27: Natural Minor Scale
Get New Lessons
Lesson 27: Natural Minor ScaleThis lesson teaches the natural minor scale, the 2nd-most-important scale (after the major scale) and the basis for many songs.
Before taking this lesson, you should know:
You can make a natural minor scale by starting with a major scale and lowering degrees 3, 6, and 7 a half-step. In other words, the formula is:
Natural minor scale: 1 2 ♭3 4 5 ♭6 ♭7 8
Here are the pitches in the common natural minor scales:
Relative Major & Minor
For each natural minor scale, there is one particular major scale that uses the exact same 7 pitches (although the 2 scales don't start on the same pitch), and vice versa. That minor scale is called the major scale's relative minor, and that major scale is called the minor scale's relative major; together they make a relative major/minor pair.
For example, the D major scale and the B natural minor scale are a relative major/minor pair. The following chart shows how they use the same pitches:
The relative major and minor scales are important because:
Finding the relative majors and minors from each other:
These are the common relative major/minor pairs:
Once you understand the natural minor scale, you should practice it, in Lesson 28: Natural Minor Games.