Monday, October 19, 2015

Meet the Minor Scale Family

I've found that sometimes the minor scale patterns can be a bit overwhelming for students to remember.  I created this visual to help students see and hear the distinctions between the three types of minor scales. 
I always think of a natural minor scale as a bit sad or melancholy and was surprised to hear one of students announce that he loves playing songs in minor keys.
 The #'d 7th tone adds a creepy sounding appeal and of course makes the V7-i progressions sound so much more resolved, which is probably why the majority of minor pieces use the harmonic scale form.
I think of the melodic minor as kind of a "wanna be" major.  As the scale ascends, it starts with that distinctive minor flatted 3rd, but then the #6th and #7th tones almost trick you into thinking its a major scale.... until it returns to the natural minor form as it descends.

1 comment:

  1. Here's a tip I've learned over the years:
    To get to really know the piano, practice your scales. They really improve your dexterity and go hand in hand with theory. If you know what key you are in when you start a song, your fingers will "know" the sharps and flats and you will play without thinking too much.
    Work on your scales but don't overdo it. Just work on them when you warm up. Play them a few times and move on. Don't worry if it's not perfect, you will get better.
    As one of my first piano teachers told me, play your scales slowly at first. You don't need to play fast to get the benefit.
    Here are some more useful piano tips if you are interested: