G Harmonic Minor Scale

This article on the G Harmonic minor scale covers the brief music theory, notes, intervals, triads, 7th chords, and modes. It also deals with the layouts on the Piano keyboard and the guitar fretboard, including CAGED patterns with tabs and fingering recommendations.

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Harmonic Minor Scale Structure

The scale formula for the Harmonic minor scale is

{W H W W H WH H} or {T S T T S TS S} or {2 1 2 2 1 3 1}

In this formula,

  • H, S, W, & T represent the half-step, semitone, whole-step, and whole-tone intervals.
  • TS & WH represent the Augmented 2nd interval enharmonically equivalent to m3.

The above formulas are equivalent to the formula shown below, which can be used to derive the notes of a Harmonic minor scale from the notes of the parallel major scale.

[1 2 b3 4 5 b6 7]

You may note the difference in the seventh note with the similar natural minor scale formula [1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7].

Intervals Of Harmonic Minor Scale

The intervals of the notes of the Harmonic minor scales from their tonic note are given below.

R – M2 – m3 – P4 – P5 – m6 – M7 – R(O).

The Harmonic minor scale has its seventh note at the M7 interval from the tonic note instead of a minor 7th in the natural minor scale.

The melodic minor scale ascending has raised sixth and seventh notes from their natural minor counterparts, while the melodic minor scale descending is the same as the natural minor.

G Harmonic Minor Scale Notes

Using G as the first note in the above formulas, we get the notes of the G Harmonic minor scale as,

{G, A, Bb, C, D, Eb, F#, and G(O)}.

F# is the leading tone for the G harmonic minor scale that resolves at the tonic note G(O), an octave higher. The G harmonic minor scale carries two flats and one sharp note.

As you know, the harmonic minor scales use the key signature of the parallel natural minor scale on the sheet music. Hence, G Harmonic minor uses the key signature of the G minor scale. The raised seventh notes are represented by the separate accidentals. Also, the relative minor and relative major scales are defined based on the natural minor scales.

The notes of the G melodic minor scale are {G, A, Bb, C, D, E, F#, and G(O)}, while those of the G natural minor scale are {G, A, Bb, C, D, Eb, F, and G(O)}.

You require five white keys (including the octave) and three black keys to play this scale on the Piano Keyboard. You can see the piano diagram below with the relevant keys marked.

G Harmonic Minor Scale on Piano Keyboard

Scale Degrees

The intervals between the notes of the G Harmonic minor scale, the notes, and the scale degrees, are shown in the table below.

Intervals Root M2 m3 P4 P5 m6M7P8
Scale Degrees12345671(8)
Melodic MinorGABbCDEbF#G(O)

Diagram Of This Scale On The Treble And Bass Clef:

The notation diagrams of the G Harmonic minor scale ascending and descending are shown below, showing its notes on the treble and bass clef.

Treble Clef:

G Harmonic Minor Scale on Treble Clef

Bass Clef:

G Harmonic Minor Scale on Bass Clef

G Harmonic Minor Scale Guitar Positions

To play any harmonic minor scale, you can use the five patterns based on the 7th note alteration on the regular CAGED patterns. The combined layout of these patterns on the complete fretboard is shown below.

You can see the complete G Harmonic minor scale in one line from fret 3rd to 15th on String 1 and 6.

G Harmonic Minor Scale Up to 15 Fret

The five individual patterns are shown in the diagrams below. The main characteristics of these diagrams are also detailed below.

G Harmonic Minor Scale Patterns

1st Pattern

  1. Chord shape based on: E open chord shape.
  2. Pattern lies between the frets: 12th to 16th fret.
  3. The number of roots: Three.
  4. Lowest root position: 15th fret on the 6th string.
G Harmonic Minor - E Shape

2nd Pattern

  1. Chord shape based on: D open chord shape.
  2. Pattern lies between the frets: 2nd to 6th fret.
  3. The number of roots: Three.
  4. Lowest root position: 3rd fret on the 6th string.
G Harmonic Minor - D Shape

3rd Pattern

  1. Chord shape based on: C open chord shape.
  2. Pattern lies between the frets: 5th fret to 9th fret.
  3. The number of roots: Two.
  4. Lowest root position: 5th fret on the 4th string.
G Harmonic Minor - C Shape

4th Pattern

  1. Chord shape based on: A open chord shape.
  2. Pattern lies between the frets: 7th to 11th fret.
  3. The number of roots: Two.
  4. Lowest root position: 10th fret on the 5th string.
G Harmonic Minor - A Shape

5th Pattern

  1. Chord shape based on: G open chord shape.
  2. Pattern lies between the frets: 10th to 14th fret.
  3. The number of roots: Two.
  4. Lowest root position: 10th fret on the 5th string.
G Harmonic Minor - G Shape

Practicing The Scale Patterns

The recommended fingerings for the five patterns are given in the diagrams below. In the diagram,

  • 1 stand for the index finger,
  • 2 for the middle finger,
  • 3 for the ring finger, and
  • 4 for the little finger, respectively.

