#1
I really like improving with the harmonic scale but i feel like its sort of the red headed stepchild of the popular scales. Theres a few backing tracks on youtube this one user but thats about it. Aside from the fact that its not very common it todays music, why is it so hard to find good backing tracks?
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#2
Harmonic minor is all over the place. Any time you use V in a minor key, you are implying harmonic minor.

Backing tracks in general sort of suck, but there is an app I know tabla players use I think called iTabla Pandit where you can program a suitar to play ragas equivalent to the harmonic minor scale

If you really wanna act like a tabla player, go to bed bath and beyond, purchase a tiny purple bathtub speaker, and play your drones on that


EDIT:

Oh, wanna hear something hysterical? That app has ragas which also equate to modes of the harmonic minor
Last edited by bassalloverthe at May 23, 2014,
#3
I would say songs aren't usually completely "in harmonic minor". Harmonic minor is used over III+, V and vii diminished chords in a minor key. Harmonic minor scale doesn't work over all chords in the minor key. So use harmonic minor over V chords (or other chords that have the raised seventh note of the scale in them) and natural minor over other chords.

V chords in minor are really common.
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#5
Quote by royalstrat
I really like improving with the harmonic scale but i feel like its sort of the red headed stepchild of the popular scales. Theres a few backing tracks on youtube this one user but thats about it. Aside from the fact that its not very common it todays music, why is it so hard to find good backing tracks?


Because you don't understand how the harmonic minor scale is used.

The harmonic minor is the natural minor with a raised 7th. That's it. So let's start by asking a simple question:

Do you know where your 7ths are? When you're soloing in minor, can you dynamically change back and forth between using the raised 7th and not?

If no, then stop, back up, and learn that. Do NOT think of the scale as a shape. Learn the individual relationships.

Now here's the thing, too: unless you are using the raised 7th as a leading tone to create tension to strengthen the resolution to the tonic, then you're not really playing the harmonic minor scale. What you're doing is using an accidental with the natural minor. And that's fine.

Generally what happens when using the harmonic minor scale is that you're using the natural minor scale, and then you'll come across a chord (usually a V) which is using the raised 7th, and you will seamlessly switch to using the harmonic minor over that chord to avoid false relations, and then you'll seamlessly switch back once you no longer have to worry about the notes clashing.

So any backing track you find in minor with a major V is a track where using the harmonic minor is appropriate ... over that chord. But you can't just use it all the time, because, for example, your III chord contains the non-raised 7th, so if you play the harmonic minor over that, you'll get clashing notes again.

This, for better or worse, requires a lot more understanding that most people who are just looking for backing tracks have. You need to develop your ear so you can hear this stuff. You need to let go of shape-based thinking and add an understanding of scale degrees to it. It's worth it, but it's a lot of work to get there.
#6
Quote by HotspurJr
Because you don't understand how the harmonic minor scale is used.

The harmonic minor is the natural minor with a raised 7th. That's it. So let's start by asking a simple question:

Do you know where your 7ths are? When you're soloing in minor, can you dynamically change back and forth between using the raised 7th and not?

If no, then stop, back up, and learn that. Do NOT think of the scale as a shape. Learn the individual relationships.

Now here's the thing, too: unless you are using the raised 7th as a leading tone to create tension to strengthen the resolution to the tonic, then you're not really playing the harmonic minor scale. What you're doing is using an accidental with the natural minor. And that's fine.

Generally what happens when using the harmonic minor scale is that you're using the natural minor scale, and then you'll come across a chord (usually a V) which is using the raised 7th, and you will seamlessly switch to using the harmonic minor over that chord to avoid false relations, and then you'll seamlessly switch back once you no longer have to worry about the notes clashing.

So any backing track you find in minor with a major V is a track where using the harmonic minor is appropriate ... over that chord. But you can't just use it all the time, because, for example, your III chord contains the non-raised 7th, so if you play the harmonic minor over that, you'll get clashing notes again.

This, for better or worse, requires a lot more understanding that most people who are just looking for backing tracks have. You need to develop your ear so you can hear this stuff. You need to let go of shape-based thinking and add an understanding of scale degrees to it. It's worth it, but it's a lot of work to get there.


This is a good post. Yes OP, in western music you usually don't linger on the harmonic minor scale. You use it over V chords in a minor key, so unless you play with non western snacking tracks, don't expect to be able to just jam out on the same scale