Welcome back to my music theory series. This month we’re going to cover the natural minor scale.
I love the natural minor scale and lots of my music utilizes minor scales. So what is a natural minor scale exactly? Let’s take a look below…
Natural minor scale in the key of A minor on the treble staff…
Natural minor scale in the key of A minor on the piano keyboard…
The notes of the natural scale in A minor are A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and back to A.
You’ll remember from last months post about major scales that there are a series of whole steps and half steps that make up the major scale. Well, the same is true for the natural minor scale. They are as follows…
A to B is a Whole step, B to C is a half step, C to D is whole step, D to E is a whole step, E to F is a half step, F to G is a whole step, G to A is a whole step. W, H, W, W, H, W, W.
You’ll also remember from last month’s post about major scale degrees, that minor scales also have scale degrees. We’ll cover scale degrees more when talking about chords and harmony. But for now just know that the natural minor scale degrees are as follows…
|1||A is the tonic|
|2||B is the supertonic|
|3||C is the mediant|
|4||D is the subdominant|
|5||E is the dominant|
|6||F is the submediant|
|7||G is the subtonic|
|8||A is the octave|
For simplicity I just used the key of A minor as an example. But you could literally go around the minor keys on the Circle of Fifths and build the scale on any tonic note/root note.
Until next time, memorize the number of steps to build the natural minor scale and their corresponding scale degrees!