How to Play a Minor Scale in Country Guitar

Learn how to play a minor scale in country guitar from musician Boo Reiners in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Playing minor scales in country guitar is a lot of fun. It can be used for a sad song. In the key of C, we have the scale degrees, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, one. And that's a formula. And we've got whole steps, half steps. We've got two half steps. The rest of them are whole steps. The relative minor chord of C would be A minor. A minor has its own scale. That scale also has two half steps, but where they come in is in a little bit displaced place from the relative major, the C major.

So let's look at the A minor scale for a second. Here's an A minor chord. I've got an A note on the fifth string, played open. And I can just spell out a C major scale basically, but starting on an A note and ending on an A note. So here I go with A, B, C, D, E, F, G, A. And I'll go backwards. A, G, F, E, D, C, B, A. So together again. So it's got a darker sound, a darker mood and flavor than the C major scale or even an A major scale.

Just to show you how different the A major and the A minor scale sound. A minor again. And here's A major.

And like I said, there's a real moody quality obviously to that minor scale sound, so you'll be wanting to check that out in all different keys. And listen for it when you're listening to music. Listen to a song and say, "Oh, that sounds like it's in a minor scale. I wonder what the key is? Oh, it's in B minor."

And that's kind of how you go down this road of getting these scales working for you when trying to play melodies and play solos on the guitar. So enjoy that.

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