This week's GuitarBlog covers Harmonic Minor Scale application and focuses on the specific use of the chords from this scale, how they're used in progressions and how to approach playing lead on these sounds.
The application of Harmonic Minor scale is different compared to how other scales, (such as the Major and Natural Minor) are applied. The other scales are used across a group of chord changes and will generally balance out to all of the chords found within an established key center.
Harmonic Minor will tend to be applied specifically onto unique chords from the Harmonic Minor harmony. These chords will show up within the minor key harmonies, but will not fit with the overall key.
These unique "Harmonic Minor" chord types will include; Major, or Dominant 7th chords built upon the 5th degree of a minor key harmony. Another popular place will be on the raised seventh degree of a key, used as a diminished chord. Also, on the tonic chord when it is converted from Minor triad or Minor 7th into a, "Min./Maj.7."
In each these above situations, the Harmonic Minor is only used during the period for which those chords are present. This does take a little getting used to, (since this is not a very long period of time), however once you can apply the Harmonic Minor scale, it is a very useful sound when the harmony of the song allows for it. Enjoy!
Harmonic Minor Scale Application
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