#1
Hey guys. I'm getting more into Harmonic and Melodic minor scales etc. I have memorized the scales on the fretboard but I figured that was the easy part and it is just as important to have a chord progression behind it to support the sound.

Now, let's say I want to use the 'mode' Harmonic Minor(the Aeolian version of the scale, as opposed to the Locrian #2 or Phyrigian Dominant etc). This mode is basically the Aeolian scale with a raised 7th. So should the first chord be a minor chord with a raised 7th? Do I basically emulate the discrepancies of the scale(like how a dominant 7th chord is used to emphasize the flat 7th characteristic of the Mixolydian scale) or is it merely a case of using a set of chords like minor-minor-aug-major7- etc??

Some modes have a raised 5th etc so implementing that raised 5th into a chord could be quite hard. Can it be done that way or would conventional minor/major/aug/dim/maj7/min7 chords work in creating a harmonic minor chord progression? Thanks in advance.
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Last edited by Megadeth09 at Aug 18, 2012,
#2
I don't know where you're learning this stuff because you have A LOT of misconceptions.

First of all. Step away from modes for right now. You're doing em wrong. Lets stick with the major/minor system for a little bit. Harmonic minor. The name stems from it's use in harmonic progression, it wasn't intended to be quantified in a scale though it has been and has become a moderately useful scale. Think about your v chord, normally major (V) and dominant in a major key. In minor we lose that strong pull of the dominant since the third is minor. The dominant pull of the raised third (7th scale degree) is what makes the transition from dominant to tonic (V to I) so powerful and such a good resolution.

This is solved by raising the third degree of the v chord making it a major (V instead) and providing the dominant effect. What's the third degree of the 5 chord? The 7th degree of the scale. Hence the raised 7th. That's the initial use of harmonic minor. This can be used for other applications of course but lets start basic and rebuild your framework before piling on the exceptions.
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#3
You dont really accentuate the chords in a harmonic minor but when you do it becomes a minor chord with a major 7th, written m(maj7) in guitar terms. And there aren't any modes with an augmented 5th, the most augmented modal scale is the F modal (Lydian) which is the same as a major scale but with an augmented 4th, although I've interpreted some modal scales by making things like Bb modal that dont make any sense but make some interesting scales.
#4
I'm following you. You are correct in that I do need to brush up on the minor/major chord progressions...

Xonty, isn't the Ionian #5 'mode' of Harmonic minor the Ionian mode with a raised 5th? I could be totally wrong.
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Last edited by Megadeth09 at Aug 18, 2012,
#5
Quote by Megadeth09
I'm following you. You are correct in that I do need to brush up on the minor/major chord progressions...


I'm also correct that you need to step back from modes for a bit. Once you've really gotten a grasp of the major minor SYSTEM, not just chord progressions, you can start rebuilding a knowledge of modes. Though I don't know why anyone bothers with them anymore though, really. I hardly know anyone that uses key signatures anymore, let alone modes (including aeolian and ionian). That being said, it is good to know and have a foundation.

It would be nice if we could crush these misconceptions and start from the bottom but that's a lot of time and work.


Quote by Megadeth09

Xonty, isn't the Ionian #5 'mode' of Harmonic minor the Ionian mode with a raised 5th? I could be totally wrong.


This is what I mean.... You're.... mixing up so many things.

Now that being said, there are people that have tried to modalize harmonic/melodic minor and other stuff so I can see you stumbling across it. But this is something you don't want to play with yet. It serves such a small niche and (in my opinion, key word OPINION) is useless.
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Last edited by Artemis Entreri at Aug 18, 2012,
#6
Quote by Artemis Entreri
I'm also correct that you need to step back from modes for a bit. Once you've really gotten a grasp of the major minor SYSTEM, not just chord progressions, you can start rebuilding a knowledge of modes. Though I don't know why anyone bothers with them anymore though, really. I hardly know anyone that uses key signatures anymore, let alone modes (including aeolian and ionian). That being said, it is good to know and have a foundation.

