Harmonic Minor: Movable Patterns

Welcome back! I'm writing this lesson from the friendly skies, to the far land, over the Pacific Ocean to the Hawaiian Islands. I'm feeling inspired to show you the cool harmonic minor scale, some moveable type patterns, and some ways you can get some fresh new modern type sounds from the scale. Let's begin!

We covered the harmonic minor in a previous lesson, so I won't go in detail in this lesson. The formula for the harmonic minor scale is (1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, 7), a natural minor scale with a raised 7th. It is important to know the scale all over the neck and you should be familiar with the sound of the scale, as well as the modes of the harmonic minor.

Example 1 is a great way to memorize the scale, just by taking 6-note patterns off of each scale degree in 3 octaves. This is in the A harmonic minor scale, (A, B, C, D, E, F, G#) and the first 6-note pattern begins with an F on the 6th string. This 6-note triplet pattern ascends up in 3 octaves and then descends down the 2nd pattern, that is built off of the major 7th degree, G#. Since we are descending down, the 2nd pattern would begin on the high E at the 12th fret.

This pattern continues up the neck ascending and descending off each scale degree, throughout the A harmonic minor scale. This is a great way to memorize your scales and master the fretboard. Also, instead of just playing the 6 notes, you can slide into the 7th note to play all the notes of the scale. Be sure to alternate pick all of the notes.

MP3 - Harmonic Minor: Movable Patterns - Example 1

Example 2 is a 16th note triplet, shred pattern in the G harmonic minor scale, (G, A, Bb, C, D, Eb, F#). This is another 6-note pattern that sounds awesome blazing up the neck. Basically, you play 6 notes ascending, beginning on the 7th degree of the scale, which would begin on the F#, then go back a string and play the next 6 notes ascending, repeating 3 notes on each string. Continue up the neck in this fashion until you reach the high E string, using strict alternate picking.

MP3 - Harmonic Minor: Movable Patterns - Example 2

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OK, that is it for now! As always, be sure to experiment and create your own lines, and be sure to visit www.mikecampese.com for the latest news, updates and releases.

Mike Campese is an all-around music performer, session artist and teacher competent in many musical styles, electric and acoustic. He has studied at G.I.T. (Honors Graduate), and with Paul Gilbert, Norman Brown, Stanley Jordan, Scott Henderson and Keith Wyatt.

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