Altered Minor Scales

Still minor, but more exotic

In general any scale that uses b3 is considered minor. A minor scale may have either (b)7 or maj7, but most of them use (b)7. This first group of scales are all modes, so they don’t belong here:

  • 1 2 b3 4 5 6 (b)7 8, Dorian
  • 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 (b)7 8, Aeolian or natural minor
  • 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 (b)7 8, Phrygian
  • 1 b2 b3 4 b5 b6 (b)7 8, Locrian

Now here are legitimate altered minor scales:

  • 1 2 b3 #4 5 6 maj7 8
  • 1 2 b3 4 5 6 (b)7 maj7 8
  • 1 2 b3 4 5 #5 6 (b)7 8
  • 1 2 b3 #4 5 6 (b)7 8
  • 1 2 b3 4 #4 5 6 (b)7 8
  • 1 2 b3 4 5 #5 6 (b)7 8
  • 1 b2 2 b3 4 5 6 (b)7 8

Just remember, if it’s not a mode, it’s altered. It can’t have 3, because that becomes major. Your scale must have b3. (b)7 or maj7 can be used, or both. You can repeat a degree, meaning you are adding passing tones, and there is not stopping you from adding more than one passing tone, like this:

1 b2 2 b3 4 #4 5 6 (b)7 8

 

 

 

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