The aeolian mode (natural minor scale) | Guitar lesson diagrams, patterns and theory
The aeolian mode (also called "natural minor scale" or "relative minor scale) is the sixth mode of the major scale, it is known as a relative minor to the major scale (ionian mode). This mode can be formed by using the same notes as the major scale, but starting and ending with the 6th degree of the major scale. You can consider this 6th degree as the root. This is the third of the three minor modes (aeolian, dorian and phrygian) of the major scale and a very important minor mode to master. It has a minor third (b3), a minor seventh (b7) and a minor sixth (b6).
|A aeolian mode||A||B||C||D||E||F||G|
(W = whole step ; H = half step)
You can play the aeolian mode over these minor chords :
min, min7, min9, min11, min7#5
The aeolian mode in twelve keys
Here is the aeolian mode in twelve keys. Each jazz guitar student must memorize the structure of this minor type scale which is W-H-W-W-H-W-W and be able to play it in any key on the guitar. The parent major scale is also shown in this chart, it is located a minor third above the tonal center (root). For example, it means that the A aeolian mode is related to the C major scale (ionian mode). These two modes are made up of the same tones but they have a different tonal center.
|Mode||Tones||Parent major scale|
|A Aeolian Mode||A,B,C,D,E,F,G||C major|
|Bb Aeolian Mode||Bb,C,Db,Eb,F,Gb,Ab||Db major|
|B Aeolian Mode||B,C#,D,E,F#,G,A||D major|
|C Aeolian Mode||C,D,Eb,F,G,Ab,Bb||Eb major|
|Db Aeolian Mode||C#,D#,E,F#,G#,A,B||E major|
|D Aeolian Mode||D,E,F,G,A,Bb,C||F major|
|Eb Aeolian Mode||Eb,F,Gb,Ab, Bb, Cb, Db||Gb major|
|E Aeolian Mode||E,F#,G,A,B,C,D||G major|
|F Aeolian Mode||F,G,Ab,Bb,C,Db,Eb||Ab major|
|F# Aeolian Mode||F#,G#,A,B,C#,D,E||A major|
|G Aeolian Mode||G,A,Bb,C,D,Eb,F||Bb major|
|G# Aeolian Mode||G#,A#,B,C#,D#,E,F#||B major|
Other minor scales
Aeolian guitar patterns
Here are two recommended patterns to play the aeolian mode (natural minor scale). To understand and hear this mode, it is recommended to play these guitar patterns starting with the root "R".
The root note give its name to the scale, each scale has a root.
To play the A aeolian mode using the first position you have to put your fourth finger (little finger) on the sixth string at the fifth fret.
To play the A aeolian mode using the second pattern you must put your fourth finger on the fifth string at the twelfth fret.
To practice the aeolian mode in different keys you have to move the root "R" to the desired note keeping the same intervals.
Printable eBooks - PDF
Printable PDF eBook method containing 50 exercises with tabs & standard notation to practice the essential jazz guitar chords over the II-V-I progression.
This PDF eBook contains 11 guitar lessons with chords, tabs, standard notation analysis & audio files about the main blues progressions used in jazz music.
This PDF eBook method contains 25 altered jazz guitar licks with tabs, patterns, scale charts and audio files to learn to master the altered scale.
40 easy jazz, blues guitar licks with tabs & scale charts. Printable PDF & eBook method to learn to play in the style of Wes Montgomery & Charlie Christian.
This PDF eBook is about 25 soul jazz guitar licks in the style of Grant Green, Melvin Sparks. Lessons with tabs, diagrams, backing track & audio files.
This printable PDF book will help you to understand which scales should be played over a minor II-V-I sequence. Jazz guitar lesson with tabs & audio.
This jazz guitar eBook pdf contains 10 II-V-I jazz guitar licks with tabs, backing tracks, scales charts. Dorian, mixolydian, bebop and altered scales.
This eBook PDF contains 25 dominant diminished jazz guitar patterns using the half-whole diminished scale and some diminished 7th arpeggios.
This printable PDF eBook contains 25 minor jazz guitar licks with tabs, video links, analysis. How to play modes, scales & arpeggios over minor chords.
The tritone substitution is explained through 5 jazz guitar licks with tabs/notation, youtube video links and backing track links. Printable PDF eBook
Last edited: 06/03/2017