The Aeolian ModeThe Natural Minor Scale

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We covered the Aeolian mode in the Guitar scales section under the name of the natural minor. But being it is a mode here we go.

This scale is good for improvising over minor chords. It contains the minor Pentatonic scale as well as the relative major Pentatonic scale

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This mode can be used to improvise over the ii, iii or vi minor chords of the major scale.

You can also use it to build chords like you do in the major scale or the Melodic and Minor scales.

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Aeolian Scales

Here is what it sounds like played against an A minor chord. It’s a fairly mild sounding scale.

Try starting on the second or ninth note on this scale on beat 2 it gives a minor 9th sound.

This scale also contains the C major scale plus the A minor and C major pentatonic scales.

The A Aeolian played against an A minor chord

The Aeolian List

The Aeolian Formula

This is how you make one from the Major Scale like so…

Aeolian Formula








Remember that this mode is the major scale starting from the 6th note.

This mode can be combined with its Tonic major scale too by adding the C♯, F♯ and G♯ notes while improvising. Experiment.

This would expand the scale to A B C C♯ D E F F♯ G G♯

This will give you another angle or way of thinking for improvising so your solo’s don’t get predictable