Modes of the harmonic minor scale
Modes of a scale are constructed by moving the tonic on the different degrees of this scale. There are seven modes of the harmonic minor scale just as there are with the diatonic scale, none of them have common names :
- Harmonic minor mode I : Harmonic minor scale (minor). It is the most used of the seven modes, his formula is 1- 2 - b3 - 4 - 5 - b6 - 7.
- Harmonic minor mode II : Locrian 13 or Locrian 6 (half-diminished). Formula is 1 - b2 - b3 - 4 - b5 - 6 - b7. It is played over m7b5 chords in a minor II-V-I sequence for example.
- Harmonic minor mode III : Ionian #5 (augmented). Formula is 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - #5 - 6 - 7. It is used to play over augmented chords.
- Harmonic minor mode IV : Dorian #11 (minor). Formula is 1 - 2 - b3 - #4 - 5 - 6 - b7.
- Harmonic minor mode V : Phrygian dominant (dominant). Formula is 1 - b2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - b6 - b7. It can be played over dominant 7th chords.
- Harmonic minor mode VI : Lydian #9 (major). Formula is 1 - aug2 - 3 - aug4 - 5 - 6 -7 .
- Harmonic minor mode VII. Super locrian bb7 (diminished). Formula is 1 - b2 - b3 - b4 - b5 - b6 - bb7.
The most used are the modes I, II, III and V. Click on the links below to access the full lessons.
How to play the harmonic minor scale on guitar. Diagrams, patterns, positions, fingering and jazz guitar licks.