Harmonic Minor Relative Modes
Harmonic Minor Relative Modes
Jan 9 2015, 03:48 AM
Learning Guitar Hero
Joined: 24-December 11
Member No.: 14.670
I am very happy to see Oxac did his homework
Great discussion and questions.
I can perhaps add couple things to the discussion and try to make myself as clear as possible
Major scale is where everything starts! From major scale we derive natural minor scale. From natural minor scale we then create Harmonic and Melodic minor by raising certain scale degrees.
Here is the layout of these scales using numbering and roman numerals.
Major scale = 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 (8)
Natural minor scale = 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 (8)
Harmonic minor scale = 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 7 (8)
Melodic minor scale = 1 2 b3 4 5 6 7 (8)
Here are roman numerals for the scales mentioned
Major scale = I II III IV V VI VI VIII
Natural minor scale = I II bIII IV V bVI bVII VIII
Harmonic minor scale = I II bIII IV V bVI VII VIII
Melodic minor scale = I II bIII IV V VI VII VIII
Ok, now that we have a lay out of all 4 scales, it is time to get to real deal.
As I said in the beginning, every scale is related back to Major scale. Major scale has ALL PERFECT AND MAJOR INTERVALS! This is the reason why we write numbers 12345678 and roman numerals I II III IV V VI VI VIII.
Lets look at the major scale it will be easier from C note
C to D = MAJOR 2nd
C to E = MAJOR 3rd
C to F = PERFECT 4th
C to G = PERFECT 5th
C to A = MAJOR 6th
C to B = MAJOR 7th
C to C = OCTAVE
Now every other scale (OR MODE) has different interval distance between the notes. This is why we ALTER all the other scales with b(FLAT) or #(SHARP) sign.
I hope that makes sense so far.
Now that we know why everything is related to major scale, it will be useful to say that we also keep the order of the modes the same !
Now lets go to A natural minor (A Aeolian mode).
Here are the notes: A B C D E F G A
It has exact notes as C major but we instead start and end on A note the same scale. This of course produces totally different relationship between the notes in this particular scale.
Here is the analysis for A natural minor :
A to B = MAJOR 2nd
A to C = MINOR 3rd = b3 or bIII!
A to D = PERFECT 4th
A to E = PERFECT 5th
A to F = MINOR 6th = b6 or bVI!
A to G = MINOR 7th = b7 or bVII!
A to A = OCTAVE
As you see now, we had one original scale (C major) and by starting on two different notes in that scale (C and A notes) we changed relationship between notes and the scale degrees !
Now lets look at the order of MODES in Major and Natural minor scale! I will also list the chord built from that particular scale degree.
Major scale :
I = IONIAN = Major triad or Major 7th chord
II = DORIAN = Minor triad or Minor 7th chord
III = PHRYGIAN = Minor triad or Minor 7th chord
IV = LYDIAN = Major triad or Major 7th chord
V = MIXOLYDIAN = Major triad or Dominant 7th chord
VI = AEOLIAN = Minor triad or Minor 7th chord
VII = LOCRIAN = Diminished triad or Minor 7b5 chord
VIII = IONIAN = Major triad or Major 7th chord
Natural minor scale :
I = AEOLIAN = Minor triad or Minor 7th chord
II = LOCRIAN = Diminished triad or Minor 7b5 chord
bIII = IONIAN = Major triad or Major 7th chord
IV = DORIAN = Minor triad or Minor 7th chord
V = PHRYGIAN = Minor triad or Minor 7th chord
bVI = LYDIAN = Major triad or Major 7th chord
bVII = MIXOLYDIAN = Major triad or Dominant 7th chord
VIII = AEOLIAN = Minor triad or Minor 7th chord
Now I suggest you take your time and study everything I wrote above. You should notice that Major scale and Natural minor scale are : 1) Related 2) Natural minor is within original Major scale and so is Major within natural minor scale 3) All the types of modes and chords are shared in both scales 5) The only difference occurs regarding where we start from !
In one case we got IONIAN DORIAN etc ( MAJOR SCALE) in other we start from AEOLIAN and go to LOCRIAN then we are back to IONIAN AND WHOLE CYCLE REPEATS LIKE IF WE WERE IN MAJOR SCALE!
Now if you have learned all this , you will easily be able to understand why certain modes in Harmonic and Melodic minor have "weird" names
We will basically relate everything we POSSIBLY can to original NATURAL MINOR SCALE.
Lets do A HARMONIC MINOR NOW
As I said in the beginning of the post, the only difference between Natural and Harmonic minor is in the type of 7th they have. Natural minor has minor 7th (b7) while Harmonic minor has major 7th (7)
Now we get this : A B C D E F G# A
Modes of harmonic minor are related to natural minor - as much as possible !
So we get this
I = A B C D E F G# A = Harmonic minor #1(#= number) or simply we call it Harmonic minor
II = B C D E F G# A B = Harmonic minor #2 or we can call it LOCRIAN with natural 6th! (Lociran nat6)
bIII = C D E F G# A B C = Harmonic minor #3 or we can call it IONIAN with AUGMENTED 5th ! (Ionian #5)
IV = D E F G# A B C D = Harmonic minor #4 or we can call it DORIAN with AUGMENTED 4th (Dorian #4!)
V = E F G# A B C D E = Harmonic minor #5 or we can call it PHRYGIAN with major 3rd aka PHRYGIAN DOMINANT
bVI = F G# A B C D E F = Harmonic minor #6 or we can call it LYDIAN with AUGMENTED 2nd (Lydian #2)
VII = G# A B C D E F G# = Harmonic minor #7 or we can call it MIXOLYDIAN with b9#9b#11#5bb7!
This last one is very confusing because we used to play Dominant 7th chord on VII scale degree in Natural minor scale. Now in Harmonic minor scale we don't have ROOT MAJ3rd PERFECT 5th and MINOR 7th in 7th mode This is why we end up with Dominant functioning chord that is actually from DIMINISHED FAMILY OF CHORDS!
Also this mode (Harmonic minor #7) starts like a DIMINISHED HALF WHOLE SCALE and then changes in the middle of it
For those of you who don't know what diminished scale is , there is two types of diminish scales:
1) We can start on HALF STEP followed by WHOLE STEP and keep doing that until we reach the root of the scale
2) Or we can start on WHOLE STEP followed by HALF STEP and keep doing that until we reach the root of the scale.
Here is example of A HALF WHOLE DIMINISHED SCALE : A Bb C Db Eb F Gb(F#) G# A ! So we went here half whole half whole etc.
Here is example of A WHOLE HALF DIMINISHED SCALE : A B C D Eb F Gb(F#) G# A ! Here we went whole half whole half etc.
Now just to compare what I said before, Harmonic minor #7 is very similar to HALF WHOLE DIMINISHED FROM G#!
Here are two scales
VII = G# A B C D E F G# = Harmonic minor #7
Half whole from G# = G# A B C D Eb F Gb(F#) G# !
Notes that are bold are actually COMMON IN BOTH SCALES !
As final a final thing I just want to say that you can play G# diminished 7th chord over both scales. The notes of G# diminished 7th chord are G# B D F ! Notice that these 4 notes are contained in both scales above
Ok guys this is it for this post. I hope you learned some things from it. Ask me any questions, I will be happy to respond.
wow man, thank you for this long post, totally opened my brain a bit more!
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