You can modify them if you are comfortable with slightly different patterns.

G Harmonic Minor Scale Fingerings

What Are The Chords Of The G Harmonic Minor Key?

The chords formed from the seven notes of the G Harmonic minor scale, their Roman numerals, and chord qualities are given in the table below.

Scale Degrees1234567
Chord DesignationiiidimIII+ivVVIviidim
Chord NamesGmAdimBb+CmDEbF#dim
Chord QualityminordiminishedAugmentedminorMajorMajordiminished

The following triad chords result from the G Harmonic minor scale.

  1. Two major chords – V and VI – D major and Eb major. The V chord (D Major) is the dominant chord for the scale.
  2. Two minor chords – i and iv – G minor and C minor chord.
  3. One Augmented chord – III+ – Bb Augmented chord.
  4. Two diminished chords – ii° and vii°, Adim and F#dim.

The seven triads, their note names, and their intervals are shown in the table below.

Scale DegreesIntervalsChord NotesChord Name
1R – G – m3 – Bb – M3 – DG – Bb – DGm
2R – A – m3 – C – m3 – EbA – C – EbAdim
3R – Bb – M3 – D – m3 – F#Bb – D – F#Bb+
4R – C – m3 – Eb – M3 – GC – Eb – GCm
5R – D – m3 – F# – M3 – AD – F# – AD
6R – Eb – M3 – G – m3 – BbEb – G – BbEb
7R – F# – M3 – A – m3 – CF# – A – CF#dim

What Are The Seventh Chords Of The G Harmonic Minor Key?

The following seventh chords naturally occur in G Harmonic minor scale.

  • G Minor Major 7th Chord – Gm(M7) – imM7 – [G Bb D F#].
  • A Half Diminished 7th Chord – Am7b5 – iiø7 – [A C Eb G].
  • Bb Augmented Major 7th Chord – Bb Major 7#5 – bIIIMaj7#5 – [Bb D F# A].
  • C Minor 7th Chord – Cm7 – ivm7 – [C Eb G Bb].
  • D Dominant 7th Chord – D7 – V7 – [D F# A C].
  • Eb Major 7th Chord – EbMaj7 – VIM7 – [Eb G Bb D].
  • F# Full Diminished 7th Chord – F#o7 – vii07 – [F# A C Eb].

The Modes Of The G Harmonic Minor Scale.

The seven modes of the G Harmonic minor scale are:

  1. G Harmonic minor or Aeolian #7. The mode has structure [1 2 b3 4 5 b6 7], hence known as Aeolian #7. It has notes [G A Bb C D Eb F#].
  2. A Locrian #6 – The structure is [1 b2 b3 4 b5 6 b7], and the notes are [A Bb C D Eb F# G].
  3. Bb Ionian #5 – The structure is [1 2 3 4 #5 6 7], and the notes are [Bb C D Eb F# G A]. This is also known as the Bb Augmented Major mode.
  4. C Dorian #4 – The structure is [1 2 b3 #4 5 6 b7], and the notes are [C D Eb F# G A Bb]. This is also known as the C Ukrainian Dorian or Altered Dorian mode.
  5. D Phrygian #3 – The structure is [1 b2 3 4 5 b6 b7], and the notes are [D Eb F# G A Bb C]. This is also known as the D Phrygian Dominant mode.
  6. Eb Lydian #2 – The structure is [1 #2 3 #4 5 6 7], and the notes are [Eb F# G A Bb C D].
  7. F# Super-Locrian scale bb7 – The structure is [1 b2 b3 b4 b5 b6 bb7], and the notes are [F# G A Bb C D Eb]. It is sometimes referred to as the Altered Diminished mode also.

Conclusion

Hopefully, you have noted all the important aspects of the F Harmonic minor scale from the article above. If you need further information or clarification, do write to us in the comments section below.

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