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Chord Scales - Part 3: More Scales


Welcome to this third theory part about chord scales and modes.

Wow, I'm impressed that you are still with me on our journey through chords and modes. I assume that you have read and worked through part 1 and 2 of this article (if not I strongly recommend you have a look at them!).

As promised this article deals with the chord scale theory of Harmonic and Melodic Minor. I've also added a section that briefly discusses symmetric scales.

Warning: there's a lot of theory in this article. You do not have to work through this article right away if you are not up to it - see it as an appendix to Part 1 and Part 2, which includes the most important fundamentals by far. Use this article as a reference to look up certain topics or scales. Applying the information contained in this article onto your instrument takes years of practice and research. Take your time with it ...

I hope you'll find this article helpful and informative.

Review: Natural Minor - Aeolian Mode

Before we talk about Harmonic and Melodic Minor, I'd like to review Natural Minor also referred to as Relative Minor or Aeolian Mode. Don't get confused with all these different terms for Natural Minor - they actually mean the same thing.

It's important to set Harmonic and Melodic Minor in relation to Natural Minor.

You can think about it in this way: first there was Natural Minor, which then was altered to Harmonic and Melodic Minor to create a stronger harmonic context (more on this later).

Natural Minor is equal to a scale starting on the sixth degree of a major scale. In the key of C this is A minor.

A Natural Minor

Straight forward, isn't it?

So, what if we build up chords on each individual note of the scale? Or what happens if we write out scales from each individual scale note?

Yes, we already did that. The scales and chords are identical to the ones we talked about in Chord Scales Part 2, when we wrote out the modes and chords for C major.

The only difference is that we start on the 6th of the major scale and not on the root. Due to the fact that the notes of C major and A minor are identical, the modes and chords have to be identical, with the exception of their order of appearance.

Natural Minor Modes >>