Welcome back to my music theory series. This month we’re going to cover the harmonic minor scale.
This is a really fun scale to play. It takes the natural minor scale and raises the 7th degree of the scale by a half step. So for example if we’re in the key of A Minor, then the note G would be raised to G Sharp before resolving to the note A.
Let’s take a look what that would look like on the treble staff below…
And now on the piano keyboard…
The raising of the 7th degree of the scale gives it a bit of a more exotic or even middle eastern sound. A good example of the use of the harmonic minor scale in my own music is ‘Tears of the East’
The song is in the key of A Minor but starts off on the 5th degree of the scale with a tremelo effect in the left hand. You’ll notice all the G sharps in the opening measures of the song.
You could literally go around the circle of fifths and build any minor scale into a harmonic minor scale by raising the 7th degree.
Until next time practice building and playing your harmonic minor scales!