Goal: Build a minor scale starting on any note without using the Circle of 5ths
Method: Use the sequence of intervals for minor scales
Why it works: Like Major scales, even though each minor scale has a different key signature, every minor scale has the same intervallic sequence
Intervals used in minor Scales: Half Steps and Whole Steps (same intervals as in Major, but a different order)
Half steps in A minor:
between E and F (5 and 6)
between B and C (2 and 3)
Whole steps in A minor:
between A and B (1 and 2)
between C and D (3 and 4)
between D and E (4 and 5)
between F and G (6 and 7)
between G and A (7 and 8)
Minor Scale Intervallic Sequence: Whole, Half, Whole, Whole, Half, Whole, Whole – This intervallic sequence is what makes the scale minor
Minor Scale Intervallic Sequence Applied to A:
minor Scale Intervallic Sequence Applied to C#:
Just as with Major scales, now that you know this sequence of intervals defines a minor scale, you should be able to use it to build minor scales starting on any note!
Exercise: Try using this method to build other minor scales (I recommend going through all 12 but you can pick the ones you want).
1) Pick a starting note.
2) Use the sequence whole, half, whole, whole, half, whole, whole to build a minor scale starting on that note.
3) Check your work
A) Does the scale start and end on the same note ? If not, then something’s wrong.
B) How many sharps or flats does the scale contain? Check your answer against the Circle of 5ths and make sure you have the correct number of accidentals (on the correct notes) for the key you chose.
C) Did you skip any letters? You should have used all 7 letters to build your scale.