#1
Hi guys, im extremely new to theory! So please guide me along on this XD

Why, playing to A Harmonic minor scales / solos, must F MAJ 7th Chord be used instead of a F Minor Chord?

I read somewhere that it is because of the "Rule" that in the key of A minor / C Major, F is a Major chord.

However in the case of E minor, it was being changed to E MAJOR for the (E G# B) instead.

Why cant i change F Major (F A C) to F Minor (F G# C) ? Like i can change from E Minor to E Major

I have found out from sites that these are the chords that i can play..

Am(maj7) A, C, E, G#
B Half- Dim B, D, F, A
C7(#5) C, E, G#, B
Dm7 D, F, A, C
E7 E, G#, B, D
F7 F, A, C, E
G# Dim G#, B, D, F

Are there any other chords that i can build? I dont want to be stuck with these chords for the rest of my life while playing to harmonic minor leads

I wouldn't mind a huge chunk of theory, heh!
#2
You don't have to use F major. You can use whatever chord you want, the F major is just the diatonic chord which will yield a certain sound that people are conditioned to believe sound "correct."

What you are reading about chords & scales are NOT RULES. They are just conventions that have risen over time which is all music theory really is anyway. It's just the study of how most composers have written music for the past several hundred years.

Anyway all you need to take away from this thread is that you don't have to play what theory dictates, but to instead let your ears guide you. Use an F minor in your progression & see if you like the sound.
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#3
Hey thanks for your post, i understand where you are coming from but i do want to understand the theory in harmonizing the harmonic minor scale as i feel that i am not well versed enough with my hearing to improvise and stuffs when changing keys, therefore i would need to know some of the theory behind these stuffs.

The studies done for the past several hundred years are exactly what i am interested in =D
#4
OK, both F major and E major come from the harmonized A harmonic minor scale. You get all the chords you can build with the scale by starting the scale with the root (A), third (C) and fifth (E). This way you'll get all the triads you can build with the scale. This applies to any (7-note) scale.

So what we get when we harmonize the A harmonic minor is:

     R  3  5
i    A  C  E  - A minor
ii*  B  D  F  - B diminished
III+ C  E  G# - C augmented
iv   D  F  A  - D minor
V    E  G# B  - E major
VI   F  A  C  - F major
vii* G# B  D  - G# diminished


This is where the F major and E major chords come from. As you can see, by harmonizing this scale you don't get an F minor chord. But it doesn't mean you shouldn't play it. It just doesn't fit this scale and there's nothing wrong with it. And why did the E minor become an E major? Because it's the harmonic minor scale. The harmonic minor scale has a raised 7th note, in this case it's a G#. Natural minor scale would have a minor 7th, a G. The notes in E minor chord are E, G and B and in E major chord they are E, G# and B. So when you harmonize the natural minor scale, the chord you get is E minor (because of the G note in the scale) but when you harmonize the harmonic minor scale, you get E major (because of the G# note in the scale - harmonic minor scale doesn't contain a G so that's why there's no E minor chords, but instead there's an E major chord).
Quote by AlanHB
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Aug 5, 2013,
#5
Why are you using harmonic minor in this way?

edit:

That is not a rhetorical question.
Last edited by HotspurJr at Aug 5, 2013,
#6
Quote by MaggaraMarine
OK, both F major and E major come from the harmonized A harmonic minor scale. You get all the chords you can build with the scale by starting the scale with the root (A), third (C) and fifth (E). This way you'll get all the triads you can build with the scale. This applies to any (7-note) scale.

So what we get when we harmonize the A harmonic minor is:

     R  3  5
i A C E - A minor
ii* B D F - B diminished
III+ C E G# - C augmented
iv D F A - D minor
V E G# B - E major
VI F A C - F major
vii* G# B D - G# diminished


This is where the F major and E major chords come from. As you can see, by harmonizing this scale you don't get an F minor chord. But it doesn't mean you shouldn't play it. It just doesn't fit this scale and there's nothing wrong with it. And why did the E minor become an E major? Because it's the harmonic minor scale. The harmonic minor scale has a raised 7th note, in this case it's a G#. Natural minor scale would have a minor 7th, a G. The notes in E minor chord are E, G and B and in E major chord they are E, G# and B. So when you harmonize the natural minor scale, the chord you get is E minor (because of the G note in the scale) but when you harmonize the harmonic minor scale, you get E major (because of the G# note in the scale - harmonic minor scale doesn't contain a G so that's why there's no E minor chords, but instead there's an E major chord).


Hey! Thanks alot! It clears alot of things up.

However i think my query now lies in F Minor Being (F Ab C) <--- -Ab = G#, does this not adhere to the theoretical framework of the chord construction portion? Just like Eminor (E G B) is adjusted to E Major for that G#.
#7
Quote by HotspurJr
Why are you using harmonic minor in this way?

edit:

That is not a rhetorical question.


