Scale Patterns – The Minor Scale 1
Ok. A few days ago, we looked at a pattern for playing the major scale. Now, we’re going to look at one for playing the minor scale. Scales each convey a particular sound or mood in music. The major scale tends to have an upbeat, happy sound. A lot of happy rave or holiday songs are made up with notes from that scale.
The minor scale is darker. It’s often used to create music that is more sad or angry than works written using tones from the major scale. A lot of metal and sad love songs use this scale. I actually like the sounds of the minor scale more than the major. Both have their roles though, and can even be used together. The minor pattern is easier to play as well.
Here’s the first pattern for the minor scale:
Like the patterns for the major scale and blues scale, you want to begin in a position on a low string (E or A). You’ll need three strings to complete the pattern. It uses the index (1), ring (2) and pinky (3) fingers. Practice the pattern both forward and backward and count each note if you can, from 1-8. This will help with some actual theory later on. Move around to different positions on the neck. Do the same for the other scales as well. If you’re a bit more advanced than me, try to name the actual notes as you play them. I’ll get into that once I’ve gotten a handle on it myself.
Bear in mind, what I’m going over isn’t really music theory. Its memorizing a pattern to play a scale. Theory will include all kinds of details about the notes making up the scale that I haven’t learned yet, so can’t write about.
I tend to treat scale patterns as exercises. I’ve been using them as warm-ups before I do lessons. The more you practice them, the quicker you’ll be able to play them. They can be musical as well, though. If you play with them a bit, you’ll find yourself accidentally figuring out songs or parts of songs. Some of these really surprise me, like finding a bassline for a song that’s made up entirely from a scale, or from 5 notes in a scale and an additional note outside of it. A lot of people seem to look at scales as boring, but I haven’t found them to be so yet.