How to build a Natural Minor Scale?

There are three kinds of minor scales: Natural Minor, Harmonic Minor, and Melodic Minor scales. We will learn how to build natural minor scales here.

Natural Minor Scales

The natural minor scale has the following scale formula:
W – H – W – W – H – W – W

H = half step
W = whole step

(A half step ( H ) is the distance between two adjacent keys on a piano keyboard, and it is the smallest musical interval in music. A whole step ( W ) is the distance equal to two half steps.)

Example: C Minor Scale
Let’s begin with the root note C on the piano keyboard.


A whole step above C is D.
A half step above D is E♭.
A whole step above E♭ is F.
A whole step above F is G.
A half step above G is A♭.
A whole step above A♭ is B♭.
A whole step above B♭ is C.

C – D – E♭ – F – G – A♭ – B♭ – C are the notes of the C minor scale. 


Degrees of the scale

There are seven different notes in each scale. Scale degree refers to the position of each scale note. Each scale note has a scale degree name. For example, C is the first scale degree of C minor scale. The name of the first scale degree note is the Tonic. Second note is called the Supertonic. Third note is the Mediant. Fourth note is the Subdominant. Fifth note is the Dominant. Sixth note is the Submediant, Seventh note is called Leading tone (for major scales) and Subtonic (for minor scales).

How to build a major scale?