How to work out the minor scale

What most people refer to as the minor scale is in fact the natural minor scale, or Aolian mode.
A scale is any consecutive series of notes
that form a progression between
one note and it's octave.
I completed my post "What is a scale" by stating:
What differentiates one scale from another is not the notes that are used, rather it is the intervals (musical distance) between the notes.

Therefore we can define a scale by these intervals - and what we end up with is a "STEP PATTERN".

We are considering the natural minor scale step pattern in this tutorial.

I've also written tutorials covering step patterns for the major, minor pentatonic and major pentatonic scales.

To enable us to work out a scale we need to be familiar with the twelve notes which are used in western music. Here they are for us to refer to:
Chromatic-scale reference

G, G# , A , A# , B , C , C# , D , D# , E , F , F# , G , G# , A , A# etc

The natural-minor step pattern is:
Tone , Semitone , Tone , Tone , Semitone , Tone , Tone

If we take the example of C; a tone up from C is D, a semitone up from D is D#. The next two steps are tone's, giving us F & G. Next is a semitone step from G, which is G#. Finally, two more tone-steps which gives us A# and then ending on our root-note of C.

The C natural-minor scale is therefore:

C , D , D# , F , G , G# , A# , C

As with the major-scale, click here for a table that you can fill out. This will result in you having a record of the natural-minor scale in all 12 possible keys.

IMPORTANT: Consider the notes of the A natural minor scale = A, B, C, D, E, F, G, A. Compare this to the notes of the C major scale = C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C. There is something important for you to appreciate and learn here, if it is not already apparent to you. Check out my 'Modes - What are they?" tutorial for a better understanding of how two different scales can contain exactly the same notes.
NOTE: This post contains excerpts from my 'Understanding Music for Guitarists' eBook.

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