What is a Minor Scale?

Course: What is a Minor Scale?

Picture of TuCuatro


The minor scale on the Venezuelan Cuatro is similar to the major one. The main difference for the natural minor scale is the third, which is minor. So when building a minor scale the pattern corresponding to a minor Scale will be: (Blue representing tones and Orange representing semitones):

Minor Scale Composition

If we were to translate this scale to a specific note, say D then this would be the following notes which would need to be played for the C Major Scale. Take a closer look at how this is played on the Cuatro:

C minor Scale Example

C – D – Eb – F – G – Ab – B

You can see that in the minor scale, the position of the sT (semitones) vary.  In a minor scale you can feel a deeper melody with more emotion, normally tending to sad emotions, and it is typically used in blue songs at a slower peace.

(The example here is based on a harmonic minor, where there is a semitone separating the last two notes.  If we were using a ‘natural’ minor scale, we would be finishing the Cm scale with a Bb)

Let’s listen to a Minor Scale on the Cuatro:

A good example so you can feel how a minor scale influences into a song is the song Nights in white satin interpreted by The Moddy Blues.

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