Using A Natural Minor Scale To Get A Chord Progression

This lesson will teach you how to use your knowledge of a single minor scale, and use it to get at least 7 chords out of it. Simple and easy indeed.

Ultimate Guitar
Alright so this lesson will teach you how to use simple knowledge of a minor scale to get 7 chords from it. And all it will take is a little memory. Lets take a scenario to get started. Say you're at your buds house, and he's like: "Play some chords in the key of D minor!" And you're like: "Whaa?" So to begin we'll take the example and use the D minor Scale which is: D, E, F, G, A, Bb, C, and the octave D. and we're going to be referring to the 'b' as a flat siginal. And if we add the roman numerals to the notes it would be:
D  = I
E  = II
F  = III
G  = IV
A  = V
Bb = VI
C  = VII
Now using that ^ up there, this is all that you need to remember to get 7 of the chords from the key of D minor:
I   = minor
II  = Diminished
III = Major
IV  = minor
V   = minor
VI  = Major
VII = major
Which would mean that the chords in D Minor are: D minor E Diminished F Major G minor A minor Bb Major C Major If you remember: "minor, Diminished, Major, minor, minor, Major, Major." In that same order you would have the chords in D Minor, or whatever minor key you want. So lets practice! Say your same friend wants to jam in the key of E minor, and luckily for you, you know the E minor scale, which happens to be: E, F#, G, A, B, C, D, and E the octave. And even more luck! You also know that "minor, Diminished, Major, minor, minor, Major, Major." should give you the chords. So write down, remember or whatever you prefer, what the chords are that you think belong to the key of E minor. .......... Alright! What did you get? Was it: E minor F# Diminished G Major A minor B minor C Major D Major

18 comments sorted by best / new / date

    please do more than state facts for us to memorize. these patterns can be found on google with little to no effort. for those of us wanting to comprehend this on a deeper level, an explanation of how the chord types in scales are determined would be really useful Then i wouldnt have to waste time memorizing when a simple concept could theoretically be applied to any scale. If someone actually has an answer for me, please, do share. im tired of searching high and low only to find sites telling me just to memorize this pattern instead of learn WHY.
    Thank you very much friend, i read the other lesson with Major Scale chord rules that was so usefull too so, thanks
    Maj Min Min Maj Dom7 Min Min7b5,, can we find the chords in this pattern as well??? or we should follow the above menttioned pattern of D minor??
    Since minor is the 6th mode of a major scale, you can also play all the minor scale chords, if you remember the "original" scale. For example: C - major and A minor. If you start playing C major chords from the 6th chord, it's a-minor, 7th is b-dim. And it goes exactly like the lessonist's list. I learned them this way, everyone has their own way of learning these, i just said this to give another way.
    cool lesson pretty helpful but what i do not get is why is there sharps and flats amd whatnot how do they comeabout?
    Im a theory failure, so bear with me. I always thought that the minor (wouldnt this usually refer to aeolian?)had a root, major2, minor3, per4, per5, minor6, and a minor7? So Im not understanding the intervals you used.
    You are thinking about the intervals between each note of the Aeolian mode... And you are correct. But Megan is talking about what kind of chords (eg: Maj, min, dim) are formed from each note of the Aeolian mode.
    Nice lesson, Megan! I already knew this, but you explained it well!
    just want to piont out that its easier use caps to symbolize major lowercase to symbolize minor and to symbolize diminished when using roman numerals, so it would look like i ii III iv v VI VII that makes it much easier to write down the idea of a progression. so you can write down key of Dminor i iv v or Gmajor I ii IV vii and with out thinnking about what kind of chord they already know....