• The easiest way to remember minor scales!

    in Other Stuff

    This post is going to be short because the concept is so simple… if you know your major scales!

    Basically, every major scale comes with a paired minor scale.

    We call that the “relative minor” of whatever major key you’re in.

    How do you know where to find it? It’s simple.

    Go to the 6th tone!

    Let’s take C major, for example:

    C major
    C D E F G A B C
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7

    The 6th tone is “A.”

    That means, “A” is the relative minor of C. Very simple!

    Here are all the relative major/minor relationships out there:

    C major (relative major) / A minor (relative minor)
    Db major (relative major) / Bb minor (relative minor)
    D major (relative major) / B minor (relative minor)
    Eb major (relative major) / C minor (relative minor)
    E major (relative major) / C# minor (relative minor)
    F major (relative major) / D minor (relative minor)
    F# major (relative major) / D# minor (relative minor)
    G major (relative major) / E minor (relative minor)
    Ab major (relative major) / F minor (relative minor)
    A major (relative major) / F# minor (relative minor)
    Bb major (relative major) / G minor (relative minor)
    B major (relative major) / G# minor (relative minor)

    Now here’s the part that’s going to make you jump up and down…

    To play, let’s say, the “A minor” scale, all you have to do is play all the notes of the “C major scale” (its relative major) — beginning and ending on “A.”

    In other words, “A minor” and “C major” share the same EXACT notes. The only, and I mean the ONLY difference is the starting and ending notes of their scales.

    So if this is the “C major” scale (I’m going to use two octaves for this example):

    C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C

    Then, this is the “A minor” scale:

    C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C

    In other words:

    A B C D E F G A

    Was that simple or what? So if you know your major scales, you should also know your minor scales now!

    Until next time —

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    Hi, I'm Jermaine Griggs, founder of this site. We teach people how to express themselves through the language of music. Just as you talk and listen freely, music can be enjoyed and played in the same way... if you know the rules of the "language!" I started this site at 17 years old in August 2000 and more than a decade later, we've helped literally millions of musicians along the way. Enjoy!

    Attention: To learn more about this, I recommend our 500+ page course: The "Official Guide To Piano Playing." Click here for more information.


    { 34 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 samuel patrick

    sir please i want you to indicate their keys on the fret for example my key c on my piano is C E G. so please indicate this on the guitar fret for me thanks.


    2 nate

    Dude it’s very simple for you to google “fretboard notes” and it will show you all the notes on the fretboard.


    3 genji

    wow this helped me so much! thankyou for sharing!!!


    4 mair

    Wow this is an amazing trick..i had so much trouble with trying to remember the minor chords with the whole step half step method…but this is a piece of cake!!!Thank you SOO much for this.. I feel like the cloud of minor scale confusion is gone..Thank you!!


    5 David Fletccer

    Not to upset you too much but major means big and minor means small
    Any major interval can be made smaller (minor)
    Learn your harmonic minor first then learn melodic minor
    Both ascending and descending and just think of it as different ways
    To approach other notes/chords – the different approach notes add different
    Tensions and resolves –
    Listen to some of the jazz standards and it will blow your mind
    Have fun by all means but don’t just assume the 6th degree relative
    Minor wraps it all up


    6 Prasad

    Dear sir.,

    I have been practising the both Major & Minor scales for the last three months.Please let me know how playing of these major & minor scles will
    help in playing the songs. please do reply

    with thanks. Yours sincerely ., Prasad


    7 rock

    Hi… glad u asked this question… once you learn all the scales and chords it will be very easy to pick up songs just by listening to the songs. Moreover u will know what exactly u r playing. On the other hand, if u learn chords directly den ul be more of a BLIND GUITARIST….!
    hope dis helped…


    8 David Fletccer

    In learning the major and minor scales it may help you and aid you in playing songs
    However it’s better to start with intervals which then will allow
    You to build chords (chordal tones) which then when you think
    About it once you then know your chordal tones you can add
    Your scale notes to add movement so you could move from Cmaj to Aminor by using
    a G (diatonically) or use a G# to lead you into A minor
    So in C major on a lead sheet the G would have an accidental #
    So learn scales yes but more importantly learn how to use those scales
    In order to build chords as opposed to most metal players who use them to
    Shred and never learn anything


    9 abbieyy

    thank you this helped a lot but oyu could do some more of the harder examples.
    I am doing my grade 2 on clarinet and find it hard to learn scales, is there any other methods of learning i could use?
    i thank you a lot because all the other sites seem to want you to buy things which i can affor and is proberly a scam!(i think that is the web adress to my bebo im noy sure…) xx


    10 OXM

    Hi, uh, I’m a clarinettist and I would like to know how does this match from the bflat clarinet notes, since this is for, I assumed, piano, right? It’s kind of confusing for me… Please help!


    11 Ewan

    Same notes, being b flat doesn’t change anything except the actual sound.


    12 Olive

    The scales for the piano are the exact same for clarinet/ bass clarinet, aside from the fingering obviously


    13 Music heart1

    Great!!!!! So helpful!


