dansm's guitar scale lessons
the natural minor scale
the natural minor scale is not very common in rock music. it is not going to give you much use, though understanding how the natural minor scale relates to the major scale is very useful. if you will focus on minur keys a lot, i recommend the other minor scales. this page will tell you what the natural minor scale looks like. from there, i will teach you the seven modes of the natural minor scale. so pick up your guitar and get ready to play some scales!
the natural minor scale contains seven different pitches. the natural minor scale is made up of the following pattern of half and whole steps:




on standard musical notation, the e natural minor scale looks like the diagram below. shown below that is the e natural minor scale played on one string. notice the pattern of half and whole steps while you play this:




this pattern of half and whole steps will be important for the rest of the natural minor scale lessons. try to get an understanding of how it sounds and how it feels to your ears. don't necessarily memorize the pattern; memorizing will not help you learn. get a feeling of how it sounds and remember it that way. everything from here on will be in the key of e minor, just to provide continuity. move on to the aeolian mode once you understand the pattern.
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1997 daniel e. smith.