Unlike the major scale, there are in fact 3 different types of minor scales. These are the natural minor, harmonic minor and the melodic minor scales.
Before proceeding, please ensure you’re familiar with the concept of tones and semitones. If you’re unsure, it’d be worth reading one of our previous lessons, steps, tones and accidentals, as it’ll explain what they are.
The natural minor scale has the interval pattern, TSTTSTT. The harmonic and the melodic minor scales are very similar to the natural minor scale. The harmonic minor scale is the same as a natural minor scale, except for the fact that the 7th note is raised by a semitone. The melodic minor scale on the other hand has both the 6th and 7th notes raised by a semitone.
Let’s study the 3 different types of scales for the D minor scale to clarify this concept.
The Natural Minor Scale
This is the D natural minor scale – it has the interval pattern of TSTTSTT as mentioned previously. The red keys represent the notes of one octave, whereas the blue keys represent notes from octaves above and below.
The Harmonic Minor Scale
This is the D harmonic minor scale. It differs from the natural minor scale by the fact that the 7th note is raised by a semitone. If you compare this image to the one of the natural minor above, you’ll notice that the C has now become a C#.
The Melodic Minor Scale
Last but not least, here is the D melodic minor scale. This minor scale has the 6th and 7th notes raised by a semitone (compared to the natural minor scale) and therefore the Bb has become a B, and the C a C#.
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