The minor scale is another 8 note scale system using the same notes as the basic scales with different sets of accidentals applied to each successive note to form a minor scale. Another mathematical manipulation of intervals producing unique scale patterns. The numbered tones [notes] of the basic scale are written in sequential order. The successively numbered positions are called degrees. Because each pitch in the scale functions in a particular way with respect to the others, scale degrees are numbered with Roman numerals in most cases.
The minor scales are a bit more complicated than major scales. Tetrachord/s becomes a more important term now. Four pitches is a brief definition of the term. Scales are the backbone of the music system. Using scales such as the minor scales, practicing them on the instrument of your choice is the best way to become familiar with them and put them to their best use. By using the scales, the mind will remember them faster and understand them better. It also allows said person to use the scales creatively and create unique sounds. The best way to learn scales is to use them. Physically using your knowledge will embed this in ones muscle memory faster.
The lower tetrachord interval uses the same accidentals in each minor scale. W H W is the lower tetrachord interval. It is the top tetrachord interval that has different accidentals applied to the Harmonic and Melodic minor scales. Excluding the descending Melodic minor scales, which uses the natural minor accidentals pattern.
Note: W = one whole interval. H= one half interval. Augmented = one and one half intervals. ^ indicates where a half interval goes. ^ indicates an augmented interval. w is the whole note interval between tetrachords.
1. Starting with the Natural minor scale the interval pattern is as such:
C D ^ bE F G ^ bA bB C
W H W w H W W
[upper tetrachord] H W W
Note: The small w is a whole note which separates the two tetrachords in all minor scales.
[lower tetrachord] W H W
Note: The lower tetrachord is of one W H W interval pattern. This is a constant in all of the minor scales.
2. Next is the Harmonic minor scale with it’s unique set of intervals. The bottom tetrachord is as such W H W, which is the same for all minor scales. The top tetrachord is where the difference in intervals lies.
The interval pattern is as such: between 2nd and 3rd [degrees] = W interval, 5th and 6th [degrees] = W interval, 7th and 8th [degrees] = augmented interval [one and one half intervals].
Reminder: [ ^ indicates augmented 1.5 interval]
A B ^ C D E ^ F G ^ #A
W H W w H W WH
3. Melodic Minor Scales: Ascending form and Descending form. Two separate scales. The descending form of the Melodic minor scale uses the same interval pattern as the natural minor scales. The ascending form of the melodic minor scale uses half intervals between the 2nd and 3rd degrees and the 7th and 8th degrees.
By learning the finger patterns visually on said instrument facilitates the process of both reading and recognizing notes, and patterns becomes easier. Incorporating two parts of the brain. This in effect is making music. Using the knowledge learned in earlier chapters it is possible for the student to write the desirable sounds in musical notation now, for future reference. Which is exactly why musical notation was invented.
It’s not super important to understand this material for beginning guitar lessons because we teach the easy and fun stuff here. Take advantage of our top rated 100 percent unbiased guitar lesson reviews. You can count on the accuracy of each review from our accredited reviewer. Guitar Players Center GPC.