Minor Scales

All major keys have a relative minor key. It means both keys share the same key signatures. For example:
The key of D major has 2 sharps (F sharp and C sharp) and so is the relative minor of D major, the B minor.

To find out about the relative minor of a major key, you can go to the sixth degree of the major key. For example:
The sixth degree of C major is A. A minor is the relative minor of C major.

The following are the relative minors of 14 major keys:
 

Major Keys
Relative Minor Keys
Key Signature
C major
A minor
G major
E minor
 F#
D major
B minor
 F# C#
A major
F# minor
 F# C# G#
E major
C# minor
 F# C# G# D#
B major
G# minor
 F# C# G# D# A#
F# major
D# minor
 F# C# G# D# A# E#
C# major
A# minor
 F# C# G# D# A# E# B#
F major
D minor
 Bb
Bb major
G minor
 Bb Eb
Eb major
C minor
 Bb Eb Ab
Ab major
F minor
 Bb Eb Ab Db
Db major
Bb minor
 Bb Eb Ab Db Gb
Gb major
Eb minor
 Bb Eb Ab Db Gb Cb
Cb major
Ab minor
 Bb Eb Ab Db Gb Cb Fb

* Do you know some keys have different letters but are the same notes? Gb major is the same as F# major. Cb major is the same as B major. They're called enharmonic notes.

All of the relative minor keys are called natural minor keys.

Natural Minor, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor

1. Harmonic Minor  This is the most commonly used minor scale in Western music. It is based on the natural minor, but the 7th scale degree is raised 1/2 step. For example: "A" natural minor has no key signature (no sharps, no flats), but "A" harmonic minor has G sharp. G is the seventh note of A minor.



2. Melodic Minor The melodic minor scale is different ascending and descending. Ascending, the 6th and 7th degrees of the natural minor scale are raised 1/2 step; descending, the natural form of the minor is used. (Both accidentals are cancelled).



Table 1: Comparison among C major,  "A" natural minor, "A" harmonic minor and A melodic minor scales.


 
I
II
III
IV
V
VI
VII
VIII
VII
VI
V
IV
III
II
I
Major
C
D
E
F
G
A
B
C
B
A
G
F
E
D
C
Minor
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
A
G
F
E
D
C
B
A
Harmonic Minor
A
B
C
D
E
F
G#
A
G#
F
E
D
C
B
A
Melodic Minor
A
B
C
D
E
F#
G#
A
G
F
E
D
C
B
A

Yoke Wong highly recommends the Easy Beginner Piano Course



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