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Minor scales basics - question

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Minor scales basics - question

Post by wongb18c on Thu May 14, 2009 8:09 am

Hey I'm new to the forums and just started to learn music, so I'm pretty much clueless. I been watching Andrew's videos and they've been a great help, I never thought I could learn music online at the comfort of my home.

Anyways on to my question:

I been studying the circle of fifth and lesson video #9, and I am able to use it to figure out how many sharps or flats a key has and which notes are sharpend or flattened in the major scale. However, I'm a little confused with the minor scales, because for each major scale there are 3 minor scales. Also, for major scales, I know there's a pattern of ttsttts, but I'm not sure about minor scales.

So for example, I use the circle of fifth, and lets just say that I want to figure out how many flats are in the Bb minor scale. Using the circle, I find out that there are 5 flats, which notes are flattened? Well using the wonderful, BEADGCF, I get that notes B, E, A, D and G are flattened in the Bb minor scale. Then I get confused here because I'm not entirely sure how to actually play the scale:

1. If I want to play the Bb natural minor scale, do I still follow the same ttsttts pattern as the major scale (I might have missed this part in the lesson video)? Is this how I play it - I start on Bb, then C, Db, Eb, F, Gb, Ab and finally to Bb again?

2. If I want to play the Bb harmonic minor scale, in which case I need to sharpen the 7th note up a semi-tone, so is this how I play Bb, C, Db, Eb, F, Gb, A, Bb?

3. Now lets say I want to play the Bb melodic minor ascending, do I play Bb, C, Db, Eb, F, G, A, Bb, and then descending Bb, Ab, Gb, F, Eb, Db, C, Bb?

4. What's the difference between lets say, a Ab minor and G# minor? I know that Ab minor has flats in it and G# minor has sharps in it (then again, b's and #'s are relative depending in which direction you're going in, right?), but how are they related, do they sound the same?

Any help would be appreicated, I'm really new to music so I apologize if I asked the obvious. I might have made mistakes, so please point out, correct and explain if I do. Thanks!

Sorry for the long question, I wonder if anyone will actually read it and answer me XD <---- and that is not a double sharp D


Last edited by wongb18c on Thu May 14, 2009 8:34 am; edited 5 times in total (Reason for editing : Too many mis-spells)

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Re: Minor scales basics - question

Post by Admin Andrew on Thu May 14, 2009 8:46 am

Smile wow man Smile I was reading through your 1. 2. and 3. all of them are right on target. I think you've got it down more or less.

in 4. you asked what the difference between Ab minor and G# minor is. Well the difference is like you said one has sharps the other has flats, it's just an enharmonic scale (same notes... different names)

Smile i'd say you're on the top of your game! You don't seem so clueless to me at all Smile VERY good for someone who says they're "new" to this Smile *impressed*

keep posting here!

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Re: Minor scales basics - question

Post by Thomandy on Thu May 14, 2009 11:53 am

wongb18c wrote:
1. If I want to play the Bb natural minor scale, do I still follow the same ttsttts pattern as the major scale (I might have missed this part in the lesson video)? Is this how I play it - I start on Bb, then C, Db, Eb, F, Gb, Ab and finally to Bb again?

Well actually there is a little error here Andrew, cause he is saying; "do I still follow the same ttsttts pattern as the major scale" and then he is naming notes that are in the tsttstt, which is the natural-minor-scale pattern.

So wongb18c, you are Correct about the notes, but the Pattern is not the same as the major scale!^^
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Re: Minor scales basics - question

Post by Klavier on Thu May 14, 2009 4:09 pm

I keep reviewing the Circle of Fifths video too and the minor scales one. Very Happy They both have a lot of information in and need more time to sink in, but the circle is really really useful. :3 As the others have said you seem pretty on the money!
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Re: Minor scales basics - question

Post by wongb18c on Thu May 14, 2009 7:26 pm

Thanks I'm surprised I'm actually getting this stuff somewhat, but prior to this I was so lost. I even emailed Andrew asking him about key signitures, then I started to understand.

If minor scales don't follow the ttsttts pattern, then what pattern do they follow. So the ttsttts pattern only goes for major scales, but is there a set pattern for minor scales? Or do you have to know the key signitures to play each natural minor scale from memory, then apply the necessary accidentals for the harmonic and melodic minor? Right now, I can't imagine myself memorizing all the key signitures, so I have to use the circle.

Thomas mentioned a natural minor scale pattern - tsttstt, is that the standard set pattern?

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Re: Minor scales basics - question

Post by wongb18c on Thu May 14, 2009 8:02 pm

Aaahh, nevermind, I see it now, the pattern ttsttts stays the same, but the minor scale moves back or down I should say 3 semi tones, so you're just shifting to the left and overlapping the major scale pattern.... ???? please correct me on this

tsttstt - minor scale
ttsttts - major scale

Does this apply for all minor scales?

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Re: Minor scales basics - question

Post by Thomandy on Thu May 14, 2009 10:00 pm

Thomandy wrote:tsttstt, which is the natural-minor-scale pattern.
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