Major minor scale

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The major-minor scale is a secondary heptatonic scale that can be built using the following steps between notes: 1, 1, ½, 1, ½, 1, 1.

An example of the scale is A, B, C#, D, E, F, G. This example in shown below in traditional notation and in guitar tablature notation.

Major-minor scale in traditional notation

Major-minor scale in guitar tablature notation

This scale is called "major-minor" as it is essentially the natural minor scale with a raised (a major) third (the natural minor scale in the example above is A, B, C, D, E, F, G and the raised third is C#).

Modes of the major-minor scale

The following are modes of the major-minor scale.

  1. Major-minor, with steps 1, 1, ½, 1, ½, 1, 1 (A, B, C#, D, E, F, G in the example above).
  2. Locrian with a sharp second, with steps 1, ½, 1, ½, 1, 1, 1 (B, C#, D, E, F, G, A).
  3. Altered (Locrian with a flat fourth), with steps ½, 1, ½, 1, 1, 1, 1 (C#, D, E, F, G, A, B).
  4. Melodic ascending minor, with steps 1, ½, 1, 1, 1, 1, ½ (D, E, F, G, A, B, C#).
  5. Phrygian with a sharp sixth, with steps ½, 1, 1, 1, 1, ½, 1 (E, F, G, A, B, C#, D).
  6. Lydian with a sharp fifth, with steps 1, 1, 1, 1, ½, 1, ½ (F, G, A, B, C#, D, E).
  7. Lydian-Mixolydian, with steps 1, 1, 1, ½, 1, ½, 1 (G, A, B, C#, D, E, F).

Three-note chords on the major-minor scale

The following are common triads built on the notes of the major-minor scale.

  • On the root of the scale (on the tonic): major chord (e.g., A composed of A, C#, E), augmented chord (Aaug = A, C#, F), or suspended chords (Asus4 = A, D, E and Asus2 = A, B, E).
  • On the second note (on the supertonic): dimished chord (Bdim = B, D, F).
  • On the third note (on the mediant): augmented chord (C#aug = C#, F, A) or diminished chord (C#dim = C#, E, G).
  • On the fourth note (on the subdominant): minor chord (Dm = D, F, A) or suspended chords (Dsus4 = D, G, A and Dsus2 = D, E, A).
  • On the fifth note (on the dominant): minor chord (E = E, G, B) or suspended chord (Esus4 = E, A, B).
  • On the sixth note (on the submediant): augmented chord (Faug = F, A, C#).
  • On the seventh note (on the leading tone): major chord (G = G, B, D) or suspended chord (Gsus2 = G, A, D).

Four-note chords on the major-minor scale

The following are seventh chords built on the notes of the major-minor scale.

  • On the first note: dominant seventh chord (e.g., A7 composed of A, C#, E, G) or augmented seventh chord (A7#5 = A, C#, F, G).
  • On the second note: half-diminished seventh chord (minor seventh chord with a flat fifth, Bm7b5 = B, D, F, A).
  • On the third note: half-diminished seventh chord (C#m7b5 = C#, E, G, B), augmented seventh chord (C#7#5 = C#, F, A, B).
  • On the fourth note: minor-major seventh chord (Dmmaj7 = D, F, A, C#).
  • On the fifth note: minor seventh chord (Emin7 = E, G, B, D).
  • On the sixth note: augmented major seventh chord (Fmaj7#5 = F, A, C#, E).
  • On the seventh note: dominant seventh chord (G7 = G, B, D, F).

Intervals on the major-minor scale

The major-minor scale is composed of the following intervals.

  • A major second, e.g., the interval between A and B is equal to two semitones.
  • A major third, the interval between A and C# is equal to four semitones.
  • A perfect fourth, the interval between A and D is equal to five semitones.
  • A perfect fifth, the interval between A and E is equal to seven semitones.
  • A minor sixth, the interval between A and F is equal to eight semitones.
  • A minor seventh, the interval between A and G is equal to ten semitones.

See also:
Scale, Scale (index)



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