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The D minor scale has only one flat note (Bb), and it is very well suited for guitar writing. Popular scordaturas for the guitar include dropping the low E string to D (thus making possible a very resounding D minor chord, as well as easing fingerings), or dropping all the strings a tone lower (thus making it possible to play in E minor, the most practical key, and sound in D minor). Other stringed instruments may benefit from the key also.

Outside guitar music D minor has been widely used, even being the home key of Beethoven's longest symphony. Sclarlatti wrote about 32 of his 151 minor key-sonatas in D minor, and they often borrow mannerisms from the guitar music of the period. The relative minor scale of D minor is F major. The notes that make up the D minor scale are the same ones used for the G doric mode, A phyrigian, Bb lydian, C mixolydian, D aeolian, and E locrian.

Below you will find the seven shapes that you can use to play the D minor scale on your guitar. You will also find a table of chords you can use with the D minor scale, together with their harmonic function.



D minor
Pattern I

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D minor
Pattern II

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D minor
Pattern III

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D minor
Pattern IV

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D minor
Pattern V

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D minor
Pattern VI

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D minor
Pattern VII

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The following chords can be played when using the D minor scale.

I
Dm
I7
D7
ii7b5
Em7b5
II7
E7

III
F
III7
F7
iv
Gm
IV
G
#iv°
G#°
V(7)
A(7)
v
Am

VI
Bb
#vi7b5
Bm7b5
VII
C
vii°7
C#°7