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Aeolian Scale

The Aeolian scale is a seven note scale whose interval pattern is: whole step, half step, whole
step, whole step, half step, whole step whole step. It is used over a Minor 7th or dominant 7th sus4
chord. The C Aeolian scale contains the notes C,D,Eb,F,G,Ab,Bb. If we play this scale up and down
the A string it looks like this:

high
pitched E
string B
G
D
A C D Eb F G Ab Bb C
low E
pitched Whole step half step Whole step Whole step half step Whole step Whole step

string
It is sometimes easier to think of the Aeolian scale as a Major scale where the 3rd, 6th and
7th have been flatted rather than memorizing the interval pattern. It should also be pointed out that
if we play an Eb Major scale starting on the 6th degree (C) we will be playing a C Aeolian scale
(C,D,Eb,F,G,Ab,Bb,C).

high
pitched
string
E
B
G
D
A Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb F G Ab Bb C
E
low Whole step Whole step half step Whole step Whole step Whole step half step Whole step Whole step half step Whole step Whole step

pitched
string C Aeolian Scale

It is important to know each scale in two ways:

First, memorize its interval pattern or what alterations it has in comparison to C Major. In this case
C Aeolian has a flatted 3rd, 6th and 7th. You want to develop the ability to hear Aeolian as its own

© TrueFire & Bruce Arnold, 2007 | All Rights Reserved


key. The following progressions give you an example of hearing C Aeolian as the key center. No-
tice that all the chords used in these progressions are diatonic to the key of C Aeolian.

|: C-7 / / / :| |: C-7 / / / |F-7 / / / :|


Second, memorize which Major scale a particular mode comes from. In this case C Aeolian is the
6th degree of Eb Major. This second method allows you to group similar scales together. For the
following progression you could just play an Eb Major scale over all the chords because the chord
scale for each chord would have the same notes as an Eb Major and the chord progression is com-
bined in a way that makes you hear Eb Major as the key center.

|: Eb∆7 / / / | C-7 / Bb7sus4 / :|


*Use Aeolian over a From website:
C minor or C7sus4 chord C Aeolian Scale(all 7 positions on guitar) www.arnoldjazz.com
String 6 5
b œ œ œ bœ bœ
4 3 2 1

& œ œ b œ bœ œ œ
b œ b œ œ œ bœ
Fingering
œ œ
1 3 4 1 2 4 1 2 4 1 2 4 1 2 4 1 2 4
Fret 1 3 4 1 3 5 1 3 5 1 3 5 3 4 6 3 4 6

String 6 5
b œ œ œ bœ bœ œ
4 3 2 1

& œ œ b œ bœ œ œ
œ bœ
œ bœ bœ œ
Fingering 1 2 4 1 3 4 1 3 4 1 2 4 1 2 4 1 2 4
Fret 3 4 6 3 5 6 3 5 6 3 5 7 4 6 8 4 6 8

String 6 5
œ œ b œ bœ œ œ
4

œ œ bœ
3 2 1

& œ b œ b œ
b œ œ œ bœ œ

Fingering 1 2 4 1 2 4 1 2 4 1 3 4 1 3 4 1 2 4
Fret 4 6 8 5 6 8 5 6 8 5 7 8 6 8 9 6 8 10

œ b œ b œ œ œ bœ 1

bœ œ
String 6 5 4 3 2

b œ œ œ
&
œ œ b œ œ œ bœ

Fingering
Fret 1 2 4 1 2 4 1 2 4 1 2 4 1 2 4 1 3 4

œ bœ œ
6 8 10 6 8 10 6 8 10 7 8 10 8 9 11 8 10 11

b œ œ
œ œ bœ
1
String 6 5 4
b œ
3 2

œ œ
& œ bœ œ œ bœ bœ
œ
Fingering 1 3 4 1 3 4 1 2 4 1 2 4 1 2 4 1 2 4

œ œ
Fret 8 10 11 8 10 11 8 10 12 8 10 12 9 11 13 10 11 13

œ œ b œ
œ bœ bœ
1

œ
String 6 5 4
b œ
3 2

œ
& œ bœ œ œ bœ bœ œ
© TrueFire & Bruce Arnold, 2007 | All Rights Reserved
Fingering 1 2 4 1 2 4 1 3 4 1 3 4 1 2 4 1 2 4
Fret

œ bœ
10 11 13 10 11 13 10 12 13 10 12 13 11 13 15 11 13 15

œ b œ œ 1

bœ bœ œ
2
String 6

œ b œ œ œ 5 4 3

&b œ œ œ b œ b œ œ
Fingering 1 2 4 1 2 4 1 2 4 1 2 4 1 3 4 1 3 4
Fret 11 13 15 11 13 15 12 13 15 12 13 15 13 15 16 13 15 16
This C Aeolian scale should be learned by thinking the notes i.e. C,D,Eb... or by thinking the degrees
C=1,D=2, etc., Do not just memorize a fingering pattern. After you have mastered the C Aeolian in every
position. You should learn this scale form in all keys. Use Cycle 5 to move through the keys i.e. C then F, Bb,
Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, B, E, A, D, G. Remember always think the notes or the degrees. Good Luck!
Diatonic Triad Chords of Aeolian in all Keys

