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Issue No.9

Last updated on 8 October, 2016

<BLOGoZON No.8|Back to BLOGoZON list|BLOGoZON No.10>

NATURAL MINOR SCALE GENERATED TWO CHORD TRICKS

BLOGoZON No.8 explored two chord tricks for the harmonized MAJOR SCALE this BLOGoZON takes a look at the harmonized NATURAL MINOR SCALE also known as the RELATIVE MINOR or the AEOLIAN MODE.

Attached below is a table showing the scale chords for the KEY OF A NATURAL MINOR.
(The chart should be read from left to right).

A natural minor scale chords


These seven chords - Am Bdim C Dm Em F G - form the basic ingredients for chord based song writing in a minor key.
To generate ALL of the potential two chord combinations a MATRIX based table is required - see next diagram.

Minor key chord matrix


The problem with using the standard seven chords generated by the minor key is that the DIMINISHED CHORD -
(Bdim in the Key of A minor) does not sound pleasing to most peoples ears in a popular music context.

Hence it is necessary to generate a suitable replacement rather than omitting the progressions that should use the diminished chord.

The table that follows shows the scale chords for all MINOR KEY SIGNATURES.

Scale chord table - Minor keys


The table of scale chords for all the minor keys shows that an A minor chord only appears in three locations

  • Im chord in the key of A minor
  • IVm chord in the key of E minor
  • Vm chord in the key of D minor

MINOR SCALE WITH DORIAN SECOND SUBSTITUTION

If the E minor scale chords are rearranged to make A minor the subject of the equation (in mathematical terminology) the table below is produced.
In this rearranged state the E minor scale is called the A DORIAN MODE (similarly the unchanged A minor scale is called the A AEOLIAN MODE)

Dorian 2nd substituted A minor scale chords


Although confusing musical words have been used to describe what has taken place all that has really happened is that the F natural note in the Bdim chord has been replaced with an F# - this changes the chord to Bm.
The tables below show a comparison between the Bdim and Bm chords.

II dim - B dim IIm - Bm

The chord matrix can now be reconstructed with Bm taking the place of Bdim - see table that follows.

Minor keys scale chord table with Bm substitution


Detailed inspection of the matrix reveals that it is mirrored about the diagonal (shaded green) - in other words
Am - Bm is the first chord change above the diagonal and Bm - Am is the first below it.

In the tables that follow these variations are referred to as ASCENDING and DESCENDING.

The next table shows the generalized relationships for all keys.
In total there are 21 ascending two chord progressions and 21 descending two chord progressions.

Minor keys scale chord table with IIm substitution


The table below details all 15 minor keys with the appropriate dorian second substitution.

Minor scale chord table - Dorian 2nd substitution


Click on the images below to open the relevent pdf file for all 21 two chord progressions in all minor keys (both ascending and descending) with a dorian second substitution.

Aeolian mode with dorian 2nd substitution - sharps ascending Aeolian mode with dorian 2nd substitution - sharps descending
Aeolian mode with dorian 2nd substitution - flats ascending Aeolian mode with dorian 2nd substitution - flats descending


MINOR SCALE WITH PHRYGIAN SECOND SUBSTITUTION

If the D minor scale chords are rearranged to make A minor the subject of the equation (in mathematical terminology) the table below is produced.
In this rearranged state the D minor scale is called the A PHRYGIAN MODE (similarly the unchanged A minor scale is called the A AEOLIAN MODE)

Phrygian substituted A minor scale chords


Although confusing musical words have been used again to describe what has taken place is that the B natural note in the Bdim chord has been replaced with a Bb - this changes the chord to Bb major.
The tables below show a comparison between the Bdim and Bb chords.

II dim - B dim bII - Bb

The chord matrix can now be reconstructed with Bb taking the place of Bdim - see table that follows.

Minor keys scale chord table with Bb substitution


Detailed inspection of the matrix reveals that it is again mirrored about the diagonal (shaded green) - in other words
Am - Bb is the first chord change above the diagonal and Bb - Am is the first below it.

In the tables that follow these variations are referred to as ASCENDING and DESCENDING.

The next table shows the generalized relationships for all minor keys.
In total there are 21 ascending two chord progressions and 21 descending two chord progressions.

Minor keys scale chord table with bII substitution


The table below details all 15 minor keys with the appropriate phrygian second substitution.

Minor keys scale chord table - phrygian substitution


Click on the images below to open the relevent pdf file for all 21 two chord progressions in all minor keys (both ascending and descending) with a phrygian second substitution.

Aeolian mode with phrygian 2nd substitution - sharps ascending Aeolian mode with phrygian 2nd substitution - sharps descending
Aeolian mode with phrygian 2nd substitution - flats ascending Aeolian mode with phrygian 2nd substitution - flats descending

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8 October, 2016


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