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Chord Scales - Part 3: More Scales

Natural Minor Modes

Below are all the modes and scales that are derived from A Natural Minor. As a reminder I included the tensions of the chords (in parenthesis) and their avoid notes.

Here's another look at the chords and their Roman Numerals within A Natural Minor: (notice that the Roman Numerals include a flat to indicate a minor interval)

First Time Out

Theory and knowledge is great. It can help you to understand the 'why and how' and make your life as a musician much easier. Nevertheless, I'd like to take the opportunity now (before it's too late and you close or burn this article) to show you a practical usage.

Let's take the above theory and try to apply it to the "real world (?)". Let's say you want to write a popy-rockish tune in Am (why should we deal with accidentals?).

If you have tried to play the chords above, you will have experienced that they do not sound very "popular-music-like". They are nice sounding for Soul and Jazz, but they do not satisfy the sound and feel of straight ahead Pop songs (whatever this means).

Firstly, throw away the 7th of every chord, so that you are left with plain Triads:

Am Bdim C Dm Em F G
Bdim? Throw it away!
Am C Dm Em F G

What's left are 6 minor/major Triads that we can use to create progressions that relate to the key of Am. Here are a few examples: play them and make up your own progressions.

I hope you enjoyed this little trip. Let's get back to our theory though. If you feel comfortable with the Natural Minor scale you can skip the exercises below (did I write this?) and go straight to the next page. If you do not feel comfortable with the above, please try the exercises below and if necessary review the first two articles about Chord Scales.

First Exercises

1) Write out the Natural Minor scale starting on the notes below.


2) Write out the chords for the following chord progression:
          Im7      bIIImaj7      Vm7       IVm7
in Em:
in Cm:

3) Write out all notes, Roman Numerals, chords, scales, tensions and avoid notes for D Natural Minor.
Note      Roman Numeral   Chord    Scale     Tensions      Avoid Notes

Harmonic Minor >>