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Thread: Minor scales

  1. #1
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    Minor scales

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    I've recently been upgrading my theory knowledge. I'm still unsure about minor scales: How and where do I use harmonic / melodic / natural.

    For example in a chord progression for C major: C Dm Em F G Am Bdim are the minors always harmonic? Is the relative minor (A minor) natural or harmonic by default? How do I know which minor scale to use?

    Also if anyone knows of any idiot proof resources for music theory I'd appreciate a link.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by DMMusic; 09-10-2019 at 01:34 PM.

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    Depends what's going on with the harmony & melody.

    Harmonically, the major 7th of a scale is important as it tends to resolve to the tonic/root. The Harmonic Minor scale raises the 7th, and you can use it when resolving from V7 -> i instead of v7 -> i (E7 -> Amin for example).

    Melodically, when doing the above, the 6th to 7th degree becomes augmented and can sound odd compared to the rest of the intervals. The 6th is raised in the Melodic Minor to address that. With the 7th being a leading note upward to the root, the Melodic Minor comes in handy with upward moving melodic lines involving those notes over that dominant chord.

    Play Emin7 (natural minor) than Amin. Compare that to E7 (harmonic minor) than Amin. E7 to Amin should sound more resolved.
    If you use E7 to resolve to Amin and were playing E, F, G (A natural minor) over the E7, that G would clash with the G# in E7. Playing G# in your melody instead would be using the melodic minor scale.
    Last edited by Bezo; 09-11-2019 at 01:24 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bezo View Post
    Depends what's going on with the harmony & melody.

    Harmonically, the major 7th of a scale is important as it tends to resolve to the tonic/root. The Harmonic Minor scale raises the 7th, and you can use it when resolving from V7 -> i instead of v7 -> i (E7 -> Amin for example).

    Melodically, when doing the above, the 6th to 7th degree becomes augmented and can sound odd compared to the rest of the intervals. The 6th is raised in the Melodic Minor to address that. With the 7th being a leading note upward to the root, the Melodic Minor comes in handy with upward moving melodic lines involving those notes over that dominant chord.

    Play Emin7 (natural minor) than Amin. Compare that to E7 (harmonic minor) than Amin. E7 to Amin should sound more resolved.
    If you use E7 to resolve to Amin and were playing E, F, G (A natural minor) over the E7, that G would clash with the G# in E7. Playing G# in your melody instead would be using the melodic minor scale.
    This guy nailed it.

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