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natural minor chord progression

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Patrick
(@patrick)
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Okay the natural minor scale is:

1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7

Now to make chords from this, where all the notes within all the chords are from the natural minor scale, would the major/minor/diminished quality of each chord be determined by starting with the sixth chord in a major key? like this:

major minor minor major major minor dim.
chords in a major key 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
chords in a minor key 3 4 5 6 7 1 2

So in a minor key, your chords would be i iiº III iv v VI VII ... is this right? thanks.


   
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NoteBoat
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Yes. Since the natural minor scale has the same notes as the major scale, you get exactly the same chords - in a different order.

C major: C-Dm-Em-F-G-Am-Bº
A natural minor: Am-Bº-C-Dm-Em-F-G

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Patrick
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Okay; now I've sometimes heard said something like "a 1-4-5 progression in a (natural) minor key". Would this simply mean the first, fourth and fifth chords in that minor key, observing the proper chord quality? In this case, it would be i-iv-v?

Or say a "1-6-2-4 chord progression' in a (natural) minor key" ... would that be i-VI-iiº-iv?


   
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Dneck
(@dneck)
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Ya thats correct, but when using the minor scales the 5th is often played as a Major chord. This adds a natural 7th (rather then a b7) and gives the strong leading tone of the harmonic minor scale. If it specifically says to use only the natural minor scale then it is i-iv-v-i, but more often then not it is played i-iv-V-i.

"And above all, respond to all questions regarding a given song's tonal orientation in the following manner: Hell, it don't matter just kick it off!"
-Chris Thile


   
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Catherinee
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I didn't know that the v was often played as V . Thanks this helps me out a lot too.


   
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NoteBoat
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Making the V a major chord gives you an "authentic cadence" back to the tonic. Since this is a strong tension/resolution, it's the reason the harmonic minor scale was developed.

Raising the 7th note of a minor scale gives you the harmonic minor - and means the V harmonizes to V7.

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Dan Lasley
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At a jam this summer, one person played what seemed to be a minor blues pattern, but with an interesting twist: Am, Dm, F. It sounded great!


   
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GuitarHack
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This may be a bit off topic, but reading the replies on this thread reminded of this question I've had for some time. I've noticed the mixed usage of lower- and upper-case letters when people type chord progressions. Does this distinguish between major and minor, or is there some other meaning? i v, as oppsed to I V? Thanks, and sorry if this is off topic.

Dan


   
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Fretsource
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This may be a bit off topic, but reading the replies on this thread reminded of this question I've had for some time. I've noticed the mixed usage of lower- and upper-case letters when people type chord progressions. Does this distinguish between major and minor, or is there some other meaning? i v, as oppsed to I V? Thanks, and sorry if this is off topic.

Yes, that's exactly what it means: lower case for minor chords and upper case for major chords. In addition, lower case is also used for diminished chords (such as chord vii in the major key) and upper case for augmented chords (plus their usual signs: '+' for augmented, and for the diminished, the little circle that I can never remember how to type when posting).


   
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GuitarHack
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Thanks, Fretsourse! The added info on expressing augmented and diminished chords is greatly appreciated!

Dan


   
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morgan henry
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Hi - not to pick nits here - but a Natural Minor progression would have to use the natural minor chords:

i ii(dim) III iv v VI VIII (e.g. Am Bdim C Dm Em F G)...which all use the notes from the natural minor scale (for A natural minor: A B C D E F G)

When you see the "V" showing up as a major chord, you've morphed (at least while playing the V chord) into the Harmonic Minor scale (e.g. A B C D E F G#) which has a "leading tone" (G#), strongly pulling a half note up to the tonic, just like in a major scale. (chords from the Harmonic Minor scale are technically i iidim III+ iv V VI (#)viidim)

While I'm at it, if you used the (ascending) Melodic Minor scale - another tweak to the Natural Minor which takes the "middle eastern" quality back out of melodies written using the Harmonic Minor scale by raising the 6th AND 7th scale steps, the resulting scale would be (in A minor): A B C D E F# G#. Usually the results you see are that even though "i" is minor, IV and V come out major. (chords from the melodic minor scale are technically i ii III+ IV V (#)vidim (#)viidim).

-------------------------
morgan henry - guitar teacher in alexandria, VA


   
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NoteBoat
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Hi - not to pick nits here - but a Natural Minor progression would have to use the natural minor chords:

Those nits were already picked. I got 'em first :)

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Ignar Hillström
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I love nitpicking: Dneck got it first. :P


   
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NoteBoat
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I beg to differ, Ignar:
Since the natural minor scale has the same notes as the major scale, you get exactly the same chords - in a different order.

C major: C-Dm-Em-F-G-Am-Bº
A natural minor: Am-Bº-C-Dm-Em-F-G

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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Ignar Hillström
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Arg, I picked the wrong nits! Stupid me thought it was about the harmonic scale, which was first brought up by Dneck. If I can have a say in the punishment I'd prefer the chair over the gallow. :oops:


   
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