# 5.18 The C minor scale

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

### Theory

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

## 1. The structure of the C minor scale

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

### Examples

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

The C minor scale is comprised of the notes: C D Eb F G Ab Bb C.
The C minor scale has three flats: B flat, E flat and A flat.
This scale is also called the natural C minor scale.

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the harmonic minor scale, the seventh note is raised. When you apply this to the C minor scale, you get the tones C D Eb F G Ab B C.

### Examples

In the harmonic C minor scale, Bb, the seventh note, is raised to become a B.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

### Examples

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

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

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

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

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

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

## 7. Ear training

### Practise

Ear Training exercise 5e: being able to hear a wrongly played note in the A and E flat major scales and the B and C 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 C melodic minor scale. Sing the scale being played to train your inner hearing abilties. Listen to how this scale differs from the melodic major scale.

Answer: the wrong note being played is the fourth note, the F.