Circle of Minor Keys



Looking back at my last post and reflecting on some of my reader's comments, 
I wanted to do a follow up post regarding minor keys. I had posted a song on YouTube, Winter Sonata, and had used mostly broken chords (arpeggios.) I use this style of playing in Classical music, romantic songs, sometimes new age music and especially for endings that seem to close out a particular song. I'm talking about rolling the chord, whether ascending or descending.


The Circle of Minor Keys

We have studied together and looked at the "circle of 4ths and the "circle of 5ths" before. Many folks are not familiar with the minor circle but it works pretty much the same ways as the circle of major keys but with one exception.


When you're trying to figure out the 3 chords to any key, look to the left and right of the circle but keep in mind that most songs written in the western hemisphere use the harmonic scale instead of the natural minor scale. The chord to the left is usually a major chord instead of a minor chord.


Here's an example. In the Key of Am, the 3 most likely chords would be Am, Dm and E Major, not E minor. Another way to say it, i is minor chord, iv is a minor chord and the V chord is Major. Now that you are learning what chords move up a 4th or 5th or down a 4th or 5th, you'll quickly recognize what the key of the song is and what chords are most likely in the song. So, memorize the Circle of Minor Keys.


It's the inner circle I'm focusing on in this lesson.


Am


Dm


Gm


Cm


Fm


Bbm


Ebm


Abm


Dbm


Gbm


Bm


Em


Practice playing in the minor key signatures and then switching back and forth to its
relative Major Key.


Let's talk a bit about minor keys and the bass notes. For example, the C Harmonic 
Minor Scale is C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, B, C.


If the bass note is C, the most common chord is Cm. Other possibilities would be, the iv chord with its fifth in the bass (Fm/C). For more info, visit Minor Keys

Here are the chords to Pirates of the Caribbean:  

Dm Bb Am Dm
Bb F C Dm
Dm Gm Am Dm
Bb Dm A A7

Dm Bb Am Dm
Bb F C Dm
Dm Gm Am Dm
Bb Dm A
Dm C Bb A
Gm A

Dm C Dm 
Dm C D

Dm C F Bb
F Am Dm Dm
Dm C F Bb
Gm Am A

Dm Bb F C 
Gm Am Am Dm 


Chords 101 and 102 Collection






"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King
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