We’re back for another deep dive into some exotic sounds, this time through the mystical Neapolitan Minor Scale! If you’re looking to unleash some exotic flavours into your playing then check this out! We’ll be learning all the modes of this scale as well as the chord qualities that can be derived from each mode. Let’s get into it!
The Neapolitan minor scale is a really exciting one, you could think of it as harmonic minor with added chromaticism. Used in the right way, this scale and its related modes can really throw your listener off with dramatic effect! We’ll be sure to check out the modes of this scale as well as the corresponding chords that are available.
Neapolitan Minor Scale: Key of F (F, Gb, Ab, Bb, C, Db, E)
For example purposes we’ll look at the Neapolitan Minor and its modes in the key of F. From each note of the parent scale we can build a mode of Neapolitan Minor, each with their own musical secrets waiting to be unearthed! Let’s get into the the 3nps positions of this exotic scale.
Modes of Neapolitan Minor: Naming Convention Key of F
The first thing to know is, don’t get too caught up on the names of these modes, or any ‘outside’ modes for that matter. Essentially they are named after the modifications that each modes make to another scale you may already know. By naming them in this way it can be easier to remember and reference their alterations .
- Parent Scale: F Neapolitan Minor
- Mode#2: Gb Lydian #6
- Mode#3: Ab Mixolydian Augmented
- Mode#4: Bb Hungarian Gypsy
- Mode#5: C Locrian Dominant
- Mode#6: Db Ionian #2
- Mode#7: E Ultralocrian bb3
Some Helpful Theory: Thinking & Writing Modally
At Strings of Rage™ we always show the root note of each mode as opposed to the root of the key or parent scale. Understanding the difference between the two is the key to writing modally and truly mastering the modes.
Some Helpful Theory – Harmonising Exotic Scales & Modes:
In order to compose with any scale, at some point you’d have to ask; what chords does the Neapolitan minor scale yield? Neapolitan minor has multiple characteristics. It has elements of harmonic minor, yet it also yields major and chromatic qualities too. However, as is true for any scale or mode, there is many chord possibilities for each note of the scale.
We’ve just given you the first and most common chord harmony that can be built from each note of the scale. This scale is commonly found in metal and some underground jazz and bebop, however we can take advantage of its dissonance for a more rock and metal sound.
Footnote: The guitar used in the cover image is a custom conklin 8 string.
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