These are some theoretical bits that i felt that i need to understand to be able to write music without sounding "weird".

Guess im weird? hah!
#8
Quote by wants2learngtar
Hey! Thanks alot! It clears alot of things up.

However i think my query now lies in F Minor Being (F Ab C) <--- -Ab = G#, does this not adhere to the theoretical framework of the chord construction portion? Just like Eminor (E G B) is adjusted to E Major for that G#.
No, because using F as the root, the 3rd is A, and the 5th is C.

The chord formed on the 6th degree of either the natural minor, or harmonic minor scale, is always a major chord. F is the 6th of A minor, and thus a major chord.

You can indeed make F minor out of the NOTES in the A harmonic minor scale, but it doesn't present itself naturally on any note / degree of that scale.

Which is not to say you can't use it, it just isn't there in the basic scale harmony.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Aug 6, 2013,
#9
Quote by wants2learngtar
Hey! Thanks alot! It clears alot of things up.

However i think my query now lies in F Minor Being (F Ab C) <--- -Ab = G#, does this not adhere to the theoretical framework of the chord construction portion? Just like Eminor (E G B) is adjusted to E Major for that G#.

"Ab = G#" this is your mistake. Ab and G# are not the same notes, even though they are the same pitch. The notes in the scale are not A B C D E F Ab, they are A B C D E F G#.

To build a triad, you need root, third and fifth. And the interval between F and G# is not a third, it's a second. The interval between F and G is always a second. There's a second between F# and Gb, even though they are enharmonically the same note.

So to build a chord you need the root, third and fifth and G# is not the third of F minor chord.

All F chords have F as their root, A as their third and C as their fifth.

F A C# = F augmented
F A C = F major
F Ab C = F minor
F Ab Cb = F diminished
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Aug 6, 2013,
#10
Quote by wants2learngtar
These are some theoretical bits that i felt that i need to understand to be able to write music without sounding "weird".

Guess im weird? hah!


No, but you're making a mistake in terms of how you're thinking about the harmonic minor. Essentially - nobody uses it this way.

The harmonic minor is a variation of the natural minor scale designed to increase the strength of a perfect cadence by giving you a leading tone. Generally, when people are harmonizing minor riffs, they use the natural minor to generate chords except for the V chord, or other specific points when they're using the raised 7th specifically as a leading tone.

There's nothing "wrong" with these chords per se (as you always have access to all 12 notes) but, particularly once you get 7ths involves, a lot of the harmonic minor chords are very "weird." Eg, it's pretty rare to see an augmented chord in rock except as a transitional chord caused by root movement.

You describe yourself as "extremely new to theory" and like a lot of people who are extremely new to theory, you're studying the wrong things.

Go buy "The Songwriting Secrets of the Beatles" by Pedler and work your way through it only at such speed as you can hear every example in practice.
#11
The whole Ab and G# thing comes from a sort of basic rule of spelling in music theory. When you're building a scale, you have just one note for each letter of the alphabet.

So in A harmonic minor it's this:
A B C D E F G#

If you called G# "Ab", then you'd have two "A" notes.

Then when you start building chords, go every other note in the scale. The diatonic F chord would then be F A C, which is F major.
#12
The harmonic and melodic minor scales exist almost entirely to accommodate dominant chords in minor keys. A Harmonic Minor is a thing only because E7 is the typical dominant, and it has a G#. If you're going to use that scale outside of the key's dominant, you should have a good reason for doing so. That is, it needs to sound good, not just be interesting on a technical level.

Now, if you played F G# C all by itself, it would sound the same as F Ab C, but in the context you're describing, it is definitely an out of place sound as a harmony.

But you can still use that pattern melodically over that E7, because F and C are very common embellishments of the E7 chord, and the G# in is in it already.
Last edited by cdgraves at Aug 7, 2013,
#14
Quote by HotspurJr
No, but you're making a mistake in terms of how you're thinking about the harmonic minor. Essentially - nobody uses it this way.

The harmonic minor is a variation of the natural minor scale designed to increase the strength of a perfect cadence by giving you a leading tone. Generally, when people are harmonizing minor riffs, they use the natural minor to generate chords except for the V chord, or other specific points when they're using the raised 7th specifically as a leading tone.

There's nothing "wrong" with these chords per se (as you always have access to all 12 notes) but, particularly once you get 7ths involves, a lot of the harmonic minor chords are very "weird." Eg, it's pretty rare to see an augmented chord in rock except as a transitional chord caused by root movement.

You describe yourself as "extremely new to theory" and like a lot of people who are extremely new to theory, you're studying the wrong things.

Go buy "The Songwriting Secrets of the Beatles" by Pedler and work your way through it only at such speed as you can hear every example in practice.



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I need to buy that book to fill in some gaps...
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