    14 Tolga

    Kristine -Thanks for the great suggestion. I’ll rraseech the issue of the effects of chlorinated water on children and see what published articles exist.I struggle with the water bottle issue. Which water bottle is the best? I keep rraseeching it because I would like to sell a water bottle. The plastic water bottles all still contain estrogen mimicing chemicals which have negative effects on men and boys. It’s my impression that stainless steel bottles may leach nickel and aluminum water bottles may leach aluminum. Aluminum may be viable but I don’t trust them. Glass is the best but heavy and easy to break. I keep looking at glass but haven’t found one that is the right size. Too big and they tip over in a cup holder. Too small and they don’t hold enough water. I keep buying them and experimenting and haven’t settled on one yet.One idea I must point out to you is that I like the glass water bottle that Voss spring water comes in. I buy Voss at Whole Foods for about $2.35 (which is crazy because Voss comes from Norway) but then I reuse the bottle for years. It’s a great size and shape if perhaps a bit small (I have two).


    15 Gina

    I hate to put a downer on all of this but it’s wrong. An A minor scale is not exactly the same as a C major scale played only from A-A; that scale is what is musically known as a the Aeolian Mode. An A minor scale has a raised 7th (as is common in all harmonic minor scales) which is the G#.
    Hope this helps.


    16 Erik Frederiksen

    They are referring to natural minor scales, not harmonic minor scales. In a natural A minor scale, it is all natural notes. There is no G#. You are referring to an a harmonic A minor scale. (Which like you said, does have an G#) They are basically explaining the relationship between major and minor scales show in the circle of fifths.


    17 Jermaine Griggs

    Erik is right. You’re not referring to the regular natural minor scale. You’re referring to the harmonic minor scale.

    The “A” natural minor scale, as stated by this blog post, is A B C D E F G A (the same notes as the C major scale).

    The funny thing is this is easily searchable on google. When I correct people, I make sure I’m triple right. Otherwise, the joke’s on me.


    18 Patrick Di Simone

    yes Gina do some research before commenting almost evryone knows theres 3 type of minor scales


    19 David Fletccer

    Just remember the relative minors are not minor keys!
    So In C major the diatonic relative A minor is not the same thing as the Key
    Of A minor !
    Key of A minor has a G#
    C Major does not have a G#


    20 J

    What is the blog post titled?

    You’ve given us more confusion. If someone wants to remember minor scales, this post does the job.


    21 Oshar

    he’s doing an example of the natural A minor scale which doesn’t have any black keys.


    22 Bob

    You are WRONG David.

    The key of A minor has the same notes as C major: A B C D E F G A.

    You’re confusing A minor with A Harmonic Minor which has the G#.



    23 Patrick Di Simone

    natural A Minor is all Natural Notes
    G# is the harmonic Minor

    natural minor scale has all the same notes as its relative major scale
    harmonic minor has all the same notes as the natural minor except the 7th degree is sharpened
    melodic minor is played with the 6th and 7th degree sharpened played ascending and 6th and 7th flattened played descending


    24 Edward

    What is a tone ?(Now go to the 6th tone)


    25 Burak

    In terms of speaking a major scale , the 6th note is its naturel minor which is called “aeolian” in terms of modes ( the sixth of seven modes in any major scale).So, any aeolian mode has its %100 same major scale..All you have to is go 1 1/2 note higher to find it’s major….A + 1 1/2 is C .That means you’re still playing C major but your starting note is A and it’s called A aeolian which is a minor note.Also That’s why it’s called naturel minor just because being a minor does not change its notes at all..The same applies to all notes ..

    The melodic and harmonic minors are different stories..In short ,harmonic minor scale is b3 , b6 where as melodic minor is just b3..but you need to practice all of these hard to understand and play smoothly.It’s not something you can learn just by memorising.

    I hope it’s not confusing.


    26 peter caputo

    i have final on this in 3 hours and you taught me what the textbook and teacher made extremely confusing. you literally just saved my grades and my entire college career. Thank you


    27 Sean

    I understand that C major is A minor
    But how E major come to C# minor?
    I am confused with counting the notes…
    because when E to F , there is 1/2 step?


    28 Ben Hotzfeld

    The 6th tone in an E Major Scale is C# even if its flat or sharp you wouldn’t bring it down.


    29 Aaron GlowCloud



    30 Ahlnee

    Wow I really appreciate these things. .BUT its very for me to learn the minor chords I can’t really touch the string.Good to me I never quit maybe I need to have tutor I guese…


    31 morrison

    I love your work.pls keep it up.
    The problem is that I want to be an expert on minor and major.

    Pls if u can ping me or call me do pls
    My number 08169720396
    My pin is 284D1710


    32 jones

    am new to music and i knw to play scale by view it can i have any easy way to remember tat and learn major and minor scales


    33 jones

    please reply to my mail musicbrothers55@gmail.com


    34 Mark Valdez

    Easy way to learn minor scales on the piano, thanks for posting.


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