It would be nice if we could crush these misconceptions and start from the bottom but that's a lot of time and work.


This is what I mean.... You're.... mixing up so many things.



Where should I start?
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#7
Quote by Megadeth09
Where should I start?


Intervals. Chord construction. Scale construction. Key construction. Circle of 5ths/4ths. This is a classical beginning though and I know there are people in this forum that will come in here and snap at me. It's my belief that it's best to start with construction but others disagree.
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#8
Quote by Artemis Entreri
Intervals. Chord construction. Scale construction. Key construction. Circle of 5ths/4ths. This is a classical beginning though and I know there are people in this forum that will come in here and snap at me. It's my belief that it's best to start with construction but others disagree.


OK. Will refocus and concentrate on those aspects. Just kind of hard tying them together as you can tell.
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#9
Quote by Megadeth09
Hey guys. I'm getting more into Harmonic and Melodic minor scales etc. I have memorized the scales on the fretboard but I figured that was the easy part and it is just as important to have a chord progression behind it to support the sound.

Now, let's say I want to use the 'mode' Harmonic Minor(the Aeolian version of the scale, as opposed to the Locrian #2 or Phyrigian Dominant etc). This mode is basically the Aeolian scale with a raised 7th. So should the first chord be a minor chord with a raised 7th? Do I basically emulate the discrepancies of the scale(like how a dominant 7th chord is used to emphasize the flat 7th characteristic of the Mixolydian scale) or is it merely a case of using a set of chords like minor-minor-aug-major7- etc??

Some modes have a raised 5th etc so implementing that raised 5th into a chord could be quite hard. Can it be done that way or would conventional minor/major/aug/dim/maj7/min7 chords work in creating a harmonic minor chord progression? Thanks in advance.

It's so easy, mate. Honestly.

Take the chords from the harmonized A natural minor scale as a example, and replace every chord that has a G in it, with a G♯. Done...

... but if you don't know what the term "harmonize a scale" means, then go with Artemis. He'll teach you the wayz...
Last edited by mdc at Aug 18, 2012,
#10
Quote by mdc
It's so easy, mate. Honestly.

Take the chords from the harmonized natural minor scale, and replace every chord that has a G in it, with a G♯. Done...

... but if you don't know what the term "harmonize a scale" means, then go with Artemis. He'll teach you the wayz...


Hmmm in the key of A minor would that be:

A minor as the I

C minor as the III

E major as the V

G major as the VII

??
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Last edited by Megadeth09 at Aug 18, 2012,
#11
Yup. It may be worth harmonizing to the 7th degree, though. You know how to do that?

Edit, no! Not Cm!

Edit 2: Artemis, take this young grasshopper...
Last edited by mdc at Aug 18, 2012,
#12
Quote by mdc
Yup. It may be worth harmonizing to the 7th degree, though. You know how to do that?

Edit, no! Not Cm!


Ahhh dammit! Lol.

Can't say I know how to harmonize to the 7th degree...
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#13
Quote by mdc
Yup. It may be worth harmonizing to the 7th degree, though. You know how to do that?

Edit, no! Not Cm!

Edit 2: Artemis, take this young grasshopper...


Haha hold on. I'm out right now and I don't want to type this shit out on my iPhone. I'll do it when I get home.
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#14
Thanks guys I wanna learn.
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#15
Quote by Artemis Entreri
Intervals. Chord construction. Scale construction. Key construction. Circle of 5ths/4ths. This is a classical beginning though and I know there are people in this forum that will come in here and snap at me. It's my belief that it's best to start with construction but others disagree.

No, I'd say you're right by leading towards a more classical approach.

Now since we're going towards a classical approach, let's clarify that the 7th is NOT raised, but more so that it remains natural. When dealing with the "harmonic" minor, the 3rd and 6th are flatted. Why is that? Because in a classical approach, we base EVERYTHING off of the Major scale pattern. So, here's an example.

