The Minor Scale Expanded

ReggieTheory Basics%s Comments

First let’s refresh the natural minor scale formula. Where “^” denotes a half-step, the formula is: 1 2^b3 4 5^b6 b7 1. However, there are two very common variations of the minor scale: harmonic and melodic. The simple explanation is that they lead better to the root note (the “1” of a scale). Here’s what harmonic minor sounds like: And … Read More

Interval Basics

ReggieTheory Basics%s Comments

The word “interval” refers to the distance between two notes. The basic intervals are: Unison, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and octave. Each interval can be raised or lowered. We can divide the intervals into two groups: Group 1: Unison, 4th, 5th, and octave Group 2: 2nd, 3rd, 6th, and 7th. Intervals in the first group are called “perfect.” … Read More

The Minor Scale

ReggieTheory Basics%s Comments

There are two approaches to understanding the minor scale. Both are important. First, the minor scale is like the major scale: It’s made of five whole-steps and two half-steps. However, the steps are arranged differently. It can be written like this, where “^” means half-step: 1 2^3 4 5^6 7 1 The half steps in a minor scale fall between … Read More

The Major Scale

ReggieTheory Basics%s Comments

There are two main scales formulas: major and minor. Each is built on the concept of “steps,” which are either half or whole.  A half-step is the distance between a white key and the black key next to it on the piano. Or the distance of one fret on a guitar. The first two notes of the jaws theme are … Read More

Interval Tip

ReggieTheory Basics%s Comments

One of the best tricks I learned from a former teacher was a quick trick to figuring out thirds and fifths. Memorize this pattern: C E G B D F A C. And backwards: C A F D B G E C. Quick mnemonic for it: “FACE-GBD.” (You don’t have to start on C; it’s more a trick for interval … Read More