Join Julian Velard for an in-depth discussion in this video The harmonic and melodic minor scales, part of Music Theory for Songwriters: Harmony.
- There are two variations of the natural minor scale.…The harmonic minor and melodic minor scales.…The harmonic minor scale differs from the natural minor…by a single note,…which is a raised seventh degree.…Let's listen to the harmonic minor scale.…First, I'll play A natural minor…and then follow it with A harmonic minor.…Here's A natural minor.…And here's A harmonic minor.…Notice the raised seventh degree,…the G will become a G sharp.…
Did you notice the difference in sound…due to the adjustment of the seventh degree of the scale?…I'll play it again.…Here's the natural minor.…And here's the harmonic minor.…
Not only does the raised seventh create the interval…of an augmented second between the sixth and seventh notes,…it also creates the presence of a leading tone.…Remember, leading tone creates gravity,…a pull to resolve to the tonic.…Just by moving that one note in the scale,…three of the triads that belong to the harmonic minor…now differ from the natural minor.…Let me show you the triads built off the scale degrees…
In this installment, musician Julian Velard digs into more intermediate-level music theory topics. Starting with minor scales, he shows examples of classic songs in minor keys, and then explores the modes of the diatonic scale (e.g., the mixolydian mode). Next, Julian dives into chords with 4 or more notes, covering 7th chords, chord extensions (e.g., 9ths, 11ths, and 13ths), suspended chords, diminished chords, augmented chords, and inversions. Finally, he covers key centers, modulations, pedal points, alternate bass notes, and polychords. At the end of each chapter, Julian explains the techniques shown within the context of his own original songs.
- Working in minor scales
- Using Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, and Mixolydian modes to write songs
- Extending chords
- Using 7th chords in a song
- Transposing a song
- Building different harmonies from a single melody