Let’s look at how to build a G minor scale on the piano. We’ll look at how to build both G natural minor and G harmonic minor scales.
What Are Minor Scales?
Minor scales are groups of eight notes, played in alphabetical order, starting and ending on the same note. They’re groups of notes used to write songs.
Songs written in the key of G minor used the notes of the G minor scale to write the song.
Three Types of Minor Scales
There are three types of minor scales:
- Natural minor
- Harmonic minor
- Melodic minor
Minor Scales Printable
This 39-page PDF will help you learn and visualize the notes for both natural minor and harmonic minor scales, laying a wonderful foundation for building chords!
Natural Minor Scales
Natural minor scales each have a relative major scale on the piano. This means these two scales use the same notes to build their scales, but they start and end on different notes.
We can build a natural minor scale by starting on the sixth note of a major scale, and then playing through the notes of that major scale.
Another way to build a natural minor scale is to use a pattern of half-steps and whole steps.
A half-step is the distance from one note to the very next, and a whole step is two half-steps.
So to build a natural minor scale, we can find our starting note, then play through this pattern (where H = half-step, and W = whole step):
W – H – W – W – H – W – W
How to Build a G Natural Minor Scale
To build a G natural minor scale, we can start on G and play through the notes of the B flat major scale, since G is the sixth note of the B flat major scale.
Or we can start on G and play the note one whole step up, which is A. Then we can play the note one half-step up from A, which is B♭. Then we can play the note one whole step up from B♭, which is C. We can continue following the pattern of half-steps and whole steps until we reach the next G and the scale is complete.
What Are the Notes for a G Natural Minor Scale?
Here are the notes for a G natural minor scale:
G – A – B♭ – C – D – E♭ – F – G
Harmonic Minor Scales
Harmonic minor scales are similar to natural minor scales, except the seventh note has been raised 1/2 step.
These scales are popular because of the way the raised seventh note changes the music.
How to Build a G Harmonic Minor Scale
To build a G harmonic minor scale, we can start with a G natural minor scale. Then we’ll raise the seventh note F by 1/2 step to F♯.
What Are the Notes for a G Harmonic Minor Scale?
Here are the notes for a G harmonic minor scale:
G – A – B♭ – C – D – E♭ – F♯ – G
Melodic Minor Scales
Melodic minor scales aren’t as popular as the other two, because they raise the sixth and seventh notes 1/2 step ascending (going up), and play the natural minor scale descending (going down).
Other Minor Scales
Here are all the minor scales:
A minor scale
E minor scale
B minor scale
F♯ minor scale
C♯ minor scale
G♯ minor scale
D♯ minor scale
A♯ minor scale
D minor scale
G minor scale
C minor scale
F minor scale
B♭ minor scale
E♭ minor scale
A♭ minor scale
Now you know how to build G natural minor and G harmonic minor scales, and you can use these patterns to build other types of minor scales!
Using minor keys to play the piano is really enjoyable, since they work well for more introspective music. Have fun!