E F♯ G A B C D

So, all natural minor scales are built in the same way, they don’t have any secret. Same as for major scales, if you grab a pen and a piece of paper and build the natural minor scales of the 12 key signatures, you will come up with different sequences of notes for each one.

Featured image by Matt Perdeaux (CC BY-SA 2.0 – original)

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