Bing Hodneland logo

Bestsellers

Books

List Bestselling Books

DVDs

List Bestselling DVDs

Google

Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
In Association with Amazon.co.uk

All the information on this site is free. But if it is of value to you, I appreciate a tip.


Previous page:

Music Theory for Guitar - Relative minor

Next page:
Previous page: Music Theory for Guitar - Minor Next page: Music Theory for Guitar - Minor Harmony

To every major key, there is a relative minor scale. At this stage, we keep it simple and deal only with natural minor. We will look deeper into minor harmony in the lessons on Minor harmony – a major challenge.

A source of confusion.
In my language, Norwegian, we use the term parallel minor for the concept that in English is called relative minor. When I first wrote this lesson, I used the literary translation "parallel minor", and it is still the name of the file. This is one of the more difficult aspects of translation: We have the same words, but they are used to describe different concepts. I am trying to correct the mistake. But there might still be some references to "parallel minor" when the correct term should be "relative minor".

The relative minor basically contains the same notes as the connected major scale. But the tonal center is different. The scales are closely related, and some songs shift back and forth between the relative major and minor key. Some examples are The Eagles hit Hotel California, which changes back and forth between Em and G. Bruce Springsteen also seems to favor this relative major/minor alteration. xxxxx

Click here for a list of songs with movement between relative major and minor.

The relative minor starts on the 6th note of the corresponding major scale. Just as a starting example, the relative minor to C major is A minor. The relation between the C major and the relative A minor can be illustrated as such:

A-minor

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

A

C-major

C

D

E

F

G

A

B

C

The basic chords in A minor are Am, Dm and Em7 or E7. If we stick to pure natural minor, the v chord is Em. But a minor 7th does not give a strong lead back to the root, so one would often use a major chord, even though it is not a diatonic chord in Am. That it the reason why there is a variation of the minor scale called Harmonic minor, but more about this in the lesson Minor harmony – a major challenge.

As the notes of the major scale and the relative minor scale are the same, and the primary chords of a natural minor are the secondary chords of the relative major and vice versa (primary chords in major are secondary chords in the relative minor), it is not always easy to decide if you are in the major key or it's relative minor. Friedrich Chopin seems to have given up in some of his piano compositions, as they are labeled for instance as being in the key E/C#m. The more minor chords you use, the more "minorish" will it sound, just as the major chords will make it sound "majorish". In the lesson The III-chord - Major Mediant, I discuss a little how the major key is weakened by using secondary minor chords in The Beatles' song There's A Place, before it finally modulates to the relative minor.

There are a few ways to modulate between the relative major and minor. When going from major to relative minor you can you can for instance go via The III-chord - Major Mediant.

From minor to relative major, you can xxxx

More on relative major/minor relation
Previous page: Previous page: Music Theory for Guitar - MinorNext page: Music Theory for Guitar - Minor Harmony Next page:

Some harmony/chords Theory - books

Top Seller


More >>
Scale Chord Relationships
A Guide to Knowing What Notes to Play - and Why! Scale Chord Relationships teaches players how to determine which scales to play with which chords, so guitarists will never have to fear chord changes again!
RefNr: HL695563
Order From:
SheetmusicPlus
MusicRoom
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Other Books


More >>
George Van Eps Harmonic Mechanisms for Guitar, Volume 3
RefNr: MB93716
Order From:
SheetmusicPlus
Amazon UK
Amazon US

More >>
Guitar Springboard: Harmonic Workout
Guitar Springboard is an innovative series of tutors, allowing you to boost your playing skills and knowledge by concentrating upon key musical areas.
RefNr: AM984566
Order From:
MusicRoom

More >>
Scales and Arpeggios for Guitar, Grades 1-5
Sets out scales by grade in two separate volumes-full fingering fret and string indications given in volume I while volume II gives fingering for Grade 6 and a table of universal fingerings. Both volumes contain notes on the requirements and recommended minimum speeds. Essential publication for examination candidates and their teachers.
RefNr: ABRSM9349
Order From:
SheetmusicPlus

More >>
George Van Eps Harmonic Mechanisms for Guitar, Volume 1
The most in-depth, revolutionary presentation of the harmonic framework of music is applied to the guitar fingerboard ever presented.
RefNr: MB93667
Order From:
SheetmusicPlus
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Go here for full list of harmony/chords Theory books

harmony/chords Theory - videos


More >>
Introduction To Chord Theory And Chord Voicing For The Guitarist
In this 2-DVD set master guitarist and instructor John Miller walks you through the fundamentals of chord theory, providing you with the conceptual tools needed to understand chord structure, and then shows you how to apply that knowledge to the neck of guitar, making practical sense of the information so that you will be equipped to voice chords up and down the neck in any key.
RefNr: GW9945
Order From:
SheetmusicPlus
MusicRoom
Amazon UK
Amazon US

More >>
Ultimate Guitar Techniques - Chords And The Scales That Fit Them
Join Stuart Bull for a clear and methodical series of lessons in Chords And The Scales That Fit Them.
RefNr: RDR0131
Order From:
SheetmusicPlus
MusicRoom

Go here for full list of harmony/chords Theory videos

Previous page: Next page:
Previous page: Music Theory for Guitar - Minor Next page: Music Theory for Guitar - Minor Harmony