C Aeolian F Aeolian
E bmaj A bmaj B bmaj A bmaj B bmin D bmaj E bmaj

bœ œ
C min D dim F min F min F min G dim C min

& b œœœ b œœœ bœ


b œœ b œœœ b œœœ b œœ b œœ b œœ b b œœœ

b œœœ b b œœœ b œœ
œ b b œ
œ
b œœ œ b œ
Bb Aeolian Eb Aeolian
B bmin D bmaj E b min G bmaj A bmaj E bmin G bmaj A bmin B b min C maj D bmaj
b

œœ b b b œœœ b b œœœ
C dim F min F dim

œ b œ b œ
œ b œ b œ b b œ
œ b
& b œœ
b œ b b œœœ b b œœœ b b b œœœ b œœ b b œœ b œ b b b œœœ b œœ b b œœ b œ b œ
G# Aeolian C# Aeolian
G #min A # dim C # min D # min F #maj C # min D #dim E maj F #min G #min A maj

# # œœœ
B maj E maj B maj

#œ # œœœ # # # œœœ # # œœœ # # œœœ



# œœœ # # œœœ # œœ # œœœ
& # œ # œœ
# œœ # œ # # œœœ # # œœœ # # œœ

F# Aeolian B Aeolian
F # min G # dim A maj B min C #min D maj E maj B min C # dim D maj E min F # min G maj A maj

#œ œœ #œ œœœ # œœœ
&
#œ œ # œœœ # œœœ

# œœ # œœœ # œœœ # œœ œ
# œœ # œœœ œ # œœ
# œœ # œœ œ

E Aeolian A Aeolian
E min F # dim G maj A min B min C maj D maj A min B dim C maj D min E min F maj G maj

œœ œœ œœœ œœ
& œ # œœ œœœ # œœœ œ œ œœœ œ œ œ
œ œ
# œœ œœœ œœ œ œœ œœ
œœ © TrueFire & Bruce Arnold, 2007 | All Rights Reserved

D Aeolian G Aeolian
B bmaj B bmaj E bmaj F maj
œœœ
C min D min

œ
D min E dim F maj G min A min C maj G min A dim

b œœ œœ b œœœ œœ b œœ œœœ bœ œœ
& œœœ œ b œœœ b œœ œ
œ œ b œœœ b œœœ b œœœ

All RIghts Reserved


Diatonic 7th Chords of Aeolian in all Keys

C Aeolian F Aeolian
C -7 D -7 b 5 E b Maj7 A b Maj7 B b 7 G -7 b 5 A bMaj7 B b-7 D bMaj7 E b7

b œœœ b b œœœœ b œœœœ b œœœ b œœœœ


F -7 G -7 F -7 C -7

& b b œœœœ b œœœœ bœ œ œ b œ


œ b œœ b œœœ b b œœœ
bœ bœ
b œœœ b b œœœ b b œœœ b b œœ b œœ b œ b œ
Bb Aeolian Eb Aeolian
B b-7 5 D b Maj7 E b-7 G b Maj7 A b7 E b-7 F -7 b 5 G b Maj7 A b-7 B b-7 D b7
b

b œœ b b b œœœ b b œœœ
b

b œ b œ
C Maj7

œ œ
C -7 F -7

b œ b œ b œ b œ
& b b œœœ b b b œœœ b b œœœœ b b b œœœ b œœœ b b œœ b œœ b b b œœœ b b œœœ b b œœ b b œœ b œœ b œ b œ
b œ b œ b œ b œ b
15

bœ œ
G# Aeolian C# Aeolian
G #-7 A #-7 b 5 C #-7 D #-7 F #7 C #-7 D #-7 b 5 E Maj7 F #-7 G #-7
# œ # œœ # # # œœœ
B Maj7 E Maj7 A Maj7 B7

# œœ # # œœœ # œ œ # œ
& # # œœ # # œœœ # # # œœœ # # œœœœ # # ## œœœœ # œœ # œ # # œœœœ # ## œœœœ # œœœ # # œœœ # œœ # œœ œ
29

# œœ # œ œ
F# Aeolian B Aeolian
F #-7 G #-7 b 5 C #-7 C #-7 b 5 F #-7 G Maj7

# œœœœ
D Maj7 E 7 B -7 D Maj7 E -7 A7

# œœœ # œœœœ
A Maj7 B -7

# œœœ # œœ # œœœ œœ #œ œœœ


# œœ # œœœ # œœœ # œœœ
43

& œ # œœ # œœ œ #œ # œœ œ # œœ œ #œ
#œ œ
# œœ # œœ
E Aeolian A Aeolian
F #-7 b 5 B -7 b 5 C Maj7
œœœ
E -7 G Maj7 A -7 B -7 C Maj7 D7 A -7 D -7 E -7 F Maj7 G7

œœœ œœ œœœ
# œœœ œœ # œœœœ œœ œœ
57

&œ # œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œ œ
œ œœ
œ œœ œœ œ œœ œœ œœ œ
œœ #œ © TrueFire & Bruce Arnold, 2007 | All Rights Reserved

D Aeolian G Aeolian
E -7 b 5 F Maj7 B bMaj7 A -7 b 5 B b Maj7 E b Maj7 F 7
œœœ œœ b œœ
C -7 D -7

œ
D -7 G -7 A -7 C7 G -7

& œœœœ b œœœ œœ b œœœ b œœ œœ œœœ bœ œœ b œœœ b œœœœ


71

œœ œ b œœœœ b œœœ œœ
œ b œœœœ bœ bœ

All RIghts Reserved