Discuss playing styles and techniques, or share your own here.
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Recognize why both ways are correct, and then learn how the scale relates to the key signature (harmonic minor has an accidental). Once you get the key signature, you don't need the numbers or which easier scale is most similar. You just understand what are the notes.
If you want to be all technical then harmonic minor is a minor scale with a raised seventh. It's chief purpose is to creat a leading tone in the third of the 5 chord in a minor key, so it's related to minor, not major. It is music though, and however you want to think about it is fine, because as long as the sound is there, who cares? The rest is just labels so you can communicate sound to someone else.