Guitar Keys

The Key Of Eb Minor For Guitar

The Key of E Flat Minor for Guitar

The key of Eb minor contains the notes: Eb – F – Gb – Ab – Bb – Cb – Db

Notes in the key of Eb

When assembled in order the notes form the Eb natural minor scale (aka Aeolian mode). For a quick breakdown of the key differences between the natural minor, harmonic minor, and melodic minor scales click here.

Eb or D# minor?

The key of E flat minor (Eb minor) is more practical in music notation and theory than D# minor, and therefore more commonly used. While both keys technically contain the same set of pitches, the choice of key signature and the notation convention make E flat minor more widely used. While both keys have a high number of accidentals (sharps/flats) Eb minor contains 6 flats while D# minor would contain 6 sharps.

Why is there a Cb note and a Cb Major chord in the key of Eb?
Isn’t that just B?

In music theory, the notes in a chord are determined by the accompanying scale from which the chord is derived, in this case, the Eb minor scale which contains the note Cb as opposed to B. It includes this to prevent repeating the same note letter name within the scale e.g. B and Bb. This makes it easier for musicians to read and understand music notation.

The Eb Minor Scale Step Pattern

e flat minor step pattern 1

The Eb minor scale (like all minor scales) follows the step pattern of:
whole, half, whole, whole, half, whole, whole

The Eb Minor Scale on Guitar

The E Flat Minor Scale for Guitar (Charts and Tab)

This is just one way to play the Eb natural minor scale. Keep in mind scales can be played in many different ways.

Chords In The Key Of Eb Minor

All chords within a minor key such as Eb minor follow a step pattern of:

minor, diminished, Major, minor, minor, Major, Major

*Capitalization denotes major
E Flat Minor Chord (Ebmin)
F Diminished Chord (Fdim)
G Flat Major Chord (Gbmaj)
A Flat Minor Chord (Abmin)
b flat minor 1
C Flat Major Chord (Cbmaj)
D Flat Major Chord (Dbmaj)

To construct a minor chord, we can start by building a major chord using the 1st, 3rd, and 5th notes (scale degrees) of the corresponding major scale. For example, in the Eb major scale, we find the notes Eb (1), G (3), and Bb (5).

To transform this major chord into a minor chord, we simply lower the G note (which corresponds to the 3rd scale degree of the major scale) by one-half step (semitone), effectively moving it down one fret on the guitar. This simple modification shifts the chord quality from major to minor, resulting in the notes Eb (1), Gb (b3), and Bb (5).

Eb minorEb, Gb, Bb
f diminishedF, Ab, Cb
Gb MajorGb, Bb, Db
ab minorAb, Cb, Eb
bb minorBb, Db, F
Cb MajorCb, Eb, Gb
Db MajorDb, F, Ab

7th Chords in Eb Minor

Seventh chords include the tonic (1st), third, fifth, and seventh scale degrees of a diatonic scale (a seven-note musical scale consisting of whole and half steps), unlike triads which contain just three notes.

The seventh chord quality can vary depending on the type of seventh interval used in the chord. There are several types of seventh chords, each with its unique sound and function in music.

E Flat Minor 7 Chord (Ebmin7)
F Minor 7 Flat 5 Chord (Fmin7b5)
G Flat Major 7 Chord (Gbmaj7)
A Flat Minor 7th Chord (Abmin7)
B Flat Minor 7 Chord (Bbmin7)
C Flat Major 7 Chord (Cbmaj7)
D Flat Dominant 7th Chord (Db7)
Eb minor 7Eb, Gb, Bb, Db
f minor seventh flat five (fm7b5)F, Ab, Cb, Eb
Gb Major 7Gb, Bb, Db, F
ab minor 7Ab, Cb, Eb, Gb
bb minor7Bb, Db, F, Ab
Cb Major7Cb, Eb, Gb, Bb
Db Dominant 7 (Db7)Db, F, Ab, Cb

Chord Function in Eb Minor

Chords can be categorized into three main functions: tonic, subdominant, and dominant. Tonic chords (i, VI) provide stability. Subdominant chords (iv, ii) introduce some tension but not as much as dominant chords (v, VII) which create the most tension and typically lead to a resolution.

* Capitals denote Major chords, lower case denotes minor chords

For example, The i chord (minor tonic) serves as the central point of stability. As it is constructed on the tonic note of the minor scale (e.g., Eb in the key of Eb minor) it provides resolution.

Alternatively, In the key of Eb minor, the dominant chord is bb min which creates a strong pull toward the tonic chord, Eb minor, creating a sense of resolution when the chord progression resolves back to the tonic.

Common Chord Progressions In Eb Minor

i – VI – VIIebmin – Cbmaj – Dbmaj
i – VII – iv- VIebmin – Dbmaj – abmin – Cbmaj
i – v – VI – VIIebmin – bbmin – Cbmaj – Dbmaj
i – III – VII – VIebmin – Gbmaj – Dbmaj – Cbmaj
i – v – iv – VIIebmin – bbmin – abmin – Dbmaj

Relative Major

The relative major refers to the major key that shares the same key signature as a minor key. In simple terms, they use the same set of notes, but their tonal centers (the tonic) are different e.g. the relative minor starts on the 6th scale degree of the relative major.

In a minor key, the relative major’s tonic note is the 3rd scale degree of the relative minor scale, meaning in the key of Eb minor, Gb Major is the relative major.

The Relative Major of Eb Minor is Gb Major


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