Tag Archives: Natural Minor Scale

Lesson 7: Scale Formulas

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Five Fret Pattern 1st String

After the last lesson in which I showed you the Five Fret Pattern it is time to start using it to learn scales.

Most people try to learn scales by memorising patterns of finger placements. It’s a good way to learn scales but many people find it hard to break out of these patterns when playing lead or soloing. Since you can easily find scale patterns all over the internet and in many books I won’t do the same here.

Your goal for this lesson should be to memorise the scale formulas below and finding your own patterns on the fretboard using the Five Fret Pattern. The key of the scale will depend on the note you choose as your 0 point. So if you choose your 0 point to be on the 5th fret of the low E string then your scale will be in the key of A.

Try playing along the same string, on just 2 or 3 strings, in a 3 fret span across all 6 strings, basically in any way that you can think of. Play them both ascending up the scale and back down again (note that the melodic minor played in the descending direction becomes the natural minor). This will help you to avoid getting locked in the dreaded ‘box’ and give you freedom to play scales all over the neck.

All of the below examples are in the key of C.

Chromatic Scale

Note Names: C, C#/Db, D, D#/Eb, E, F, F#/Gb, G, G#/Ab, A, A#/Bb, B, C
Formula: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Major Scales

Note Names: C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C
Formula: 0, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12

Natural Minor Scale

Note Names: C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb, C
Formula: 0, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12

Harmonic Minor Scale

Note Names: C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, B, C
Formula: 0, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12

Melodic Minor Scale

Note Names: C, D, Eb, F, G, A, B, C
Formula: 0, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12