Minor Scales On Guitar

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For a solo player, knowing guitar minor scales is a big plus. Here you’ll find out how they work and see different positions.

1. What’s a minor scale?

As many of its brothers, it’s made of seven notes. The 8th note is the octave. An A Minor (the simplest one to write) is:


I will not get into too many details on the different minor scale degrees for it’s the same process as the major one. If you seek this information though, you can read it here.

However, the way semitones are divided changes a bit:

A Minor Scale
W = Whole Step = 2 semitones
H = Half Step = 1 semitone

The order for a minor scale will always be WH2WH2W.

The frets on your guitar are here to separate semitones. For example, from case 1 to 2, there’s only 1 semitone. And from case 0 to 12? One octave.

It’s essential to get how minor scales function before moving on to the next part. I know it can be confusing sometimes but once you understand the whole process, it makes perfect sense.

2. Guitar Minor Scales Positions

So what are the different positions on the fretboard for an A Minor Scale? Let’s first look at your fingerboard from case 1 to 12:

A Minor Scale Fretboard
Yellow = Tonic
Red = Other degrees

There are actually as many positions as notes on the sixth string: 7 (the 12th degree is the octave so it’s the same as the open chord position). When you attempt all of them, you find out that some are easier to execute than others. Like this one:

A Minor Scale Position 1
1 = Index / 2 = Major /
3 = Ring Finger

The digits designate your fingers. It shows you how to place them on the different cases.

Do you want to see the other positions? It’s available here.

3. Other scales.

As pointed out before, knowing your fretboard is huge. It will develop an array of new possibilities for you.

This website will help you a lot in that matter.

To switch to the other guitar scales articles, click on the following links:


  1. Nice article. I am just starting the learning process and this article was easy for me to understand. The clear graphics also really helped keep things clear for me.

  2. Sweet website! Was looking online for some help to get started in the world of guitar playing. Seems very thorough. Thanks for posting! Looking forward to seeing what other content you put out in the future.

  3. Great article – I especially like the large clear images of finger placement. Now if I only had longer fingers, I’d be all set!

    1. Thanks Kathee. Glad you liked this article. You can improve your finger placement by doing some hand and finger stretching every day. If you’re interested in learning how, let me know.

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