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Harmonic Minor Scale Basics

Christopher Sung (9641) · [archive]
Style: Metal · Level: Advanced · Tempo: 140
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5

One of the great things about the harmonic minor scale is that it contains the V7b9 arpeggio inside of it. The V7b9-I cadence is a very strong harmonic movement and is very characteristic of baroque and classical music. So, if we're using the A harmonic minor scale, then it's related V chord is E7, and the notes for an E7b9 arpeggio (F, G#, B, D) are located inside.

What does this mean? Well, you can imply the V7b9-I cadence using only notes from the harmonic scale. In the example below, we play our A minor arpeggio in measure 1, our E7b9 arpeggio in mms. 2-3, and then alternate between the 2 every half measure in mms. 4-7. Note how strong the tonality is. As far as I'm concerned, this is one of the main keys to unlocking the potential of the harmonic minor scale...
Harmonic Minor Scale Basics - Page 3