Take A Major (A B C# D E F# G#). Now let's turn it into A "harmonic" minor. So you flat the 3rd and the 6th, which gives us A B C D E F G#.

Now me, personally, I wouldn't use the "harmonic" minor for chord progressions. Why? I don't like the Augmented III or the fully diminished vii. Personally, I'd suggest using the V7 as a cadence because as it was stated before, it has a stronger resolution.
#16
TS, here you go, I managed to find it. This is courtesy of :-D...

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1548606&page=3&pp=20

So you see, :-D? Your efforts on this board never go to waste.
Last edited by mdc at Aug 18, 2012,
#17
Thanks again guys, I am looking into the thread that you just posted mdc!
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ESP Horizon NT II
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#18
Quote by Megadeth09
Hey guys. I'm getting more into Harmonic and Melodic minor scales etc. I have memorized the scales on the fretboard but I figured that was the easy part and it is just as important to have a chord progression behind it to support the sound.

yes that's true. having a chord progression that suggests say the harmonic minor scale is better than if you just played it over a regular minor progression.

Now, let's say I want to use the 'mode'

ok stop right there. this has nothing to do with modes. good rule of thumb, if you are talking about chord progressions and a key, you aren't talking about modes. scale positions are not modes. they simply give them modal names to help understand a) the relationship between the diatonic scale and modal scales, and b) to help memorize the fret board and probably so everyone knows what position you are talking about rather than saying "3rd position" or something.

Harmonic Minor(the Aeolian version of the scale, as opposed to the Locrian #2 or Phyrigian Dominant etc). This mode is basically the Aeolian scale with a raised 7th. So should the first chord be a minor chord with a raised 7th? Do I basically emulate the discrepancies of the scale(like how a dominant 7th chord is used to emphasize the flat 7th characteristic of the Mixolydian scale) or is it merely a case of using a set of chords like minor-minor-aug-major7- etc??

well no not really. harmonic minor however isn't *really* a "scale". it's mostly something you do over a dominant V chord for a stronger resolution. so really, it's an accidental and i'm not really sure why it's referred to as a scale. maybe to make it easier to practice. think of it as a variable note in the minor scale rather than a different scale all to itself. however in jazz the melodic minor scale is kind of treated as a scale rather than accidentals when really it started out that way as well.


Some modes have a raised 5th etc so implementing that raised 5th into a chord could be quite hard. Can it be done that way or would conventional minor/major/aug/dim/maj7/min7 chords work in creating a harmonic minor chord progression? Thanks in advance.

i'm assuming you mean the "modes of the harmonic minor scale" to which i would say don't even worry about that yet. you probably will never them much in music unless you play a lot of malmsteen stuff as he uses a lot of harmonic minor stuff.
#19
Quote by Vittu0666
No, I'd say you're right by leading towards a more classical approach.

Now since we're going towards a classical approach, let's clarify that the 7th is NOT raised, but more so that it remains natural. When dealing with the "harmonic" minor, the 3rd and 6th are flatted. Why is that? Because in a classical approach, we base EVERYTHING off of the Major scale pattern. So, here's an example.

Take A Major (A B C# D E F# G#). Now let's turn it into A "harmonic" minor. So you flat the 3rd and the 6th, which gives us A B C D E F G#.

Now me, personally, I wouldn't use the "harmonic" minor for chord progressions. Why? I don't like the Augmented III or the fully diminished vii. Personally, I'd suggest using the V7 as a cadence because as it was stated before, it has a stronger resolution.



