MUSIC THEORY: The Harmonic Minor Scale

Q: I am a new subscriber and your lessons are helping me a lot... I cannot thank you enough!

My question is, Can you please cover the Harmonic Minor Scale. I keep hearing about how it is so widely used but after playing it, I cannot seem to get it to sound good over anything. I mostly would like to know where and when I am supposed to be using it. My favorite style of music is the contemporary jazz style. I purchased your album off of your web site and I'm sure that I hear you use it in your music. By the way I love your album. Hope you make another one soon.

Zack Paris, France

This scale is a form of Minor which contains a raised seventh degree. The raised seventh offers a leading tone for strong resolution toward the scales tonic. This makes resolutions occur with far greater pull than is possible with the Natural Minor scale. It is often used in shred guitar music by players like Vai and Malmsteen.

The video explains the scales' basic structure and design. Viewers are shown two fingerboard patterns off of the sixth and fifth strings. Then, there is a thorough explanation of the harmony and how chords can be used in progressions to utilize the sound of Harmonic Minor scale.

The complete lesson article for this video, (along with an MP3 audio jam track of the progression heard at the start of the video), is available on the Creative Guitar Studio website.

Watch the "Chord Families Video Lesson" that was mentioned during the video.


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