Relative Minor Explained

So, cats, perhaps you have heard of the 'relative minor' in music. It's a cool thing which can explode your sonic palate in songwriting and playing. In this post we're bypassing the whole explanation of Major scales, minor scales, note increments and so on. Let's just get to how to apply a relative minor scale.

In music there occurs a situation whereby all the notes of a minor scale exactly match all the notes of a major scale with the only exception being that each scale starts and ends on a different root note. Two examples are given in the diagram below (which is a screen-shot from one of our training videos). As you can see the notes of the a minor scale exactly match the notes of the C Major scale. Therefore the relative minor of C Major is a minor. You can see that the notes of the e minor scale exactly match the notes of the G Major scale. Therefore the relative minor of G Major is e minor.

This concept has many applications as we start adding chords to the notes to create progressions. That's why the column indicates which chord is the root Major chord and it's relative position in the minor sequence. For this post though, there's something else that is awesome cool. When you are soloing (on any instrument) you can now choose from two different scales to use and even swap between them.

To explain... If you have a song that's in the key of G Major *cough - Knocking on Heaven's Door* you could solo using the G Major scale or the e minor scale. Both will work. And, it also works in the opposite way. If you are playing a song in the key of e minor you can surely rip out some G Major scale work.

The relative minor theory works in any key. So if you have a favourite key (Major or minor) why not apply what you've learned here to expand your creativity.

 relative minor diagram

#musiclessons #musictheory #piano #guitar