These are all good points. I'm still out ( girlfriends... What are you going to do with them?) so I typed this on my iphone. Please excuse typos and the like.
Theory*

The basic premise of western tonal music is movement through time. Dare I say the basic concept of MUSIC is movement through time. Can a single, sustained note be considered music? Perhaps. I tend on the side of "no" however. As soon as you add a change to that single note (rhythmic or pitch oriented) *it becomes musical. Ergo a melody or even simpler than that, a motive or even simpler an interval is a building block for music.*

Skip ahead a few centuries when we're no longer dealing with non harmonized modal lines, the tuning system has been tempered and tonality is at one of it's peeks.*

At it's root, harmonization is an easy concept. Take a note, any note and put another on top of it or under it. What gets complicated is the overtone series, concepts of atonality and *the like.*

Lets take C major simply because it's a no sharp/no flat environment. Most of the chords we deal with on a daily basis are tertian triads. Tertian meaning they are stacked in thirds, triad meaning they are composed of three notes. *So in c major we have the set C D E F G A & B. Making the primary chords of the key is exceedingly easy. Pick a starting note, E for example and select the third above it and the one above that. Tertian. Triad. Three notes, each a third apart. E, skip F, G, skip A, B.*
E G B. I'm assuming you know how intervals work, if you don't, let me know and we can go back there. You can do this for any note in the key. The slightly more difficult part is determining quality. If the first and third note are a perfect 5th apart we can determine the chord is either major or minor. If they are less than a perfect 5th it's a diminished 5th and more an augmented. If the 5th is perfect however, you get to determine whether the chord is major or minor. A simple designation, honestly. If the third from the root note to the third is major, the chord is major and vice versa. I assume you know this but it's important to clarify if we are starting low.*

All of these harmonization "rules" (i hate that word) apply when you're using minor, harmonic minor or anything else including, to some degree, modes. Though they have their own stipulations. *At the same time, these "rules" dont always apply all the time. Lets use A harmonic minor as an example. The raised 7th degree is G# instead of G. This is most commonly implemented in the major V (E G# B) chord to create the "dominant effect" (leading tone to scale degree 1 or the tonic basically). However, this doesnt mean it's always implemented. You can come across a minor v ( E G B) many times before you encounter the major, usually at a cadence. Similarly, the augmented III chord (III+) (C E G#) has little use. The vii diminished (G# B D) is pretty commonly used though.*

This is a metric ass load of information and a lot to take in. I obviously omitted a *good deal of information and simplified other things. If you have questions, feel free to ask.
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#20
TS, I think you are doing it in the wrong "direction." I mean, the scale comes from the chord progression, not vice versa. Usually just using the V major chord a lot gives it that harmonic minor and neo-classical feeling at the same time. A very usual chord progression is i-VII-VI-V (Am-G-F-E). If you want to play harmonic minor over that, remember that there's also a minor 7th note so play harmonic minor scale only over the V chord. But really, it's pretty stupid to think harmonic, melodic and natural minor as separate scales. Harmonic minor just has a raised 7th that is a chord tone. Just follow the harmony and play what sounds good.

Usually songs that have a V major chord (almost every classical minor song) also have VII major or III major chords (from the natural minor), the augmented III is really not used that much, vii diminished is more common. But those chords pull the song nearer the relative major (C major if you are playing in A minor, the VII becomes the V chord and III becomes the I chord).
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Aug 18, 2012,
#21
Quote by MaggaraMarine
But really, it's pretty stupid to think harmonic, melodic and natural minor as separate scales.

THIS.

I can't tell you how many times I've tried to explain this to people.
#22
Quote by MaggaraMarine
But really, it's pretty stupid to think harmonic, melodic and natural minor as separate scales.


the problem is, they actually are separate scales

that's why we try to just say "think in keys, not scales". semantics, but pretty important semantics.
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#23
Quote by Hail
the problem is, they actually are separate scales

that's why we try to just say "think in keys, not scales". semantics, but pretty important semantics.

By throwing out the thought of the natural, harmonic, and melodic are all completely separate, it opens up a whole world of opportunity. For example, you could be doing a progression like say... Am FMaj Dm EMaj. When the progression hits EMaj, to get rid of the awkwardness that arises from going from F to G#, you could incorporate the F# to smooth out the melody.
#24
Borrowing from all three minor scales is a handy way to create line cliches, though. In A, it gives a 6 note chromatic line from which you can harmonize.

