The Key Of D Minor: The Scale & Chords In D Minor
The Key Of D Minor: The Scale & Chords In D Minor
Good morning. This is Duane, and today I’d like to take up the key of D minor. The Key Of D Minor: The Scale & Chords In D Minor. The key of D minor is relative to F major. Yesterday, we took up the key of F major, what you needed to know about playing in the key of F, and we decided that there’s three primary chords in any major key. The one chord, the four chord and the five chord. So, the three most used chords in the key of F are F, A flat and C, far and away, but then there’s some secondary chords in every major key.
By the way, there’s only one major key, and that’s part of the problem when we go to minor keys because I’ll show you. There’s three of those, and that makes it a little more complex, but I’ll try to keep it simple today. There’s just one major key. So, in the key of F, you’re dealing with just one major scale is what I’m saying. So, in the key of F, that’s the F major scale. So, the one chord is F. The four chord is B flat and the five chord is C, but then there’s some secondary chords.
The two chord … so we build a chord on the second note of the scale. Why do we use that note, instead of that … because that’s in the scale. We have to use scale notes. We can’t use notes that aren’t in the scale, and then that’s the two chord, and then the next most used chord is the sixth chord. One, two, three, four, five, six, and so if we build a chord there, that’s D minor, and then the next most used chord is the three chord. So, one, two, three … If we build a chord there, that’s A minor.
In other words, in a major key, there’s three primary chords. They’re all major … one, four and five … and there’s three secondary chords which are all minor … two, three and six. Now when we go to minor, that’s not true because there’s three separate minor scales, and I don’t want to confuse you by talking about the different kinds. I’ll just summarize. There’s a natural minor. There’s a melodic minor, and there’s a harmonic minor. The melodic minor is strange because it does one thing going up, and coming down, it does something entirely different. It reverts back to the natural minor scale. Enough about that.
Let’s talk about the primary chords in the key of D minor. I’ll use a natural minor scale to … Now I’ll use a harmonic minor scale, I think, because that gives us that C sharp. The one chord in the key of D minor is D minor. The four chord is G minor and the five chord is A major because of that raised third. If I’m playing in the key of D minor … (music). If I just use those three chords … one, four and five … So, in a minor key, the one chord is minor. The four chord is minor, but the five, seven or the five chord is major.
That’s the difference between major and minor keys. In major keys, you recall … the one, four and five … the three primary chords are major, but in minor key, the one chord is minor. The four chord is minor but the five chord is major. Now, in a major key there was three secondary chords, but in a minor key, that gets complex because of the oddness of the scale. You have three scale choices. There’s one that is used a lot and that is the two chord. One, two .. If I build a chord on E, that’s my chord … E minor if I build it on the natural minor scale, but if I try to use the six chord, what happens? That’s a diminished triad and that’s very seldom used.
If I try to use the three chord, what’s that? That’s major, isn’t it? You see, so there’s only one secondary chord that’s really used very much and that’s the two chord. That’s all you really need to know about the key of D minor. The one chord is D minor. The four chord is G minor and the five chord is A major, and then the secondary chord is E minor. Those four chords will take you a long way in the key of D minor.
Now, tomorrow, I’m going to show you how so many songs toggle between major and minor, and I’m going to play a song tomorrow that will start out in D minor, and then it will toggle to F major and then it’ll toggle back to D minor and then it’ll go to F major and then back to D minor and finally end in D minor, but I’ll wait till tomorrow on that, but that’s interesting because you’re using the primary chords of both keys … the F major scale and the D minor scale.
By the way, they’re called kissing cousins. They’re related because if you go down a step and a half from any major key, that gives you the relative minor key. It’s relative to the key. D minor is relative to the key of F major because they use the same scales notes. That’s why they’re related, and I think I have a video out on that already so if you want to look that up, that’s great. Otherwise, I may talk about that a little more tomorrow. That’s it for today. Tomorrow, as I say, we’ll cover songs that toggle back and forth between major and minor keys. We’ll see you then. Bye bye for now.