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The Minor Guitar Scale (or Aeolian Guitar Mode)

The minor guitar scale (technically this is the "natural" minor scale) is probably the second most basic scale second only to the major scale. It simply sounds "sadder" then a major scale. In modal terms, the minor scale is the same as the Aeolian mode.

Here is the tab for the A Minor guitar scale:

E|-----------------------------------------5--7--8|

B|---------------------------------5--6--8--------|

G|-------------------------4--5--7----------------|

D|-------------------5--7-------------------------|

A|----------5--7--8-------------------------------|

E|-5--7--8----------------------------------------|

The notes of the A minor guitar scale are A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and then the scale repeats at the A again.

This is the basic pattern for a minor scale (or Aeolian Mode). When you play the notes, you can hear the "sad" sound...a stark contrast to the "happy" sound of the major scale.

Much like the major scale, the two notes on the D string using the above pattern can be awkward when playing up and down so here is the alternate 3-note per string pattern I prefer.

E|----------------------------------------------7-8-10|

B|------------------------------------6-8-10----------|

G|---------------------------5-7-9--------------------|

D|------------------5-7-9-----------------------------|

A|---------5-7-8--------------------------------------|

E|-5-7-8----------------------------------------------|

Much like the major scale, the minor scale 3-note per string fingering lends itself to alternate picking exercises. Play both patterns to see the difference.

 

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