#1
I know how to harmoniz the major scale but how do you go about harmonizing the minor scale?
#2
you play the relative major along with it

for example, if you were playing an a minor scale, you would play a c major with it.
#3
well you do it the same way you did the major. first lay out the scale and all of its degrees. then you start on your root stack the thirds. then go to the second note and do the same, always staying within the notes of the scale. EDIT: natural minor (aeolian) is 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7.

that's how you harmonize the natural minor. there are other ways of harmonizing the scale as well.

for instance. when people talk about harmonic minor, that means, 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 7. notice the natural seventh in there (it's usually flattened in a minor scale). when you harmonize the harmonic minor you end up with a different set of chords from the natural minor.

a third option is to harmonize using melodic minor. 1 2 b3 4 5 6 7. notice the natural sixth and natural seventh. again this scale will yield a different set of harmonized chords.

the interesting thing about all of this is that alot of people will "borrow" chords from each harmonization of the minor scale. for example if you start on Am. you could play Em (natural minor harmony) or E major (harmonic minor harmony). I would recommend going through and harmonizing each scale yourself and seeing what type of chords it yields for each scale degree, and then play around with it.

good luck. i hope i explained it ok.
#4
Well...

Natural Minor is simply the 6th mode of major. Modes for Natural minor simply stem from the major. If the first mode is Aeolian (Natural minor) then:
II: Locrian
III: Ionian
IV: Dorian
V: Phrygian
VI: Lydian
VII: Mixolydian

If you have a melodic minor, there are slightly different modes that may apply. These modes apply to Melodic Minor only: 1 2 b3 4 5 6 7.

I: Melodic Minor
II: Dorian b2 (1 b2 b3 4 5 6 b7)
III: Lydian Augmented (1 2 3 #4 #5 6 7)
IV: Lydian Dominant (1 2 3 #4 5 6 b7)
V: Hindu (1 2 3 4 5 b6 b7)
VI: Locrian Natural 2 (1 2 b3 4 b5 b6 b7)
VII: Super Locrian (1 b2 b3 b4 b5 b6 b7)

BAM!
#5
Quote by jamscopti
you play the relative major along with it

for example, if you were playing an a minor scale, you would play a c major with it.


...no.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#6
Quote by Archeo Avis
...no.


I think he meant for harmonizing the third of the minor scale, C, would be a major chord.
#8
Quote by lbc_sublime
what is stacking
Stacking intervals means that you play a note, then move up X notes to the second note os the chord, then move up X (X=X) notes again, etc.

An example is the sus2 chord. Asus2 goes A (up a fifth) E (up a fifth) B. Another example is stacking minor thirds to form a fully diminished chord.

Harmonizing the minor scale is done pretty much the exact same way as the major scale, except the 5 chord is often made major rather than minor.
#9
I think he ment chord building or arpeggios : 1,3,5,7,9 or 1,b3,5...etc
As you would with the major scale system. Do every other note.
Since the interval for these scale are different from the major scale you get different chords, just like the modes got shifted or altered

example, Harmonic Minor

I minMaj7
II min7b5
III bMa7#5
IV min7
V 7
VI bmaj7
VII dim7
#10
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Stacking intervals means that you play a note, then move up X notes to the second note os the chord, then move up X (X=X) notes again, etc.

An example is the sus2 chord. Asus2 goes A (up a fifth) E (up a fifth) B. Another example is stacking minor thirds to form a fully diminished chord.

Harmonizing the minor scale is done pretty much the exact same way as the major scale, except the 5 chord is often made major rather than minor.


WOULDNT IT BE A-B-E because the 2 replaces the third???????
#12
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Stacking intervals means that you play a note, then move up X notes to the second note os the chord, then move up X (X=X) notes again, etc.

An example is the sus2 chord. Asus2 goes A (up a fifth) E (up a fifth) B. Another example is stacking minor thirds to form a fully diminished chord.

Harmonizing the minor scale is done pretty much the exact same way as the major scale, except the 5 chord is often made major rather than minor.

