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Electric Guitar Manual

Harmonic and Melodic Minor Scales on Guitar

Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Scales for Guitar in Six Different Keys, and in Full Fingerboard Charts. Play Jazz and Neoclassical Metal.

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

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 scales

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.

Harmonic and Melodic 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.

Harmonic and Melodic Minor Scales Menu

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


Harmonic Minor Scales on Guitar

The green circles mark the Tonic, the blue ones the Dominant or 5th, and the yellow ones the Median or 3rd. You can see how the notes colored in green, blue and yellow form A minor chords.

How to Learn Guitar Scales

Guitar scale learning method.

How to Use Guitar Scales

Tutorial to know what scale to use in each song.

Guitar Scales all Chart