I'm not sure where to put this so apologies if it's in the wrong place.
I've got a basic idea of the circle of fifths theory and I know how to change a Major scale to Pure minor/Harmonic minor scales, and with the book I have I can work out the correct chords to use for any Major scale but it doesn't tell me what happens to scale tone chords when changing from a Major to minor scale.
I've started working on the C Major scale and have got a set of chords together for it, which are: C Major; D minor; E minor; F Major; G6; A minor; Bm7b5; Cadd9
What I need to know is this: What happens to these chords when used in the A minor Pure scale? I know the chord sequence would start with A, but would it be a Major chord? Does the Bdim/Bm7b5 stay that way and would the G Major/G6 chord change to a Gdim/Gm7b5?
Also what happens to the G chord in the A minor Harmonic scale? would it be raised to a G#dim/G#m7b5?
Is there a single set of rules that I could apply to any minor scale tone chords to find the correct ones to use?
I think you're getting confused between mixing major, 'pure minor' (by which I assume you mean Natural Minor) and harmonic minor.
As you pointed out, the (7th) chords in the key of C major would be:
Cmaj7 - Dmin7 - Emin7 - Fmaj7 - G7 - Amin7 - Bm7b5
The key of A minor is the relative minor of C major, so the chords would be the same, just in a different order:
Amin7 - Bm7b5 - Cmaj7 - Dmin7 - Emin7 - Fmaj7 - G7
When I say 'the key of A minor', I'm referring to Natural Minor (6th mode of major scale). Each major scale has an associated natural minor scale that can be found by starting from the 6th note of the major scale.
Harmonic minor is a different tonal system, not related to the major or natural minor scales. (Trivia: I believe it was first created so that the 5th chord in the minor scale becomes dominant instead of a min7, therefore creating a stronger pull back to the root chord......so in the example above the key of A minor would have E7 as the 5th chord).
Anyway, back on track....for harmonic minor, if we took C as the root note, the order of chords you get is:
(So you can see there that we get a dominant 5th chord, the G7, which creates a nice resolution back to the root chord, the Cmin(maj)7 - which is a minor 7 chord with a natural 7th.
I hope that helps....any more questions just shout - I'm sure someone else will be along in a minute with a more detailed explanation ;-)
Thanks for the reply. I have tried to post previously but I wrote out a long one and by the time I came to post I had to login again and I would have had to write it all out again and I couldn't be arsed!
Anyway I'm here now, so fingers crossed!
Yes, I think I mean diatonic chords when I say scale tone chords. I see that the Bm7b5 stays the same even in a different position. Is this because it follows an Am chord? I can't find any G#dim/G#dim7/G#m7b5 in my book. So I'll have to google it. Do the chords all have to change to 7's in the relative minor scale? I thought they would be basically the same as in the major scale apart from 1 or 2.
Last edited by seany65; 5th December 2008 at 04:29 PM.
Thanks for the reply. I've posted this separately so's I take less time and there's less risk of having to login again and then write it all out again.Yes, I think I mean Natural minor when I say pure minor. I'm a little confused now, 'cos according to my book ( 'guitar chords' by gary turner and brenton white) the Harmonic minor scale is the same as the Pure minor scale (as they call it) but the VII note is sharpened, so I presume with Diatonic chords the VII chord is sharpened.
according to my book ( 'guitar chords' by gary turner and brenton white) the Harmonic minor scale is the same as the Pure minor scale (as they call it) but the VII note is sharpened, so I presume with Diatonic chords the VII chord is sharpened.
Yeah, that's it, and as Jordan says, the sharpened 7th note has its main effect on the V chord, which becomes major (the 7th of the scale is the 3rd of the V chord).
The harmonic minor is an artificial construct, designed to add a V7 chord (and a leading-note tension) to the natural minor scale (aeolian). The melodic minor was the next stage... they decided that the big 6th-7th jump in the harmonic minor was too large, so they sharpened the 6th for ascending lines and flattened the 7th for descending lines.
It also might be helpful to lok at the #7 note in the harmonic minor scale as just a note to use over the dominant V chord only. so rather than changing every G into G# in the chords from Aminor you just change them in the E7 chord. This obviously depends on the chord progression you are using but if you take the 'still got the blues' / 'parisienne walkways' chord progression you would use natural minor the whole way through then just add the #7 when you came to the E7 chord. Using harmonig minor all the way through would not really work!!
I am basically trying to say...scale choice is normally dictated by chords, so if your chord progression features a Dominant 7 going to the minor key you are using then the harmonic comes into play but if you use harmonic minor over every minor progression you come across then you may run into trouble
Am / G / F / E7
you would use natural minor up to the E7 then change to harmonic
Thanks again for the replies. And apologies again for taking so long to revisit this topic. I'm lazy, it was Christmas and a lot of other excuses that I'm too thick to come up with!
I'm a bit pressed for time so I'll leave it there except to say I'll do a longer reply later. Prolly sometime this year, honest!