Aren't those called polychords?
#13
I'm surprised no one has given the TS the simple answer yet.

Let's say you wanted to harmonize the A minor scale. You'd start off by taking the relative major scale, C major, and harmonizing it:


I  ii  iii IV V  vi  VIIdim
C  Dm  Em  F  G  Am  Bdim


Then, just take the same chords, but start on the A minor chord instead of the C major chord:


i   IIdim III iv  v   VI VII
Am  Bdim  C   Dm  Em  F  G


However, often the v chord in the harmonized minor scale is made into a V chord, since it resolves much better to the i chord.
#14
I'll try and explain this as best I can.

Okay, lets work with E Minor, which goes something like...

E-F#-G-A-B-C-D

Okay, so lets say your line is...

E-B-E-C-C-E-B-E-F#-G (Not the best line, but it'll work for this purpose)

Okay, so lets take a look at the E Minor scale, I'm assuming you already know the first note is the Root or Tonic of the scale, the 2nd note is 2nd degree of the scale and so on. Anyways, lets say you're harmonizing in fifths, to get the fifths of that line we'd look at our scale (E-F#-G-A-B-C-D-E) and count up 4 degrees from your harmonized note (A perfect 5th, by this I mean 4 notes away, with the harmonized note as 0, like 0, 1 , 2, 3, 4), for the E in our riff we'd play a B, for the B note we'd play an F#, also, when you're counting up from a note near the end of the scale, you count up until the scale ends, then start back from the beginning of the scale, skipping the Root Note, in this case E.

Okay, so we've got E-B and B-F#, continue this process for every note in the riff to end up with two lines.

E-B-E-C-C-E-B-E-F#-G (Lead line)
B-F#-B-G-G-B-F#-B-C-D (Melody in 5ths


Anyways, this will work for a natural minor or major scale, simply using the method of counting intervels. For 4ths, you'd play the Root Note plus a note 3 degrees up and for 3rds, it'd be counting 2 degrees up for your starting note.

Sorry if this is hard to understand, or if I messed something up.
(Also, kudos to whoever recognizes the riff I used, its pretty much the same as a certain Swedish song.. >_>
#15
Quote by lbc_sublime
what is stacking
stacking refers to placing note upon note to form a chord. It is how chords are constructed. The term "stack" is used as a descriptive term when you consider formal notation of harmony on a staff.

Notice here how the notes in this minor triad visually form a "stack" using diatonic third intervals.

This example shows a D minor triad since the first third is a minor third D - F and the second is major F to A. (minor 3rd plus major3rd = Perect 5th D-A).

Triads and seventh chords are built by "stacking" various major and minor thirds on top of each other.

I'm pretty sure the process of harmonizing the minor scale has been covered by now so I won't go into that.

EDIT:
Quote by Phobos&Deimos
Aren't those called polychords?

No. Polychords are when two chords are played together at the same time. Very uncommon on the guitar since we only have a limited number of notes (6) that we can play at the same time. (Though we can play some simple Polychords).

Polychords are generally played on an instrument such as the piano. They are denoted with a horizontal line as opposed to a diagonal line as slash chords are.

D
E

For example is a Poly chord in which you would play a D triad over an E triad at the same time. See how this notation differs from D/E which would imply a D triad over an E bass note.
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Nov 6, 2008,
#16
depends what harmony you want

if you want a 3rd, 3 notes in the scale above the note your with will go with it
for a 5th, 5 notes above it in the scale will harmonise

etc
#17
Harmonizing.

Harmony means more than one note sounding at the same time. The verb harmonizing usually means the action of taking an existing note or melody and adding further note(s) or melodic line(s) to be played at the same time to create a richer more interesting sound.

Diatonic harmonization uses only the notes from a specific scale. The result is that all notes will be "in key".

Not all harmonization is "diatonic" you can choose to harmonize your line with any set interval and produce a harmony with liberal use of accidentals - that is notes outside the key or diatonic scale.

