Natural Minor Scale

Author: Ed Cupler

This guitar lesson will focus on one of the more popular guitar scales in rock, the natural minor scale. In the lesson Major Scale Modes (C Major Scale Expanded) you learned the "Aeolian Scale Mode" In this lesson you will find that the Aeolian Scale Mode is also the natural minor scale. For this lesson we will first concentrate on the A natural minor scale and then transpose* it into the E natural minor scale. Both A minor and E minor are very common keys in rock and heavy metal so it makes sense to start with those keys.

 

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Exercise #1

Natural Minor Scale – Exercise #1

This first exercise simply plays the A natural minor scale chromatically up and back down.

Scale Notes( A B C D E F G )

Natural minor scale tablature

Exercise #2

Natural Minor Scale – Exercise #2

This second exercise simplifies playing the A natural minor scale chromatically by using three notes per string. This makes the scale easier to play smoothly and is a technique used by many shredders for playing fast scale runs. This exercise also uses 8th note triplets instead of 8th notes. This just means that instead of playing two notes per beat, you play three notes.

Scale Notes( A B C D E F G )

Natural minor scale tablature

Exercise #3

Natural Minor Scale – Exercise #3

This third exercise the pattern and timing remain the same as the second exercise but the pattern is transposed to the E natural minor scale. The only difference between the scales besides the position is an F sharp (F#) instead of an F note.

Scale Notes( A B C D E F# G )

Natural minor scale tablature

* to move a musical composition up or down in pitch.

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