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A Harmonic Minor Scale is considered a minor scale and its home chord is a minor triad.


The intervals in this scale after the Tonic note are Major 2nd, Minor 3rd, Perfect 4th, Perfect 5th, Minor 6th and Major 7th. 


The Swars are Sa, Re, ga, ma, Pa, dha, Ni – all Swars are Shuddh except komal ga.


Because of this structure, the triad built on Pa is Major. For instance, if your tonic note is A, in the A Natural Minor scale (A, B, C, D, E, F, G), you would commonly find the chords Am, Dm, Em. However, in the A Harmonic Minor scale (A, B, C, D, E, F, G#), you would commonly find the chords Am, Dm, E. 


Other chords you can play based on each of the notes would be B-dim, C-Aug, F, G#dim. In terms of 7th chords, E7 is commonly used in this scale. Keep in mind though that popular songs will often break these rules and you could have other chords being played to match the melody and harmony arrangement. 

Raag Kirwani uses a scale equivalent to the Harmonic Minor scale and has been used as the basis for many super hit songs. Most songs based on this Raag will have a strong presence of a Major triad or Dominant 7th on the Pa Swar, resolving to the home minor triad built on the Tonic note or Sa. 


Here’s a fretboard diagram showing the notes in an A Harmonic Minor scale. 

Read "Khaas Baat" handbook for more!

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