For example you might harmonize a melodic line with a second melodic line in which all the notes are a Major 3rd above the first. Basically you would be playing the exact same melody transposed up a major 3rd. Will it sound bad just because it's not "diatonic". No absolutely not. In fact you may find you like the sound better than using diatonic thirds.

The problem with using a strict set interval for harmonizing comes when you're bringing in other harmonies and instruments. You need to be aware of what notes are "borrowed" and when they occur in order to avoid an unexpected ccrash.

Diatonic thirds are safer in this respect. It involves taking the scale used to construct the original note or melodic idea and counting up to arrive at a third (or fifth or whatever interval you're going for). You won't dictate whether the interval is major or minor, perfect or diminished. The resulting quality of the interval will be determined by the scale you are working in.

So say we are in the key of Amin take the notes

A B C D
if we harmonize with diatonic thirds we would play the notes
C D E F
A B C D Some of these are minor thirds and some are major but all the notes occur naturally in the key of Am.

If we harmonize the same line with a strict set interval of a minor third we get
C D Eb F
A B C D The Eb is considered an accidental because it does not occur naturally in the key of Am.

If we are harmonizing a scale to construct diatonic triads (basic 3 note chords using thirds) then we harmonize a note from the scale with a diatonic third above and then stack a second diatoinic third on top. This gives us a triad. If we do this to each scale degree we get a full set of diatonic triads to use in our harmonic progression.

If we stack another diatonic third on top to get a four note chord we have a diatonic seventh chord.

Since Am is RELATIVE to C major (they share the same notes) it stands to reason that the chords created will also use the same notes and consequently be the same seven chords. Though these chords are the same in some respects it is important to note that they will all serve different functions.

Since the major scale always follows the same step pattern the quality of each chord will always end up being the same. For example the third note in the major scale will always be a major third above the root note and the fifth will always be a perfect fifth above the root. Similarly the fourth note will always be a minor third above the second note and the sixth note will always be a perfect fifth above the second note. etc etc.

As a result we know the first chord will always be major in quality, the second will always be minor etc. We can then use roman numerals to represent the chord where a capital roman numeral means a major chord and a lower case roman numeral is a minor chord. The harmonized major scale is
I ii iii IV V vi viidim

If we harmonize the minor scale we proceed in the same fashion - we use only notes from the scale to stack diatonic thirds on top of each other. And again because the intervals between the scale degrees are always the same, the quality of the chords harmonized from the natural minor scale will always end out the same. They are...
i iidim III iv v VI VII

If you compare the two side by side you might see a relationship between the two.
[B]Major    I ii iii IV V vi viidim[/B]  I  ii iii IV  V  vi viidim  I...
[B]Minor                   i  iidim III iv  v  VI VII[/B]  i  iidim III...
Quality  M m   m   M M  m    dim  M   m  m   M  M   m    dim  M etc
Hopefully you see the similarities. But don't get carried away by them - just as important are the differences. It is important to note that although two relative scales (C and Am for example) use the same notes to construct the same chords each of those chords is different in use. Using an Am as a an i chord is different than using the Am as a vi chord.

I'm sure I can explain that better but I've written it all now and it's done. Might help someone. If it's confusing ask questions.

EDIT: And there is a hell of a lot more to harmony than just this but it's the basics and should get you underway with enough to explore for quite some time.
Si
#18
Excellent post, 20.
My Rig:
Schecter 006 Diamond Series (Discontinued) Flat Black
Jackson JS30RR Metallic Blue
Line 6 Spider II 210
Boss TU-2
Sennheiser E835-S

Current Top 3:
Between the Buried and Me (Always)
The Faceless
Murder By Death
#19
20, you should note (or I should) that the 5 chord in a minor key is usually major. Thus, in the key of Am, harmonizing A C G C E A in "diatonic" thirds would yield C E B E G# C.
#20
Quote by bangoodcharlote
20, you should note (or I should) that the 5 chord in a minor key is usually major. Thus, in the key of Am, harmonizing A C G C E A in "diatonic" thirds would yield C E B E G# C.


