The B Harmonic Minor Scale

b harmonic minor scale

Harmonic minor scales derive from the natural minor scale, which is a seven-note musical scale distinguished by a minor third scale degree (or flat third), minor sixth scale degree (or flat sixth), and minor seventh scale degree.

The natural minor and harmonic minor scales differ in that the former features an elevated seventh degree or leading tone that is added by a semitone. This creates some interesting melodic possibilities when writing music in a minor key, as we’ll explore later.


The b harmonic minor scale is a seven-note scale that begins and ends on “B natural”. It’s commonly used to help create chords, but can also be employed for melodies.

The intervals of the b harmonic minor scale are written as semi-notes or steps from one note to the next octave on the guitar fingerboard. Each note in this scale can be used to construct other chords, but its order determines their quality.

Intervals are the key to understanding the b harmonic minor scale. To begin, memorize these intervals and then play them over various chords in order to develop proper technique.

To master the b harmonic minor scale, you must become familiar with its note degrees – they are identical to major scale notes. With this knowledge, you can begin building the scale from any note and progress through each degree until it reaches its full extent.

The root note (tonic) of any b harmonic minor scale is important to practice as this helps you learn how it will be mapped onto the fretboard when played.

As you progress, use the first b harmonic minor scale degree as a foundation for creating other chords or even melodies. For more information about how to do so, check out the Chords section of this website.

In addition to the root note, the b harmonic minor scale also features two other degrees: fifth degree and seventh degree. The fifth is a tone and a half higher than root, while seventh is one semitone higher than root.

These two scale degrees define a harmonic minor from its natural minor counterpart. The natural minor has one whole step between it and the VIII degree, while in the latter it has a half step between it and IV degree.


Harmonic minor is similar to natural minor in that it shares the same notes, but with one additional semitone raised on the seventh degree: this adds an augmented second between the sixth and seventh degrees that gives off a unique sound unique only to harmonic minor scale.

It is essential to develop an ear for the various modes of the b harmonic minor scale. Doing so will enable you to utilize them in your improvisations and compositions.

The b harmonic minor scale can be combined with other major chords to form an intriguing IV progression, such as i-iv-V7 or i-iv-I-V7-i (see Exhibit 1). You could also employ it with other b7 chords like B7-I-IV or B7-III-IV-V7 (see Exhibit 17).

Minor scales come in three varieties: natural minor, harmonic minor and melodic minor. They differ by the number of lowered scale degrees they contain, the syllables used to represent their solfege note, and the order they ascend and descend.

Similar to major and natural scales, all minor scales begin on C. However, they have a distinct pattern of whole and half steps as shown in Example 4.

Scale degrees and solfege for the natural minor, harmonic minor, and melodic major scales are labeled. The natural minor has three lowered scale degrees; the harmonic minor has two lowered scale degrees; while the melodic minor has one lowered degree in the ascending version.

These scales may be challenging to play, but they offer guitarists an invaluable tool for expanding their repertoire and deepening their musical understanding. Additionally, these scales can benefit players wishing to pursue a more classical aesthetic.

As with any new musical concept, it’s best to start by mastering the basics and build from there. Practice these ideas over a backing track and gradually develop your ear for each mode; this will enable you to decide when and how each sounds when played over different chords.

The b harmonic minor scale is invaluable to bassists as it can be used in a variety of ways to produce different chords and sounds. It’s perfect for improvising over backing tracks or making solos more exciting.


Harmonic minor scales offer an exciting way to add unique sounds to your improvisation. They’re also useful for playing along with a song’s chord progression.

Harmonic minor, unlike its natural minor and minor pentatonic counterparts, features a raised seventh degree that gives off an exotic sound. As such, it’s often employed in genres like jazz, metal and surf rock music.

The notes in the b harmonic minor scale are B, F-sharp, E and D. You can play all twelve notes using two-octave patterns on your guitar’s 6th string and 7th fret; alternatively you may choose to divide the scale into thirds for additional practice in developing your ear.

When playing chords using the b harmonic minor scale, there are a few things to remember. This scale is commonly used in i-iv-v7 progressions as well as mixed progressions that incorporate both harmonic minor and major chords.

In these progressions, the dominant V chord is usually major. On the other hand, when playing a V7 chord in a harmonic minor progression, you must raise its seventh note by half a step so that it corresponds to the seventh on a natural minor scale.

Another significant distinction between natural minor and harmonic minor scales is that in the former, notes six and seven are raised while in the latter they are lowered. This is because natural minor is identical to Aeolian mode while harmonic minor is a half step removed from it.

There are other distinctions you should become familiar with so that you can confidently use this scale when improvising. It would also be beneficial to memorize the b harmonic minor scale formula so you can identify interval qualities when playing any of its triads.

The b harmonic minor scale is an intriguing tool that can be employed in many ways to add unique and exotic tones to your improvisations. It’s popular among jazz, metal and surf rock musicians and it can be great fun to play.


Minor scales possess a unique sound that makes them ideal for improvisations and soloing. They’re an excellent way to introduce new ideas into a song or add some flair to the melody line. The b harmonic minor scale is one such example – and learning it can be fun!

One of the best ways to play this scale is on either the low or high E string of your guitar. Doing so will help develop coordination as you move your hand up and down its neck.

Play this scale by holding your guitar in an open position, where your index finger on the 1st fret, middle finger on the 2nd, ring finger on the 3rd and pinkie on the 4th are. Doing this regularly will improve coordination as you shift fingers around on the fretboard; making it simpler for you to switch scales when performing solos or improvised parts.

The b harmonic minor scale differs from other minor scales in that it contains a major 7th note. This major seventh is raised one semitone to create an unfamiliar sound, breaking away from the traditional pattern of whole steps and half-steps used in other minor scales.

The b harmonic minor scale is an invaluable instrument for musicians seeking to add a unique sound to their songs. It can be employed in improvisations and soloing across many genres such as rock, metal, pop and jazz music.

To begin playing the b harmonic minor scale, place your thumb on the B note and then follow with other fingers, starting with finger number three on D and ending with finger number one on E. This is standard fingering for any minor scale; however, it’s essential to practice using this correct technique before playing a song or improvised part in this key.

When playing a scale in the left hand, be sure to maintain an even rhythm. You could also try adding an accent on every fourth note for two and four octave scales.