A Natural Minor Scale is relative to a Major Scale, meaning that it shares the same notes.  For example the C Major Scale and the A Natural Minor Scale are relative:

  • C Major –                C – D – E – F – G – A – B – C
  • A Natural Minor – A – B – C – D – E – F – G – A

The difference between these two scales is that they do not share the same key or tonal center, C major is in C and A Natural Minor is in A.  The relationships between the scale tones in the Natural Minor scale is as follows:

  • A tone B semitone C tone D tone E semitone F tone G tone A

These same relationships will be shared by every Natural Minor scale, only the tonal center of starting note will change.  If translating the Natural Minor into numbers it would appear as follows:

  • 1 -2 – b3 – 4 – 5 – b6 -b7 – 8

This numbering is as compared to the parallel Major Scale.  If you were to lower the 3rd, 6 and 7 of an A major scale you would arrive at an A Natural minor scale.  The primary difference between any Major and Minor sound is found in the semitone difference in the 3rd.