I'd say it would depend. Harmonic minor is simply a convention regarding the creation of minor harmony. Outside of the dominant, the quality of the seventh is determined entirely by other factors.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#21
Quote by Archeo Avis
...no.
Made sense to me
Quote by 20Tigers
Excellent post, 20.
Damn straight. We need more posters like 20Tigers
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
#22
I'm not sure I'd say the V in a minor key is usually major.
Harmonic minor is a variation, just as melodic minor. It's something you choose to do, if that sound is desired. It's perfectly possible to play in a minor scale without a sharp 7th.
My Rig:
Schecter 006 Diamond Series (Discontinued) Flat Black
Jackson JS30RR Metallic Blue
Line 6 Spider II 210
Boss TU-2
Sennheiser E835-S

Current Top 3:
Between the Buried and Me (Always)
The Faceless
Murder By Death
#23
Quote by AnOblivion
I'm not sure I'd say the V in a minor key is usually major.
Harmonic minor is a variation, just as melodic minor. It's something you choose to do, if that sound is desired. It's perfectly possible to play in a minor scale without a sharp 7th.


In Western tonal harmony, dominant chords are major. A v chord in a minor key is going to get you strange looks. Harmonic minor is not a completely separate scale, it describes a convention in writing minor harmony.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#24
Quote by Archeo Avis
In Western tonal harmony, dominant chords are major. A v chord in a minor key is going to get you strange looks. Harmonic minor is not a completely separate scale, it describes a convention in writing minor harmony.


That's why I called it a variation, not a separate scale.

The natural minor scale is used constantly, in forms of music from death metal to country. If there was no use for the natural minor scale, it would not be an option and everyone would think of Ionian as the major and phrygian dominant as the minor 100% of the time. That doesn't happen. It's why natural phrygian exists.
My Rig:
Schecter 006 Diamond Series (Discontinued) Flat Black
Jackson JS30RR Metallic Blue
Line 6 Spider II 210
Boss TU-2
Sennheiser E835-S

Current Top 3:
Between the Buried and Me (Always)
The Faceless
Murder By Death
#25
If I'm wrong, I'd love for someone to prove it to me. I'm always looking to add to my theory knowledge database, and being corrected is one of the best ways.

Anybody else wanna jump in here and clarify?
My Rig:
Schecter 006 Diamond Series (Discontinued) Flat Black
Jackson JS30RR Metallic Blue
Line 6 Spider II 210
Boss TU-2
Sennheiser E835-S

Current Top 3:
Between the Buried and Me (Always)
The Faceless
Murder By Death
#26
Quote by AnOblivion
That's why I called it a variation, not a separate scale.

The natural minor scale is used constantly, in forms of music from death metal to country. If there was no use for the natural minor scale, it would not be an option and everyone would think of Ionian as the major and phrygian dominant as the minor 100% of the time. That doesn't happen. It's why natural phrygian exists.


The problem here is that you're attempting to categorize natural, harmonic, and melodic minor as completely separate scales. They're not. Each of them describes specific conventions within minor harmony. In Western tonal harmony, dominant chords are major. Period. The v chord creates a resolution so weak that it barely functions as a dominant, if at all. This is why it is almost unfailingly replaced with a V chord. You can use the v all you want, but it's not going to be functioning as a dominant. The notion that this somehow marginalizes natural minor is ridiculous, and shows that you're confusing "harmony" with "every aspect of music that isn't harmony". The treatment of the seventh (and to a lesser extent, the sixth) is highly dependent on context. You are not simply choosing one of the three minor scales.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#27
Quote by Archeo Avis
The v chord creates a resolution so weak that it barely functions as a dominant, if at all.
What does it function as if not dominant?
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
#28
So... ok... so then why do we use the term "natural minor?" If we use a dominant V chord, then we're using harmonic minor, correct? Am I confused? For example, using an E Major chord in A Harmonic minor is what we're talking about, right? And there is no reason to ever use an e minor? I'm asking because I always write in harmonic minor.