I'll go descending... A G♯ G F♯ F E

Am - Ammaj7 - Am7 - D9 - Fmaj7 - Ealt
#25
Quote by Megadeth09
Hey guys. I'm getting more into Harmonic and Melodic minor scales etc. I have memorized the scales on the fretboard but I figured that was the easy part and it is just as important to have a chord progression behind it to support the sound.

Now, let's say I want to use the 'mode' Harmonic Minor(the Aeolian version of the scale, as opposed to the Locrian #2 or Phyrigian Dominant etc). This mode is basically the Aeolian scale with a raised 7th. So should the first chord be a minor chord with a raised 7th? Do I basically emulate the discrepancies of the scale(like how a dominant 7th chord is used to emphasize the flat 7th characteristic of the Mixolydian scale) or is it merely a case of using a set of chords like minor-minor-aug-major7- etc??


Some modes have a raised 5th etc so implementing that raised 5th into a chord could be quite hard. Can it be done that way or would conventional minor/major/aug/dim/maj7/min7 chords work in creating a harmonic minor chord progression? Thanks in advance.


A basic chord progression for A harmonic minor could be :

|Am | Dm | E | E7 |

over this progression you could 'target.' 7ths i.e these notes :

|G#|C | D| D|

3rds are also a good choice :

|C|F|G#|G#|

to solo over a Cmaj7#5 in this context you will end up with a very similar situation to a Bm7b5 to E7. The chords of Am/major7th are A,C,E,G#
the Cmaj7#5 has C,E,G#,B
This strongly Suggests an Am9/maj7 chord without the root note.

If on the other hand we had this progression

|Cmaj7|Cmaj7#5|C6|Fmaj7|
|Am7|Dm7|G7|G7sus4|
the chord becomes more defined.

I guess what i am trying to explain is if you are thinking of your mode (aeolian raised 7th) the Cmaj7#5 is weak and works more as an inversion with extensions to Am.

so the chords harmonised with 7th in A harmonic minor :
Am/maj7
Bm7b5 (Inversion of E11 b9)
Cmaj7#5 (inversion of Am9/maj7)
Dm7
E7
Fmaj7
G#dim7 ( inversion of E7b9 )

so to me , the strong chords are Am Dm E7 and Fmaj7 everything else is a substitution.


Ok so here is my 8 bar progression :

|Am|Fmaj7| Dm7 |E7|

|Am7|Dm7|Fmaj7|E7|

and with substitutions :

|Am|Fmaj7|Dm7|G#dim7|

|Cmaj7#5|Dm7|Fmaj7|Bm7b5 |
#27
The way I think of it, it's all just minor tonality, and I selectively use a raised 6th and 7th as the harmony indicates, or to taste when building melody. One could say that "you're intermixing natural minor, harmonic minor, and melodic minor", but that doesn't really resemble the thought process behind it. I understand why the connection is made though.
#28
Quote by Vittu0666
By throwing out the thought of the natural, harmonic, and melodic are all completely separate, it opens up a whole world of opportunity. For example, you could be doing a progression like say... Am FMaj Dm EMaj. When the progression hits EMaj, to get rid of the awkwardness that arises from going from F to G#, you could incorporate the F# to smooth out the melody.


you can be in E minor and use any of those minor scales, but you don't get there by saying "they're all the same scale". you can't redefine them, only eliminate their priority.

this whole "they're the same thing" is the same mindset that perpetuates that annoying misunderstand of modes we all hate.

you have the right idea, it's just a semantic pet peeve of mine - students take semantics to heart if you can't clarify accurately.

Quote by The Brainpolice
The way I think of it, it's all just minor tonality, and I selectively use a raised 6th and 7th as the harmony indicates, or to taste when building melody. One could say that "you're intermixing natural minor, harmonic minor, and melodic minor", but that doesn't really resemble the thought process behind it. I understand why the connection is made though.


i like this
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Last edited by Hail at Aug 18, 2012,
#29
Great info guys. Keep it coming, I'm trying to piece it all together.
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