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Electric Guitar Manual

E Harmonic and Melodic minor Scales

E Harmonic and Melodic minor scales for Guitar: How they are formed and Qualities. Distribution of the Notes throughout the fingerboard.

Harmonic Minor Scales

The natural minor scale flows from the sixth or relative minor note of any major scale. Consequently, it is composed of exactly the same notes as its relative Major.

relative minor scale: C major - A minor

The major scale has a greater tonal response, compared to the minor scale. Consequently, we can clearly and strongly feel the resolution, forcefulness and stability of its tonic note.

Well, to obtain a greater tonal response from the minor scale, the 7th note was raised a semitone. In this way, a more decisive tonic is obtained and the tonal response is increased by bringing the 7th note closer to its tonic. Therefore, both notes are only separated by a semitone, as would be the case with the 7th note of the major scale. Well, this new scale was named the harmonic minor scale.

Natural minor and harmonic minor notes

E Harmonic minor Scale on Guitar

E Harmonic minor Scale on Guitar

Melodic Minor Scales

The harmonic minor scale was very useful from the point of view of harmony, but when a tone and a half space opened between the 6th and 7th note, its melodic qualities were diminished.

To fix this, the 6th note of the harmonic minor scale was raised a semitone to create the melodic minor scale. This new scale is similar in the distribution of the last four intervals to the major scale, and a Mixed Scale is obtained, half minor, half major.

Melodic and Harmonic Minor Scales

The melodic minor scale is used in modern times in both ascending and descending. So that we understand each other, this would be the normal way of using a scale.

But since its origins it has only been used in ascending, since its function is to facilitate melodic fluidity. For descending passages we would have to use the classic natural minor scale.

E Melodic minor Scale on Guitar

E Melodic minor Scales on Guitar

E Melodic minor Scale Descending on Guitar

If we compare this scale with the major scale, its only difference would be that the 3rd note is a semitone lower. In other words, simply by lowering the 3rd note of a major scale a semitone, we would already have a melodic minor scale in the same key.

C Major and C Melodic Scale

Harmonic and Melodic Minor Scales Menu

In the tables below you have the CHARTS of the Harmonic and Melodic Minor Scale in seven keys:

Guitar Scales all Chart