Ok, stick with me for one more minor scale type, then it gets
easier. I promise! This lesson builds on previous ones, so if
you haven’t read my other scale lessons, now’s a good time:
And now the melodic minor scale. I
think you’ll begin to understand why the natural minor is called
the natural minor. It’s the one that’s based on the major scale,
and is considered more pure. The other two, the harmonic and
melodic minors, were reached by tweaking around with the natural
minor. The harmonic minor raised the seventh note in the scale
so we could have that strong major V chord (that is, the chord
based on the fifth note of the scale). The melodic minor makes one more alteration.
Continue reading Melodic Minor Scales
minor scale, which I covered in the last lesson, is a nice
alternative to the major
scale when you want a sadder, mellower kind of sound. It has
a weaker resolution to the tonic, which can be just what you’re
going for. Some people though, back in the day, decided they
liked the sound of the minor scale, but wanted a little bit more
of a strong resolution. They played around a bit, and what they
came up with was the harmonic minor
scale. That’s what I’m going to cover today.
Continue reading Harmonic Minor Scales
I covered major
scales in the last lesson. Today I go minor. It’s really
not that much of a leap from major to minor, so this should be
an easy lesson, or at least easier. I’ll cover three types of
minor scales in total: natural minor,
melodic minor, and harmonic minor. Today, I’ll start with the
easiest one, the natural minor.
Continue reading Natural minor scales
I don’t know about you, but the word “scale” scares the crap out
of me. I picture some white-wig-wearing little boy tinkling the same
“do re mi” blah blah blah over and over on a piano as a
stern-faced matron tells him to watch his posture.
Well, it’s not quite so bad as all that. Scales turn out to be
enormously useful for coming up with melodies, soloing, and for
Continue reading Major scales and keys
Categories: Music theory, Chords
From the previous lessons, you now hopefully understand how
notes and intervals are named. Here I will cover the
construction and naming of some simple chords.
We already know that the space between two notes is called an
interval. If we play the notes one after the other, it's called
a melodic interval
, because it's as if you're playing a
melody. If we play them at the same time, it's called a harmonic
, because it's, you know, a harmony. Now if we take a
harmonic interval, and add a third different note, we have a
chord. That was easy, right? After that, we can keep adding more
notes to make more and more complicated chords, but for this
lesson let's stick with three-note chords, also called triads
for all you Latin-speakers.
By the way, does anybody else remember the old game Rise
of the Triad? Back in I think '95 or '96, I think it
was. Somewhere between Doom and Duke Nukem 3-D, it was my
favorite game. Anyway, that's irrelevant.
Where were we? Oh yeah, so basically, the definition of a chord
is just any three different notes played at the same time. The
intervals between these three notes define what the chord sounds
like. There are a lot of different possible combinations of
intervals, but only a few that are commonly used.
Continue reading Basic Chords