An Introduction to the B Flat Minor Scale

You may think that learning about minor scales is a difficult task. After all, they consist of keys that are rarely used, right?

First off, musicians use minor keys quite a bit in intermediate and advanced works of music. Secondly, they aren’t challenging at all for any beginner to learn and understand.

Before you actually get into learning the scales on your instrument, you need to know more about what they are. Today, we’re going to learn more about a rather popular scale, the B flat minor.

The B flat minor scale is an impressive scale to learn, and when you understand how it works, you’ll certainly be using it for many of your future music selections. Keep reading to learn more. Oh, we also have a blog for the B flat minor chord and A flat minor scale.

B Flat Minor: the Basics

The first thing you should know is, like other scales, you can play the B flat minor scale (also written as “Bb minor scale”) on both the treble and the bass.

Like every natural flat note, the B flat minor scale can also go by another name [1]: the A sharp (A#).

The reason why one would use the terms Bb and A# interchangeably would be for two reasons.

The first would be to better fit all the notes used in the composition. The second would be in the case that an accidental (a note used outside of the stated key or keys) is used within the piece.

Minor scales are known for their use in darker or edgier music, and the B flat minor scale is no exception. But, there are three different scales to play the Bb chord on – the natural, harmonic, and melodic minor scales.

Each scale is a slight alteration of the B flat scale.

The natural scale is the most common of the three and is used in many musical performances. This is the same scale that follows the A# natural minor scale mentioned earlier in this article.

On the piano, the notes would be as follows: Bb, C, Db, Eb, F, Gb, Ab, Bb.

The next scale, the B flat harmonic minor scale, is a very slight change to the natural minor scale. With the harmonic scale, you simply raise the seventh key by a half step.

On the piano, it will look like: Bb, C, Db, Eb, F, Gb, A, Bb.

The final scale is Bb melodic minor scale [2].

The melodic minor scale may be a bit tricky to learn at first due to the placement of the keys. That’s because instead of simply moving the seventh note by a half step, you must move both the sixth and seventh notes by a half step.

With this in mind, the chord should look like: Bb, C, Db, Eb, F, G, A, Bb.

The harmonic and melodic minor scales are not as common as the natural minor scale; but, they are present in many higher level works.

Now that you know the basics of the Bb minor scale, as well as the notes with which to play it, you are well on your way to playing it yourself. Happy learning!

Stephanie Su

Started learning music when she was four years old, Stephanie is a music teacher and a music therapist who is highly proficient in Piano, Violin, Guitar, and Ukulele. She likes to learn, teach, and share her music playing experiences.

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