Harmonic Minor Scale on Bass

Welcome to this long-awaited lesson in harmonic minor scale.

We are going to focus this lesson in a global way, that is to say, apart from studying the minor harmonic scale in the electric bass, any musician will be able to inform himself and apply all this knowledge in his instrument.

But let’s go!

The harmonic minor scale differs from the natural minor scale simply in a note, this note is the major seventh.

Therefore, we can say that the harmonic minor scale is the natural minor scale but with a major seventh.

So, its intervalic formula is:

  • Root
  • Major second
  • Minor third
  • Perfect 4th
  • Perfect 5th
  • Minor sixth
  • Major seventh

Harmonic minor scale formula:
1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, 7

The harmonic minor scale generates a particular sonority that we had not had until then within the major scale or Ionic mode.

Up to now we only had in the Greek scales or modes, between their notes, intervals of tone or semitone.

Well, now this has changed because there is an interval of augmented second or minor third, let’s take a look at the distances between notes of the harmonic minor scale:


There’s the difference !

We have a tone interval and a half between the 6th and 7th grade.

Therefore, this new interval within the scale, will generate chords not seen until now in the major tonality.

For example, augmented chords or chords of diminished 7th or minor chords with major 7th.

Harmonic Minor Scale fingering for Bass

To master well this scale to the electric bass we propose two fundamental fingerings, one with finger 1 and the other with finger 4.

In spite of having the interval of second increased before mentioned both are quite comfortable.

Let’s start with finger fingering 1:

harmonic minor scale bass guitar fingers

As you can see, we are going to pivot on finger two to place finger 4 and open the hand backwards.

Next we show the fingering with finger 4 for bass of the minor harmonic scale:

harmonic minor scale for bass guitar pdf

Using the Harmonic Minor Scale

The use of the harmonic minor scale will not only be restricted to the harmonic minor tonality, which implies having a minor dominant.

We can also have an isolated use in a minor triad chord.

In fact, we can use interchange of scales on a minor triad chord:


These are the chords it generates:

  • Minor chords triad – A minor
  • Minor chords of additional 9th – AmAdd9
  • Minor chords with minor 6 – Am(b6)
  • Minor chords with 7th major – AmMaj7

Harmonic Minor Scales on Bass Clef

Now, look at these harmonic minor scales in the bass clef.

Pay attention as they are written.
Try to write them yourself and also try to play them.

D harmonic Minor Scale on bass Clef

d harmonic minor scale bass

A harmonic Minor Scale on bass Clef

a harmonic minor scale on bass clef

E harmonic Minor Scale on bass Clef

e harmonic minor scale bass clef

F harmonic Minor Scale on bass Clef

f harmonic minor scale bass clef

C harmonic Minor Scale on bass Clef

c harmonic minor scale on bass clef


Do you understand them?
Now, try to write more minor scales harmonic your

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