so i've been playing for a few years and i'm finally taking the time to learn music theory and maybe write my own stuff. quick question, if im playing in the key of F Minor, does that mean the 1,4,5 are minors, and the 2,3,6s majors?
In F minor, the 1,4,5 are minor, in relation to the minor scale.
The 3,6,7 are major in relation to the minor scale.
The 2 is also minor, but with a flat 5.
Quote by Vreid
The 2 is also minor, but with a flat 5.

Doesn't that make it diminished?
Quote by NSpen1
Doesn't that make it diminished?

Yep, if you want. Also minor flatted fifth.
Quote by lolmon
so i've been playing for a few years and i'm finally taking the time to learn music theory and maybe write my own stuff. quick question, if im playing in the key of F Minor, does that mean the 1,4,5 are minors, and the 2,3,6s majors?

If you are playing a song, no; it depends on what the composer had in mind. If you are asking strictly about the harmonized scale, why not take 10 seconds of playing, listening, and hearing for yourself which are major and minor?

If you are going to be looking at theory, you are going to want to develop the habit of answering questions and verifying statements by grabbing your guitar and testing them to hear how they sound and see how they work. When you set to composing your own music you'll be glad you did.
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Quote by lolmon
so i've been playing for a few years and i'm finally taking the time to learn music theory and maybe write my own stuff. quick question, if im playing in the key of F Minor, does that mean the 1,4,5 are minors, and the 2,3,6s majors?
No, the ii is diminished.

F minor has the same chords - to start with - as its relative major Ab. So you just renumber all those chords starting from Fm = i:
Gdim (Gm7b5) = ii
Ab (Abmaj7) = III, or bIII
Bbm (Bbm7) = iv
Cm (Cm7) = v
Db (Dbmaj7) = VI or bVI
Eb (Eb7) = VII, or bVII

However, it's conventional in minor keys to make the V chord major. C (or C7) instead of Cm. You don't have to do this, but it's extremely common. This deviation from natural minor is known as "harmonic minor" (you've heard of that, right?). and also results in a diminished vii chord: Edim7. Harmonic minor only affects those two chords (because they both have the dominant function, leading to Fm).
If you were to stay with Cm (and Eb) and never use C (or Edim7), you could say your piece was "In F aeolian mode", or "F natural minor". Using C(7) is what changes "F aeolian mode" to "the F minor key".
Last edited by jonriley64 at Jul 2, 2017,
Quote by Vreid
Yep, if you want. Also minor flatted fifth.

Diminished is the more correct name See jonriley64's post.
Quote by Vreid
Yep, if you want. Also minor flatted fifth.
Minor 7 flat 5, if you add a 7th.
The triad has a minor 3rd, but its correct name is diminished, from the diminished 5th interval.
Add a minor 7th and it becomes half-diminished, aka minor 7 flat 5.
Quote by lolmon
so i've been playing for a few years and i'm finally taking the time to learn music theory and maybe write my own stuff. quick question, if im playing in the key of F Minor, does that mean the 1,4,5 are minors, and the 2,3,6s majors?

Figuring out what the different chords of a key are is something you can do on your own. You do it by harmonizing the scale. To do this, you need to know how major, minor, diminished and augmented chords are built.

Now let's harmonize the scale by starting it from the root, the third and the fifth.

``````    R  3  5
I   F  Ab C
II  G  Bb Db
III Ab C  Eb
IV  Bb Db F
V   C  Eb G
VI  Db F  Ab
VII Eb G  Bb``````

Then you look at the intervals between the chord tones and figure out their qualities.

The I chord is F Ab C. F-Ab is a minor third, F-C is a perfect fifth so it's a minor chord.
The II chord is G Bb Db. G-Bb is a minor third, G-Db is a diminished fifth so it's a diminished chord.
The III chord is Ab C Eb. Ab-C is a major third, Ab-Eb is a perfect fifth so it's a major chord.
The IV chord is Bb Db F. Bb-Db is a minor third, Bb-F is a perfect fifth so it's a minor chord.
The V chord is C Eb G. C-Eb is a minor third, C-G is a perfect fifth so it's a minor chord.
The VI chord is Db F Ab. Db-F is a major third, Db-Ab is a perfect fifth so it's a major chord.
The VII chord is Eb G Bb. Eb-G is a major third, Eb-Bb is a perfect fifth so it's a major chord.

You can do the same thing with any scale.

The same pattern applies to all (natural) minor scales (because all minor scales contain exactly the same intervals, which is what makes them sound like minor scales). The I, IV and V chords are minor, the III, VI and VII chords are major and the II is diminished in all minor keys. There's more to it than that, though, because the natural minor scale lacks the leading tone which means it lacks a strong pull back to the tonic. But that's a whole another topic so I'm not going to talk about it now.
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