How to create minor scale diatonic chords?
Example: A Minor Diatonic Chords
A – B – C – D – E – F – G – A are the notes of the A minor scale.
Diatonic chords are formed by stacking two generic third notes above each scale note.
A Minor Diatonic Chords
These are the seven minor scale diatonic chords that come from the A natural minor scale.
Each diatonic chord is labelled with a roman numeral number.
i, iiº, III, iv, v, VI, VII
We use uppercase roman numeral numbers to represent major chords, lowercase to represent minor chords, uppercase with a small plus sign to represent augmented chords, and lowercase with a small circle to represent diminished chords.
The seven diatonic chords in the A natural minor key are:
i – The first chord: A C E (root, minor third and perfect fifth) is a minor chord (A minor chord)
iiº – The second chord: B D F (root, minor third, diminished fifth) is a diminished chord (B diminished chord)
III – The third chord: C E G (root, major third, perfect fifth) is major chord (C major chord)
iv – The fourth chord: D F A (root, minor third and perfect fifth) is a minor chord (D minor chord)
v – The fifth chord: E G B (root, minor third and perfect fifth) is a minor chord (E minor chord)
VI – The sixth chord: F A C (root, major third, perfect fifth) is a major chord (F major chord)
VII– The seventh chord: G B D (root, major third, perfect fifth) is a major chord (G major chord)
All natural minor diatonic chords follow the same pattern of chord quality: i iiº III iv v VI VII
A different chord quality pattern applies to harmonic and melodic minor diatonic chords.
A Harmonic Minor Diatonic Chords
Raise the 7th note of the natural minor scale by a half step and you have a harmonic minor scale. Let’s look at the A natural minor scale for example, the G note in A natural minor is the 7th note of the scale. If we raise the G note a half step higher, it is now a G Sharp. With the G Sharp, we now have the A harmonic minor scale: A – B – C – D – E – F – G♯ – A
only 3, 5, 7 diatonic chords have the G note in A natural minor (now G Sharp in A harmonic minor), therefore
III+ is now a C augmented chord: C E G♯
V is now a E major chord: E G♯ B
viiº is now a G Sharp diminished chord: G♯ B D
i iiº III+ iv V VI viiº is the chord qualify pattern for harmonic minor diatonic chords
A Melodic Minor Diatonic Chords
Again, raise the 6th note of the harmonic minor scale by a half step and you now have a melodic minor scale. In this A harmonic minor scale example, the F note in harmonic minor is now the F sharp in melodic minor scale: A – B – C – D – E – F♯ – G♯ – A
This time, only 2, 4, 6 diatonic chords have the F note in A harmonic minor (now F Sharp in A melodic minor)
ii is now a B minor chord: B D F♯
IV is now a D major chord: D F♯ A
viº is now a F Sharp diminished chord: F♯ A C
All melodic minor scales follow this pattern: i ii III+ IV V viº viiº
There are a total of 13 minor scale diatonic chords that harmonize the A minor scale. (7 in natural minor, 3 more in harmonic minor and 3 more in melodic minor)
Minor Scale Diatonic Chords in Other Keys
Diatonic Chords of C Minor Scale
Diatonic Chords of C Sharp Minor Scale
Diatonic Chords of D Minor Scale
Diatonic Chords of D Sharp Minor Scale / E Flat Minor Scale
Diatonic Chords of E Minor Scale
Diatonic Chords of F Minor Scale
Diatonic Chords of F Sharp Minor Scale
Diatonic Chords of G Minor Scale
Diatonic Chords of G Sharp Minor Scale / A Flat Minor Scale
Diatonic Chords of A Minor Scale
Diatonic Chords of A Sharp Minor Scale / B Flat Minor Scale
Diatonic Chords of B Minor Scale
Piano Chord Progression Poster
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