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Minor Scale Keys- Necessary?

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  • Minor Scale Keys- Necessary?

    I've been starting to learn music theory with the Elementary Rudiments of Music book, and I am part way through the minor scale key chapter. What I was wondering is if knowing the minor scale key signatures, relative majors/minors are actually important.

    I know that minor scales are important,but I'm not sure why knowing the stuff in this chapter is important if you know the differences between the scales and can write them down. (Like a C dorian has a flat third, a C mixolydian has a flat third and seven, etc)



    Not sure if this is the right forum, but if it isn't then can a mod please move it.

  • #2

    I can't say it's not important.  It's good to know and some people learn to think about altering notes as they play.

    Lots of guitarists know this but don't apply it to the fretboard as they tend to think in visual scale patterns.  The guitar being a very visual instrument.

    I think in patterns.  Not that this is the best way.  It's just the way I learned.

    Jimmy Bruno thinks about altering notes as he plays.  Helpful in jazz.











    Serious about playing but not much else.


    • #3

      I'm no expert, but I'll take a stab.  Hopefully I'm answering in a useful way...

      I never really thought about key signatures themselves being major or minor. G major and E minor both have one sharp, an F#.  If the key signature has that one F# the song is either in G major or E minor - you can tell pretty quickly what it resolves to.  It's not really the key signature that makes a given song major or minor, it's what the the song (chords/melody) resolves to.

      Knowing relative majors/minors is pretty useful - it's useful in songwriting, useful in figuring things out... I wish I could think of a good, specific example, but I do end up thinking things like "I'm on a D, the relative minor is B-" all the time.  I don't have key signatures memorized for minor keys, though - I just translate to the major key.  So I guess there's one use.

      Multiple award winning blues/rock/country at or my solo (instrumental rock) projects at:"Music is like the English language - it's just full of rules that need to be broken or you aren't hip.""It doesn't take talent to upgrade your playing. It takes patience" - Kenny Werner


      • PrinceGeorge
        PrinceGeorge commented
        Editing a comment

        Okay, so should I learn all the the minor scale keys, and scales, or should I just learn the relative major/minors?


        Thanks for the help.