G minor scale

Interested in learning about the G minor scale?

The G minor scale is a great place to start for guitar players interested in exploring new sounds and chord progressions. This scale can be used in various genres, from blues and country to jazz and rock.

In this article, you’ll learn the notes of the G minor scale, as well as some common chords and progressions in this key. You’ll also learn how to play the scale in different positions on the guitar neck and hear how it sounds in popular songs.

Read the complete article now to start learning about the G minor scale!

Introduction To G Minor Scale

The G minor key was used by Mozart in his works to best express sadness and grief. In addition, it was one of his preferred minor keys. While we composed symphonies in other minor ones, all his numbered symphonies are in G minor.

It is also considered a good option to include emotion, uneasiness, anger, discontent, and sadness in a composition. The list of major symphonies composed in G minor is listed here.

Minor Scale Structure

A natural minor scale belongs to the category of the diatonic scale, with its seven notes and 5 whole step and 2 half step intervals. The scale formula for natural minor scales is given below:

{W H W W H W W} or {T S T T S T T} or {2 1 2 2 1 2 2}

As you can see, the scale formula is presented in three forms.

  1. In terms of Whole and half steps.
  2. In terms of steps of Semitones and whole tones.
  3. In terms of semitones between the notes.

You can make use of any one of them. Please see the detailed structural representation of any minor scale below.

R – T – M2 – S – m3 – T – P4 – T – P5 – S – m6 – T – m7 – T – R(O). Note that R(O) is the tonic note, an octave higher.

Intervals Of Minor Scales

The intervals of any natural minor scale are R – M2 – m3 – P4 – P5 – m6 – m7 – R(O). These are shown in the table below. As you know from the music theory, any natural minor scale has its 3rd, 6th, and 7th scale degree note lowered by a half step from the major scale with the same tonic note.

Between the NotesSeparation in Notes.The Interval from Root
Root & 2nd NoteTMajor 2nd
2nd & 3rd NoteSMinor 3rd
3rd & 4th NoteTPerfect 4th
4th & 5th NoteTPerfect 5th
5th & 6th NoteSMinor 6th
6th & 7th NoteTMinor 7th
7th Note & OctaveTOctave

The other two types of minor scales are

  1. Harmonic Minor scale with a raised 7th from the natural minor. R – M2 – m3 – P4 – P5 – m6 – M7 – R(O).
  2. Melodic minor scale with a raised 6th and 7th from the natural minor in ascending order. R – M2 – m3 – P4 – P5 – M6 – M7 – R(O).

G natural Minor Scale Notes

The notes of the G Natural Minor scale are

R – G – T – A – S – B♭ – T – C – T – D – S – E♭ – T – F – T – G (O).

Hence Gm Scale: {G, A, Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G(O)}, where G(O) is the G note one octave above the root. As you can see, the key signature of the G minor scale has two flats in it. On the piano keyboard, you will need five white keys and two black keys to play the scale.

The notes of G Harmonic Minor Scale notes are {G, A, B♭, C, D, E♭, F#, G(O)}, with a raised seventh note, forming a leading tone.

The notes of the G Melodic Minor Scale in the ascending direction are {G, A, B♭, C, D, E, F#, G(O)}, with a raised 6th and 7th.

Scale Degrees

The table below shows the intervals of a natural minor, scale degrees, and notes of the G Minor Scale, G Harmonic, and G Melodic Minor for ready reference.

Intervals Root M2 m3 P4 P5 m6 m7P8
Scale Degrees12345671(8)
Natural MinorGABbCDEbFG(O)
Harmonic MinorGABbCDEbF#G(O)
Melodic MinorGABbCDEF#G(O)

Diagram Of This Scale On The Treble And Bass Clef:

The diagram of the G natural minor scale in the ascending and descending directions is shown on the treble clef and the bass clef below.

Treble Clef:

G Minor scale in Asc and Desc on Treble Clef

Bass Clef:

G Minor scale in Asc and Desc on Bass Clef

G Minor Scale Guitar Positions

The below diagram shows all the notes of the G minor scale on the fretboard of your guitar up to the 16th fret. The notes repeat themselves after the 12th fret, so the patterns after the 16th fret are the same. The complete scale in a single line can be seen on the low e and high E strings.

