F Minor Scale – Notes, Chords and More

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This lesson is all about the F minor scale. We will take a look at the three types of minor scale, the natural minor, melodic minor and harmonic minor scales.

F Natural Minor Scale

Let’s start with the F natural minor scale. This scale consists of the pitches, F, G, A♭, B♭, C, D♭, and E♭. It has four flats.

To learn more about this scale and others, check out my course, Learn Scales & Music Theory & Give Yourself An Upper Hand.

Fm Scale Note Intervals

  1. Tonic: F is the 1st note of the F natural minor scale.
  2. Major 2nd: G is the 2nd note of the scale.
  3. Minor 3rd: Ab is the 3rd note of the scale.
  4. Perfect 4th: Bb is the 4th note of the scale.
  5. Perfect 5th: C is the 5th note of the scale.
  6. Minor 6th: Db is the 6th note of the scale.
  7. Minor 7th: Eb is the 7th note of the scale.
  8. Perfect 8th: F (one octave higher) is the 8th note of the B natural minor scale.

Here’s a diagram of the F natural minor scale on the treble clef.F minor scale on the treble clef.

Here’s the F natural minor scale on the bass clef.F minor scale on the bass clef.

Here’s the F natural minor scale on piano.The F minor scale on piano.

Fm Scale Degrees:

  1. Tonic: F
  2. Supertonic: G
  3. Mediant: Ab
  4. Subdominant: Bb
  5. Dominant: C
  6. Submediant: Db
  7. Subtonic: Eb
  8. Octave: F

The relative major of F minor is Ab major. Minor keys and their relative major make use of the same notes. The notes of the F minor scale as we’ve seen are F, G, A♭, B♭, C, D♭, and E♭. For the Ab major scale, it’s  A♭, B♭, C, D♭, E♭, F and G. The difference is the root note of the two scales. The sixth note of a major scale becomes the root note of its relative minor.

You can memorize this formula to form any natural minor scale: whole step – half step – whole step – whole step – half step – whole step – whole step or w – h – w – w – h – w – w. (A whole step skips a key while a half step moves to the next key.)  Let’s try this with the F minor scale. Let’s start on F and move a whole step to G. From G move a half step to Ab. Next, we move a whole step from Ab to Bb. From Bb, let’s move a whole step to C. Next, we go up a half step from C to Db. From Db, we move up one whole step to Eb. Finally, we move a whole step from Eb to F.

What are the fingerings for the F minor scale? They are as follows:

  • Notes: F, G, Ab, Bb, C, Db, Eb, F
  • Fingerings (Left Hand ): 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 3, 2, 1
  • Fingerings (Right Hand): 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4

Thumb: 1, index finger: 2, middle finger: 3, ring finger: 4 and pinky finger: 5.

Let’s now take a look at the chords in the key of F minor.

  1. Chord i: F minor. Its notes are F – Ab – C.
  2. Chord ii: G diminished. Its notes are G – Bb – Db.
  3. Chord III: Ab major. Its notes are Ab – C – Eb.
  4. Chord iv: Bb minor. Its notes are Bb – Db – F.
  5. Chord v: C minor. Its notes are C – Eb – G.
  6. Chord VI: Db major. Its notes are Db – F – Ab.
  7. Chord VII: Eb major. Its notes are Eb – G – Bb.

Chords in the key of F minor. All about the key of Fm and its chords.

F Harmonic Minor Scale

Let’s now take a look at the F harmonic minor scale.

The harmonic minor scale raises the seventh note of the natural minor scale by a half-step, when ascending and descending the scale. For example, the notes of the F natural minor scale are  F – G – A♭- B♭- C – D♭- E♭- F. For the F harmonic minor scale, the notes are F – G – A♭- B♭- C – D♭- E – F. The seventh note of the scale has been changed from Eb to E. It’s now a half step (or semitone) higher.

The formula for forming a harmonic minor scale is W-H-W-W-H-W 1/2-H.

Harmonic Minor Scale Intervals

  1. Tonic: The 1st note of the F harmonic minor scale is F.
  2. Major 2nd: The 2nd note of the scale is G.
  3. Minor 3rd: The 3rd note of the scale is Ab.
  4. Perfect 4th: The 4th note of the scale is Bb.
  5. Perfect 5th: The 5th note of the scale is C.
  6. Minor 6th: The 6th note of the scale is Db.
  7. Major 7th: The 7th note of the scale is Eb.
  8. Perfect 8th: The 8th note of the scale is F.

Here’s a diagram of the F harmonic minor scale on piano.The F harmonic minor scale on piano.

Here’s the F harmonic minor scale on the treble clef.The F harmonic minor scale on treble clef.

Here’s the F harmonic minor scale on the bass clef.The F harmonic minor scale on bass clef.

F Melodic Minor Scale

Let’s now take a look at the melodic minor scale. For this scale, you raise the sixth and seventh notes by a half step as you go up the scale and then return to the natural minor as you go down the scale. The notes of the F melodic minor scale ascending are: F – G – A♭- B♭- C – D – E – F. The notes of the B melodic minor scale descending are: F – G – A♭- B♭- C – D♭- E♭- F.

The formula for a melodic minor scale is W-H-W-W-W-W-H. The descending formula is the natural minor scale formula backwards.

Melodic F Minor Scale Intervals

  1. Tonic: The 1st note of the F melodic minor scale is F.
  2. Major 2nd: The 2nd note of the scale is G.
  3. Minor 3rd: The 3rd is Ab.
  4. Perfect 4th: The 4th note is Bb.
  5. Perfect 5th: The 5th note is C.
  6. Major 6th: The 6th is D.
  7. Major 7th: The 7th is E.
  8. Perfect 8th: The 8th note of the scale is F.

Here’s a diagram of the melodic F minor scale on piano.The F melodic minor scale on piano.

Here’s the scale on the treble clef.The F melodic minor scale on the treble clef.

Here’s the scale on the bass clef.The F melodic minor scale on the bass clef.

Remember that for the melodic minor scale, when descending, you play the natural minor scale.

Piano Scales – All Types

Piano Music Scales – Major and Minor

Be sure to check out the Piano For All piano lessons. It’s my favorite online course for learning how to play piano.

 

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