D harmonic minor

D harmonic minor on scale

Fig 1. The notes of D harmonic minor on the stave.

D harmonic minor

Fig 2. The notes of D harmonic minor on the fretboard.

The scale of D harmonic minor starts on the root note D and then follows the step pattern common to all the harmonic minor scales: tone, semitone, tone, tone, semitone, augmented second (one a half tones), semitone (Fig 1). The big jump between the sixth and seven notes – one and a half tones – is what gives the scale its Spanish or Arabic flavor. Using this pattern, the notes of the D harmonic minor scale turn out to be D, E, F, G, A, B♭, C♯. Fig 2 shows the position of these notes on the guitar fretboard.


Playing and harmonizing in the key of D harmonic minor

The triads built upon the scale notes of D harmonic, and which therefore harmonize with a melody played in this key, are:


Dmin  Edim  Faug  Gmin  Amaj  Bbmaj  C#dim


Among the ways these chords can be played on the guitar are the following:


D minor chord chart
D minor
E diminished chord chart
E diminished
F augmented chord chart
F augmented
G minor chord chart
G minor
A major chord chart
A major
B flat major chord chart
B♭ major
C sharp diminished chord chart
C♯ diminished


Adding the seventh note to these triads extends the palette of available chords that can be harmonized with notes from the D harmonic minor scale.


i ii dim III iv v VI VII
D min E dim F aug G min A maj B♭ maj C♯ dim
D minmaj7 Em7b5 Fmaj7♯5 G min7 A7 B♭ maj7 C♯ dim7


Among typical progressions that might be used are:


i - iv - V7   Dm - Gm - A7
ii - V7 - i   Em7♭5 - A7 - Dm