Scales refer to a series of notes that go in an ascending and descending manner. The notes of the minor scale, unlike the notes on a major scale that sound bright and cheerful,  sound solemn and sad.

In music theory, minor scale may refer to the natural minor, harmonic minor, and melodic minor scales. A minor scale differs from a major scale in that the third degree in a major scale is a major third (four semitones) above the first degree. In other words, the third degree in a major scale is one semitone higher than in a minor scale. When a major scale and a natural minor scale have the same key signature, they are relative keys. A natural minor scale has the same notes as its relative major scale, but is built starting from the sixth note of the relative major scale. A harmonic minor scale differs from a natural minor scale in that the seventh note is raised one semitone. Melodic minor scales raise both the sixth and seventh notes one semitone when ascending, but when descending, the sixth and seventh notes are flattened, producing the natural minor scale.

Building minor Scales

How to play the A minor scale on the Mandolin

The A minor scale is easy to play on the mandolin, especially when using open chords. Nevertheless, it is more beneficiary to learn to play in closed positions, i.e. avoiding open strings. This will give your fingers strength, not to mention that by shifting two fingers down, you will then play the D minor chord. This is only possible when you play closed positions! So here it is:

Other Scales and Key Signatures articles in the Mandolin Theory series