Getting Started with Harmonic Minor-Leads and Jamming [GUITAR LESSON / MUSIC THEORY]

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There is a lot to talk about with Harmonic Minor but we have to start somewhere! It is a great exotic sounding scale and I suggest you begin by getting familiar with the shape on guitar (or your instrument of choice) and also start to try recognizing the unique feeling it provides.

From there, we can begin our next lesson, which will be writing chords in Harmonic Minor, which will lead us into writing actual songs in different genres.


Free online guitar lessons for beginners, intermediate, and advanced players. Located in Crystal Lake, Jake Lizzio provides free jam tracks and video lessons for guitar players, as well as music theory videos and other music education content.


  1. Signals Music Studio

    01:26 What is Harmonic Minor?
    02:34 The unique trait
    02:57 Playing it on guitar
    04:00 How to start improvising
    04:45 Preparing a lick
    05:52 Expanding your lick
    06:25 Improvisation?
    06:52 Open string pedaling
    07:59 Final Thoughts

  2. Loved this, played it for hours.

  3. I’ve been obsessing over how to use harmonic minors for a while. I set out to write a demo strictly within the parameters of the harmonic minor keys. After much frustration I think I was able to escape a lot of the typical uses of it like going for a middle eastern or flamenco sound. Those do make some small appearances but it was so fun to experiment. Please check it out and any and all criticism is absolutely welcome.

    Thanks so much for sharing this video. I can already see some uses I overlooked.

  4. please make a video: how to sound like tool

  5. Honestly this is probably the hidden gem for guitar channels on YouTube. Fantastic!

  6. gianni chiloiro

    you look like tim from tim and moby

  7. Hey Jake, can you tell me one or more of your favorite songs that uses this scale? I'm preparing a short list for you

  8. Was exciting to do collab on this one with you Jake. Thanks for the opportunity and looking forward to watch more of your great lesson episodes.

  9. Whats weird is that when you combine the harmonic minor and the minor scale is that you get the bebop major scale

  10. This really seems to want to hang on the 5th a lot more than other modes seems to want to. Does it have anything to do with the fact that the backing track is essentially i V7, but would be iv I7 if the 5th was the root? Lol, does that even make any sense.

    Edit: After playing around with it some more, if we were to use B as the tonic instead of E it would basically be a Phrygian scale with a major 3rd. I don't quite get how that would be a Phrygian Dominant, but i think i'm close to understanding something. Keep it up man, i appreciate it

  11. Love the videos! I highly recommend using a guitar with inlays for instructing though.

  12. Geeze dude..there's only 7 modes in it
    Fully extend chords are the samething as MODES

    aeo maj7
    loc maj6
    ion #5
    dor #4
    phry Maj3
    lyd #2
    Mix #1…..converted to Loc b4, bb7,,becuase we aint in sunday school.

    1………………..#2 3
    1……………….b3. b4…….in other words MAJOR or min chords..

    1, 3, #5
    1, b4, b6…….Augmented too.

    The possible FULL diminished
    II, IV, vi, VII

    possible Augmented
    iii, V, VII

    Possible Min/Maj7.
    I and vi

  13. Great vid! Thanks!

  14. Man honestly, ihave been plaing guitar for more than 3.5 years(Mostly learned from youtube) now i am intermediate player and i swear in 3 years of time i have never seen such a good teacher on internet!
    Lots of best wishes my friend 🙂

  15. Man you are such a wonderful teacher! I'm trying to learn to play trumpet and stumbled onto your channel when trying to learn about modes. now I watch you every day in the commute. Keep doing videos!

  16. That martin sounds really nice. Is that really the raw sound or are you using an amp with it?

  17. You sir, have a great teaching gift. Your lessons are easy to follow and understand. Thanks a lot and keep inspiring! 🙂

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