There are three types of minor scales that are used often in music.
- Natural Minor (also known as the Aeolian Mode)
- Harmonic Minor
- Melodic Minor
These scales are created by using different patterns of half steps (H), whole steps (W) and augmented seconds (A2).
The Natural Minor scale is created by starting on a tonic pitch, your first pitch of the scale, and moving up by the following pattern: W H W W H W W
If you create a C natural minor scale the tonic pitch will be C and the scale will be formed by following the pattern starting on C.
So the result would be C D Eb F G Ab Bb C.
The Harmonic Minor scale is also created by starting on a tonic pitch and moving up by the following pattern:W H W W H A2 W
If you create a C harmonic minor scale the tonic pitch will be C and the scale will be formed by following the pattern starting on C.
So the result of that pattern would be C D Eb F G Ab B C
The third type of minor scale is the Melodic Minor scale. This minor scale contains different pitches going up than going down.
On the way up you will use the pattern: W H W W W W H. If you use the tonic pitch C again, a C melodic minor scale on the way up will be C D Eb F G A B C.
On the way down you use the pattern from the natural minor scale going down. That will result in the C melodic minor scale coming back down as C Bb Ab G F Eb D C.
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