Learn the Minor Scales for Piano

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Learn formulas for minor scales used in playing the piano and where to use them in your performances. This lesson will cover Relative minor scales, Natural minor, Harmonic minor and Melodic minor scales.

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4 Steps to Learning How to Play Any Song on the Piano

1. Determining the melody - Melodies determine what chords will be played. If you can use your ear to figure out what notes are being played in the melody, you are 1/4 on your way to learning a song! More resources on learning how to determine melodies

2.Harmonizing the melody - Once you have figured out the melody (using some of my techniques on the resource page), it is time to harmonize it. This is simply choosing various chords to accompany the melody. There are several techniques and tricks to doing this. More resources on learning how to harmonize melodies

3. Altering Chords - This is the best part! Now that you have strategically figured out the melody to a song and have harmonized it, altering your chords to produce certain sounds is the next step. If you were playing gospel music, you would alter your chords differently than if you were playing classical or country music. More resources on altering chords

4. Listening - After you have determined the melody, harmonized the melody, and altered some of your chords, there are various techniques you can use to make sure that your song sounds right. More resources on listening techniques

I personally recommend "The Secrets to Playing Piano By Ear" 300-pg Course and through my relationship with Jermaine (the author of this course), I've been able to get him to throw in a few bonus items (3 additional piano software programs). He has taught literally thousands of musicians how to play the piano by ear. If you understood just half of what he discussed above, you'll definitely benefit from his 300-pg course. Click here to learn the secrets to playing absolutely any song on the piano in virtually minutes! I highly recommend it.

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Relative Minor Scales

If you know a little about the Major Scales and how to form them then learning the Relative Minor scales is fairly easy.

Each Major Key, or Major Scale has a Relative Minor scale associated with it that will share the major scales Key signature.

To find the Relative Minor scale in the key of C you can count down from C three half steps to the note A, and then play all the white notes from A to A.

If you do that you will be playing an A natural minor scale.

Because the C major scale has no sharps or flats, the related A natural minor scale will have no sharps or flats as well.

ex. C Major = C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C ex. A Minor = A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A

Notice as you play the two scales that the major scale will sound bright and cheerful while the related minor scale will have a darker, more solemn or sad sound.

While it would be better for you to figure out the relative Natural Minor scales at the keyboard using what you know so far, I will include all 12 Natural minor scales for you.

C = C - D - Eb - F - G - Ab - Bb - C

D = D - E - F - G - A - Bb - C - D

E = E - F# - G - A - B - C - D - E

F = F - G - Ab - Bb - C - Db - Eb - F

G = G - A - Bb - C - D - Eb - F - G

A = A - B - C - D - E - F - G - A

B = B - C# - D - E - F# - G - A - B

C# = C# - D# - E - F# - G# - A - B - C#

Eb = Eb - F - Gb - Ab - Bb - Cb - Db - Eb

F# = F# - G# - A - B - C# - D - E - F#

G# = G# - A# - B - C# - D# - E - F# - G#

Bb = Bb - C - Db - Eb - F - Gb - Ab - Bb

Natural Minor Formula

Another way to figure out any Natural minor scale is to use this simple formula.

whole step - half step - whole step - whole step - half step - whole step - whole step or:

w - h - w - w - h - w - w.

Harmonic Minor Scale

To play a harmonic minor scale, you simply raise the seventh note of the scale by a half-step as you go up and down the scale. For example:

Natural C Minor Scale = C - D - Eb - F - G - Ab - Bb - C

Harmonic C Minor Scale = C - D - Eb - F - G - Ab - B - C

Melodic Minor Scale

When you raise the sixth and seventh notes of a scale by a half step as you go up the scale and then return to the natural minor as you go down the scale. For example:

Melodic C Minor Scale = C - D - Eb - F - G - A - B - C (as you go up the scale)

Natural C Minor Scale = C - D - Eb - F - G - Ab - Bb - C (as you go down the scale)

Finally...

Please take a few minutes and watch the short video clip below for a little extra help on finding and using you new information.

Be sure to fill in the comment section and let me know how I can improve your learning experience.

Best Home Study for "Ear Players"

After checking out dozens of home study courses that teach you to play by ear and focus on chord progressions I am convinced that the folks at Hear and Play have the best, most well rounded program available for just about all styles of music from Gospel to Jazz. Read my review or visit Hear and Play for more information.

Contact me

If you have any questions, suggestions, or ideas for future lessons feel free to Contact Me.

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