Guitar Tutorial - Minor Scales Chords
Minor Scales Chords
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Table of Contents
In this tutorial, you will learn chords derived from the two kinds of the minor scale. You will be able to relate them to each other and a major scale by adjusting your starting position rather than changing what notes you play. You will continue to form chords by extracting notes from the scale as before.
Some experience & playing ability will go a long way. If you can play scales with confidence, that is ideal.
The intention of this & subsequent tutorials is to gain maximum applied understanding from minimal study & practice. Therefore nothing that follows should be skipped over.
Part 2: Minor Scales Chords
Following on from TUTORIAL #1, this part will be pretty easy. Exactly the same principle applies. Look at the green highlighted notes in Table #3 below. Within the minor scale, It identifies C as the 3rd and E as the 5th. Play those notes in unison with the A root (1) to produce an A minor chord.
Minor Chord Formula
Once again, this formula of Root, 3rd, and 5th is universal and constant for chord creation. Use the pattern of intervals to find the scale of a selected key, identify the 3rd and the 5th within it and you have the chord. You now know how to construct any minor chord (& major of course too).
Play the scales of G# min & E min on your guitar. Use the phrasing examples on the fretboard charts if you wish. Use the note locator on the bottom reference chart to find your starting position if you need to.
Identify the 3rd, 5th, and root notes in the scale of B minor. Create your own chord shape anywhere you wish on the fretboard. Check it against the note reference chart.
Repeat exercise #1 but use the Dorian mode for G# and E instead. If you wish, you can use the fretting examples
There is a small Midi file available for download. It consists of three chords repeated in a cycle.
The chords are:-
- C major
- A minor
- D minor
Of course, these are the minor scales chords of the very scales we have been learning; here assembled into a pattern. All you need do is use your guitar to play the C major scale notes over this music. You can play the scale directly, but it’s nicer to improvise the note order if you can. Note that when the underlying chord changes, the mood of your own playing is transformed completely. Of course, it doesn’t actually matter if you play the scales of C major, A minor, or D Dorian here because they are all the same notes. This example is a peek at the ‘payoff’ value of this type of study.
If for any reason, you don’t use the Midi file provided, take the trouble to create your own, because it’s worth understanding this at a practical level as early as possible. Here’s how:-
Record and playback a C major chord, an A minor chord, and a D minor chord, possibly using your PC. Sustained organ or brass sounds would be suitable. It’s preferable to record them as a 3-part sequence. A rhythm accompaniment is not necessary.
The chord base underneath has determined the effect your playing has. First cheerful and then sombre. From a composer’s point of view, this is a useful bit of knowledge. Many songs use these major / relative-minor chords together. They have a special relationship. They share all the same notes but there is a shift in mood.
Hopefully, this Guitar Tutorial – Minor Scales Chords has given you some important principles quickly and painlessly. Sadly, there are fewer ways to speed up playing practice. I will leave it up to you how much work you put in to consolidate your understanding.
Whatever you manage to do, the practice will also better prepare you for the tutorials to follow, which are built upon this one, and each other.
If you want to find out more about playing or maintaining the guitar? If so, you can find articles and tutorials on our Guitar Articles page.
If for some strange reason you haven’t yet, please check out the first part of the minor scale guitar tutorial, that focuses on scales:
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