The following are examples of the harmonic minor scale in A at various positions on the guitar neck. These examples assume standard guitar tuning (E, A, D, G, B, E open guitar strings lowest to highest).
The horizontal lines represent the guitar strings where the lowest guitar string is at the bottom. The vertical lines are the frets. The fret numbers are at the top of each pattern. The tonic of the scale (the first note) is in white. The dominant of the scale (the fifth note) is in gray.
These scale patterns can be transposed to other positions on the neck to produce other harmonic minor scales. Also, since not all of the patterns below start on the tonic of the scale the same patterns can produce other modes of the harmonic minor scale.
The G#, A, B, C portion in the examples below is a construction that presents guitar players with a choice. The guitarist can play G# and A on the same string and move a fret back and a string higher to play B and C. Alternatively, the guitarist can play all four notes on the same string. The second and the third pattern below, for example, use the same notes, but the second pattern places G# and A on the fourth string (highest to lowest) and B and C on the third string, whereas the third pattern places all four notes on the fourth string.
The fifth mode of the harmonic minor scale is known as the Spanish gypsy scale. The next to last (sixth) picture below shows one of the most popular guitar patterns for the Spanish gypsy scale.