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  • rbedwell3

Five ways to modulate to the relative minor

It is a really basic change, the key of C major to the key of A minor, but so many of my students didn't know how to so I have made a simple list of 5 interesting ways to change to the relative minor key. (The key point here is key, not chord.)

  1. The easiest and quickest way is to take the fifth note of the Major scale and sharpen it. This makes the scale of A Harmonic minor and voila.

2. The second is slightly longer but a bit more rewarding: Modulate up a fifth to G Major, change G to G# and the scale is now A Melodic. Resolve with A Harmonic minor or Aeolian. Simmer until ready.

3. This is the reverse of the above: Modulate back a fifth to F Major and sharpen to G to G# to get the scale of A Neapolitan minor. Nice. Resolve to scales mentioned above.

4. Getting into professional territory now: In C Major, change A to Ab to create C Harmonic Major, cool. Flatten the E to Eb to get C Harmonic minor. Raise the sixth note Ab to get C Melodic. Change Eb to E and finally raise the G to G# to end on A Harmonic minor. Leave in a warm, dark place.

5. Finally, one that is a bit more complex but sounds great, especially served with jazz quartet. In C Major, change G to G# for A Harmonic minor and then immediately change D to D#, without letting it boil over. You are now playing A Hungarian minor. Fragrant. Now lower G# to G for E Neapolitan minor, raise the F to F# for E Harmonic minor and to serve, modulate back a fifth to A Harmonic minor. Serves 7 Billion.

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