And if so, why use melodic minor? And can I get a refresher on which tone is sharped in melodic? Thanks for the clarity.
My Rig:
Schecter 006 Diamond Series (Discontinued) Flat Black
Jackson JS30RR Metallic Blue
Line 6 Spider II 210
Boss TU-2
Sennheiser E835-S

Current Top 3:
Between the Buried and Me (Always)
The Faceless
Murder By Death
#29
so then why do we use the term "natural minor?"
Not sure exactly what you're asking here. Natural minor is the name of the natural minor scale. A natural minor is ABCDEFG
If we use a dominant V chord, then we're using harmonic minor, correct?
Yes
Am I confused?
I dunno, are you?
For example, using an E Major chord in A Harmonic minor is what we're talking about, right?
Yes
And there is no reason to ever use an e minor?
Use an Em when you want an Em. I often use it when I DONT want to go back to the tonic, and also sometimes I just prefer the sound over Emaj. Probably explains the strange looks I've been getting...
And can I get a refresher on which tone is sharped in melodic?
Compared to the natural minor scale, melodic minor has a raised sixth and seventh.
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
#30
Thank you, sir.

Yeah, I've always thought it was an option to use a v chord in the minor scale. Now I'm being told that no one ever does that. I have done that. Not frequently. But I know it's possible.
My Rig:
Schecter 006 Diamond Series (Discontinued) Flat Black
Jackson JS30RR Metallic Blue
Line 6 Spider II 210
Boss TU-2
Sennheiser E835-S

Current Top 3:
Between the Buried and Me (Always)
The Faceless
Murder By Death
#31
Yes I see your point. (EDIT: referring to bgc's post a bit back. I started responding then had to go get pizza and watched Rambo. I forgot the computer was still on so just finished the post and found a bunch more posts on this. Sorry to cover some of the same ground but I've typed it now so too bad.

I was harmonizing the natural minor scale.

As bgc alludes to there is a fundamental problem with the harmonic strength of the natural minor scale. That problem arises due to the flat seventh degree of the natural minor scale. This flat seventh serves as a minor third in the chord built from the fifth degree of the natural minor scale.

The strongest harmonic progression in western music can be found in the major scale with a movement from V-I. Part of the reason for the strength of this progression is the root movement from the 5 to the 1. However another important factor that gives this particular progression a great sense of resolve is the fact that major third of the fifth chord is the major seventh degree in the major scale.

This note is known as the "leading note". Because it is one semitone away from the root one tends to automatically anticipate the root note to come next. When this sense of anticipation is fulfilled we have a sense of resolution.

In the natural minor scale the harmonized dominant chord (the chord built on the fifth degree of the scale) is minor. The seventh is a flat seven one whole tone away from the root. This increase in distance lessens the pull toward the tonic and our sense of anticipation is diluted. Consequently the resolve is also diluted when the tonic is delivered.

To fix this problem musicians throughout the ages have used the natural minor with a natural seventh degree. (1 2 b3 4 5 b6 7). This gives us back the leading note and the strong sense of resolve from the major V-i progression. This scale is called the HARMONIC MINOR scale.

The harmonic minor scale had problems of it's own though. The problem with the harmonic minor scale was the three semitone leap between the b6 and 7. This resulted in a disjointed sound when ascending toward the root. The remedy was to increase the b6 to a natural 6 and smooth out the scale when ascending.

When descending it was less important that the leading tone be a semitone away from the root since we are moving away from the root. So it was common for the melodic minor to be used while ascending and the natural minor to be used while descending. This rule is not followed as much anymore. Now people mix and match or just use one or the other minor scales with a great deal of frequency. One of the most common uses of minor scale is simply the natural minor with a harmonic V chord thrown in for extra resolve

You can harmonize all these scales individually if you like, the results can provide an interesting pallette to play with. The both harmonic and melodic minor will produce an augmented b3 chord which can be something a little different to play with.

Hope this helps some.
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Nov 7, 2008,