G Minor Scale Up to 16th Fret

The five scale patterns based on the CAGED system are shown below. We will discuss each pattern and highlight the major features to you. Always note down and remember the position of the lowest root note, as you will start playing any pattern from there.

Pattern 1

G Minor Scale Pattern P1

Pattern 2

G Minor Scale Pattern P2

Pattern 3

G Minor Scale Pattern P3

Pattern 4

G Minor Scale Pattern P4

Pattern 5

G Minor Scale Pattern P5

1st Pattern

The 1st pattern is adapted from the open E shape and

  1. It spans the 5th to the 8th fret.
  2. It has two root notes.
  3. The lowest root note is on the 5th fret of the 4th string.

2nd Pattern

The 2nd pattern is derived from the D chord shape and

  1. It spans over five frets from the 7th to the 11th fret for the G minor scale.
  2. It also has two root notes.
  3. The lowest root note is on the 10th fret of the 5th string.

3rd Pattern

  1. It lies over four frets from the 10th to the 13th fret.
  2. It has two root notes.
  3. The lowest root note is on the 10th fret of the 5th string. This is the same position of the root note as the previous pattern because the patterns are overlapping.

4th Pattern

It is based on the open A chord shape

  1. It falls between the 12th and the 16th fret.
  2. It has three root notes.
  3. The lowest root note is at the 15th fret of the 6th string.

5th Pattern

It is based on the G chord shape.

  1. It lies between the 2nd to the 6th fret.
  2. It also has three root notes.
  3. The lowest root note is on the 3rd fret of the 6th string.

Practicing The Scale Patterns

We have dealt with this in detail for the articles on D Major and E major scales. You may refer to the fingerings and other playing and practicing details there, as the major concepts are the same.

What Are The Chords Of the G Minor key?

As you are aware, the triads of major and minor scales are formed by stacking the intervals of the thirds over the root notes.

The chords in the key of G minor, their Roman numeral designation, quality, and chord names are presented in the table below:

Scale Degrees1234567
Chord DesignationiiidimIIIivvVIVII
Chord NamesGmAdimB♭CmDmE♭F
Chord QualityminordiminishedMajorminorminorMajorMajor

As you can see, there are:

  1. Three major chords – III, VI, and VII – B♭ major, E♭ major, and F major.
  2. Three minor chords – i, iv, and v – Gm, Cm, and Dm.
  3. One diminished chord – ii°, Adim.

What Are The Notes In These Chords?

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

Scale DegreesIntervalsChord NotesChord Name
1R – G – m3 – B♭ – M3 – DG – B♭ – DGm
2R – A – m3 – C – m3 – E♭A – C – E♭Adim
3R – B♭ – M3 – D – m3 – FB♭ – D – FB♭
4R – C – m3 – E♭ – M3 – GC – E♭ – GCm
5R – D – m3 – F – M3 – AD – F – ADm
6R – E♭ – M3 – G – m3 – B♭E♭ – G – B♭E♭
7R – F – M3 – A – m3 – CF – A – CF

Relative & Parallel Major Of G Minor

The relative major of the G minor is the Bb major scale with the same notes and key signature. In other words, G is the relative minor of Bb.

B♭ – C – D – E♭ – F – G – A – B♭

The parallel major scale of the G Minor is the G Major, with the notes:

G – A – B – C – D – E – F#

Songs In The Key Of G Minor

The songs in the key of G minor are:

  1. “Dirty Diana” by Michael Jackson.
  2. “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” by Eiffel 65.
  3. “Ain’t It Funny” by Jennifer Lopez.
  4. “Bohemian Rhapsody Remastered 2011” by Queen.
  5. “Roxanne” by The Police.
  6. “Applause” by Lady Gaga.
  7. “Like I can” by Sam Smith


Now you know everything about the G minor scale. You also know how to form chords in this key and what progressions sound good with them. And finally, you have a list of popular songs that you can use to increase your repertoire. If you want to learn more about music theory, please check out our other blog posts or contact us for private lessons. Please provide comments in the below section if you want any clarifications.

Leave a Comment