Harmonic Minor Diatonic Modes

author: jared12369 date: 02/23/2010 category: scales
rating: 8 / votes: 6 
Okay, so for those of you who don't know what a mode is, its basically the same notes of the scale being played from a different note of that scale. For example, the C Ionian (major) is CDEFGABC, so the D Dorian scales (which is the second mode of C major) is DEFGABCD. Every key has 7 differnt modes, one for each note of the scale. If you were to take the 6th mode of C major, A Aeolian, this is the normal normal minor scale. Today I'm going to try discuss the HARMONIC minor scale, which is is similar to the aeolian except with a raised 7th. So sticking in the key of C maj/A min, the notes of the normal A minor scale would be ABCDEFGA. In the harmonic minor scale we're going to raise the it to a major 7th changing it to ABCDEF G# A. I will tab each harmonic mode with the natrual counterparts to help you visualize the difference. For the tab of the harmonic minor scale I will ( ) the root note of the mode and * the changed note. The first mode of the A Harmonic Minor Scale is the A Harmonic Minor. The natural A Aeolian scale is like this:
e|---------------------------------------13-15-(17)-----------------------|
B|----------------------------13-15-17------------------------------------|
G|--------------------12-(14)-16------------------------------------------|
D|-----------12-14-15-----------------------------------------------------|
A|--(12)-14-15------------------------------------------------------------|
E|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
 
The harmonic minor scale is this:
e|---------------------------------------13-16*-(17)-----------------------|
B|----------------------------13-15-17-------------------------------------|
G|--------------------13*-14-(16)------------------------------------------|
D|-----------12-14-15------------------------------------------------------|
A|--(12)-14-15-------------------------------------------------------------|
E|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
The only interval difference between the harmonic minor and aeolian scale is the raised 7th. This mode sounds good played over minor chords. The next mode would b the B Locrain. The normal Locrain is this: B Locrain (Minor)
e|-----------------------------3-5-(7)-------------------------------------|
B|---------------------3-4-6-----------------------------------------------|
G|--------------2-(4)-5----------------------------------------------------|
D|-------2-3-5-------------------------------------------------------------|
A|-(2)-3-5-----------------------------------------------------------------|
E|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
Just like the first mode, to get the harmonic counterpart we need to raise all the G's to a G#. The interval change for the Locrain mode is changing from a minor to a natural 6, hence the name Locrain Natural 6:
e|-----------------------------4-5-(7)-------------------------------------|
B|---------------------3-5*-6----------------------------------------------|
G|------------2-(4)-5------------------------------------------------------|
D|-------2-3-6*------------------------------------------------------------|
A|-(2)-3-5-----------------------------------------------------------------|
E|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
This sounds good played over Min7b5 chords The third natural mode would be the Major/ C Ionian.
e|---------------------------------------5-7-(8)---------------------------|
B|-------------------------------5-6-8-------------------------------------|
G|-----------------------4(5)-7--------------------------------------------|
D|---------------3-5-7-----------------------------------------------------|
A|-------(3)-5-7-----------------------------------------------------------|
E|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
Once again, we must raise all the Gs up a half step resulting in the C Harmonic Major:
e|---------------------------------------5-7-(8)---------------------------|
B|-------------------------------5-6-9*------------------------------------|
G|-----------------------4-(5)-7-------------------------------------------|
D|---------------3-6*-7----------------------------------------------------|
A|-------(3)-5-7-----------------------------------------------------------|
E|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
In this mode, the 5th is the raised interval. The next mode of A natural Minor is D Dorian:
e|---------------------------------------7-8-(10)--------------------------|
B|-------------------------------6-8-10------------------------------------|
G|------------------------5-(7)-9------------------------------------------|
D|-----------------5-7-9---------------------------------------------------|
A|--------(5)-7-8----------------------------------------------------------|
E|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
Raise the 4th, G and we get the Spanish Phrygian/Romanian scale:
e|---------------------------------------7-8-(10)--------------------------|
B|-------------------------------6-9*-10-----------------------------------|
G|------------------------5-(7)-9------------------------------------------|
D|-----------------6*-7-9--------------------------------------------------|
A|--------(5)-7-8----------------------------------------------------------|
E|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
This modes is harder to remember because the word "Dorian" isn't in the harmonic version. The next A Aeolian mode is the E Phrygian:
e|------------------------------------------8-10-(12)----------------------|
B|-----------------------------8-10-12-------------------------------------|
G|---------------------7-(9)-10--------------------------------------------|
D|-------------7-9-10------------------------------------------------------|
A|---(7)-8-10--------------------------------------------------------------|
E|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
For the key of E, G is the minor third, so when we raise it, it becomes a major third, forming the Phrygian Dominant Scale:
e|------------------------------------------8-10-(12)----------------------|
B|-----------------------------9*-10-12------------------------------------|
G|---------------------7-(9)-10--------------------------------------------|
D|-------------7-9-10------------------------------------------------------|
A|---(7)-8-11*-------------------------------------------------------------|
E|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
If I'm not mistaken, the Phrygian Dominant is the official Jewish Scale, but that's just according to Wikipedia. This is usually played over dominant 7 chords. The penultimate mode would be the F Lydian scale:
e|-----------------------------------------10-12-(13)----------------------|
B|--------------------------------10-12-13---------------------------------|
G|-----------------------9-(10)-12-----------------------------------------|
D|--------------9-10-12----------------------------------------------------|
A|---(8)-10-12-------------------------------------------------------------|
E|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
G is the second in this scale, so when we raise it it becomes the Lydian b3. In my opinion the name of this mode is decieving, because the 3rd, A, of the Lydian scale isn't flattened, but the raised second does form a flat 3rd.
e|-----------------------------------------10-12-(13)----------------------|
B|--------------------------------10-12-13---------------------------------|
G|-----------------------9-(10)-13*----------------------------------------|
D|--------------9-10-12----------------------------------------------------|
A|---(8)-11*-12------------------------------------------------------------|
E|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
The last natural mode for A minor is the G Mixolydian:
e|---------------------------------------------12-13-(15)------------------|
B|-----------------------------------12-13-5-------------------------------|
G|---------------------10-(12)-14------------------------------------------|
D|------------10-12-14-----------------------------------------------------|
A|---(10)-12-14------------------------------------------------------------|
E|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
This mode is rather tricky because the ROOT is raised a half step. I don't think this mode has a real name, but lets just call it the Harmonic Mixolydian. So here's the Gb Harmonic Mixolydian.
e|---------------------------------------------12-13-(16)*-----------------|
B|-----------------------------------12-13-5-------------------------------|
G|---------------------10-(13)*-14-----------------------------------------|
D|------------10-12-14-----------------------------------------------------|
A|---(11)*-12-14-----------------------------------------------------------|
E|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
So these are the Harmonic Minor modes, enjoy!
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