# 3.16 The D minor scale

 Category: Harmony | Tags: Minor scales, Ear training: scales

### Theory

In this chapter, you’ll learn how you can make the D minor scale by applying the sequence: whole - half - whole - whole - half - whole - whole, starting from D. You’ll also learn how to make the harmonic and melodic D minor scale. In the videos, I show how to play the D minor scale on the piano. In the ear training exercise, you’ll learn how to recognize an wrongly played note in the F major scale and the A and D minor scales.

## 1. The structure of the D minor scale

Every minor scale consists of the following sequence: whole - half - whole - whole - half - whole - whole. When you apply this sequence starting from D, you get the tones D E F G A Bb C D.

### Examples

Which tones will you get if you construct a minor scale, starting from D?

The D minor scale is comprised of the notes: D E F G A Bb C D.
The D minor scale has one flat: B flat.
This scale is also called the natural D minor scale.

## 2. The D minor scale played on the piano

The D minor scale ascending and descending, played by the right hand over one and over two octaves.

The fingering of the D minor scale played with the right hand.

The D minor scale ascending and descending, played by the left hand over one and over two octaves.

The fingering of the D minor scale played with the left hand.

## 3. The structure of the harmonic D minor scale

In the harmonic minor scale, the seventh note is raised. When you apply this to the D minor scale, you get the tones D E F G A Bb C# D.

### Examples

In the harmonic D minor scale, C, the seventh note, is raised to become a C#.

## 4. The harmonic D minor scale played on the piano

The harmonic D minor scale ascending and descending, played by the right hand over one and over two octaves.

The fingering of the harmonic D minor scale played with the right hand.

The harmonic D minor scale ascending and descending, played by the left hand over one and over two octaves.

The fingering of the harmonic D minor scale played with the left hand.

## 5. The structure of the melodic D minor scale

In the melodic minor scale, the sixth and the seventh notes are both raised. When you apply this to the D minor scale, you get the tones D E F G A B C# D.

### Examples

In the melodic D minor scale, Bb and C, the sixth and the seventh notes, are both raised and become B and C#.
Descending, the sixth and seventh tones of the melodic minor scale are often not raised, but played as the natural D minor scale.

## 6. The melodic D minor scale played on the piano

The melodic D minor scale ascending, played by the right hand over one and over two octaves.

The fingering of the melodic D minor scale played with the right hand.

The melodic D minor scale ascending, played by the left hand over one and over two octaves.

The fingering of the melodic D minor scale played with the left hand.

## 7. Ear training

### Practise

Ear Training exercise 3k: being able to hear a wrongly played note in the F major scale and the A and D minor scales.

### Example question

In the next scale a wrong note is played:

Which note is played incorrectly?

### Practical steps

The notated scale is the D minor scale. Sing the scale being played to train your inner hearing abilties. Listen to how this scale differs from the minor scale.

Answer: the wrong note being played is the third note, the B flat.