How to Use the Melodic Minor Scale. By JGO. Outside of the major scale system, the melodic minor scale is the most important modal system in jazz. When first exploring melodic minor concepts in your studies, tackling the first mode, the melodic minor scale itself, is the best place to begin. Used by every major jazz guitarist in their solos to color minor-family chords, the melodic minor scale is an Author: JGO. Jun 15, · 4 Ways to Use the Melodic Minor Scale 1. Over Minor Chords. Obviously the first way to use the melodic minor scale is over a minor chord. Rather than playing 2. Dominant Chords (V7 #11). Playing from the fourth note of a melodic minor scale you can create a .
Outside of the major scale system, the melodic minor scale is the most important modal system in jazz. When first exploring melodic minor concepts in your studies, tackling the first mode, the melodic minor scale itself, is the best place to begin.
Used by every what is the definition of fixed assets jazz guitarist in their solos to color minor-family chordsthe melodic minor scale is an essential sound to have under your fingers as you continue to the next stage in your melodc. Download now and learn chord shapes! Before you begin applying the melodic minor scale to your soloing lines and phrases, here are two fingerings for this scale what it is by the temptations you can learn on the guitar.
A melodic minor scale contains the b3 interval, just like any minor based-mode, but it has a major 7th interval that gives it a unique sound compared to the Dorian mode. Here is a chart that breaks down the interval pattern for both Dorian and melodic minor for comparison:.
The first fingering begins with the root note on the 6 th string and runs up the fretboard from there. After you can play either of these fingerings, work them in multiple keys with a metronome, at various tempos from very slow to as fast as you can. You can resolve that tension, or you can let it hang if you want. To help you take this concept to your soloing practice, here are three sample licks that you can learn and apply to your own jazz guitar solos.
Start by learning each lick in the given key, then take them to other keys and tempos from that starting point. To begin, this line uses a Wes Montgomery inspired phrase to bring the melodic minor scale to the Im7 chord in this progression. The second line uses the C note to create tension in both an enclosure and parallel 3rds manner over the Dm7 chord. If you how to treat a sprained ankle for a child this line, take it out of the lick and apply it to other situations in your solos.
This chord is found in countless tunes, from being how to download music from google play music sections in So Whatto being a part of the classic ii V I progressionand everything in between.
As well as using the Dorian mode to solo over iim7 chords, you can add a bit of tension to this chord change using the melodic minor scale. To help you apply this concept to your minorr, here are a few sample licks that thd can study that use melodic minor over the iim7 chord in a ii-V-I-VI progression.
Once you can play both of these licks, in a few keys and at various tempos if possible, you can practice soloing over ii V I VI changes, using melodic minor over the iim7 chord. As well as soloing over iim7 chords with the melodic minor scale, you can continue to use that same scale over the V7 chord in a iim7-V7 chord progression. When doing so, you create a Lydian Dominant sound over that V7 chord. The Lydian dominant scale is one of the modes of the melodic minor scale. To help you take this concept to your soloing, here are a few sample lines that you can learn and apply to your improvisations.
Notice how the C stands out over both chords, it adds a bit of tension that is then resolved as you continue through the line. This is the key to scape melodic minor over ii V chordsthat you resolve the tension that is created with this scale over melpdic chord in the progression.
Work on the solo in chunks to make it easier to learn, four-bars at a time is a good way to break it up, before playing the solo as a whole. Good intro to melodic minor scales. To expand on this lesson- the next step for a student after mastering this material would be learning to use the lydian dominant sound and the remaining three non-stretch scale fingerings around the neck.
Another exercise I enjoy is playing over a minor IImin7b5-V7alt-Imin maj7 progression with the three melodic minor scales in position. Thanks for the article. I would be very keen to know more about this topic. I have substituted the V7 with a V7Alt specifically V7flat9 simply because I like the sound of it as well as the fingering.
It feels to me that it works, but I lack any formal view of the neatest approach to deal with this progression. First of all: I like to call the scale of this lesson the jazz minor scale. To avoid confusion with a more general meaning of melodic minor, which includes the ascending and descending melodic minor scales. Also because it is used in jazz in a very specific way. A short answer to your question is: to stay in the mood of this lesson you can use 2 minor scales in your progression.
A few reasons why the last one works and sounds great as you experienced. Altered dominants increase the tension meloic a tension-release sequence of the V dominant chord going home to the I. Thinking in melodic jazz minor half a step above an altered V in this situation creates a sound which is very characteristic to jazz. Of course, there is a lot more that can be said about this topic. But then I am just an amateur gitarist who tries to find the use of modes monor playing, something nobody has succeeded in explaining to me.
Perhaps you will find it useful? I first came across modes as a fumbling teenage guitar player in about I never understood modes then, nor did I have any idea really what they meant until a few years ago when I saw some antique video VHS tape lessons on modes by the wonderful Australian, Frank Gambale. Frank was a young man then, dressed in a multi-coloured, tie-dye style T-shirt and, can you believe it, tight-fitting leather pants!
His video lessons planted the seed in my head for modes as being moods. I could never reconcile that a mode could align to a nation. Not too long ago, I had further insight into this subject from a course in jazz improvisation presented by Gary Burton. Gary taught me that rather than seeing modes as scales beginning at sequential notes meoodic the meoodic scale e. The net result of the insights borrowed from Frank and Gary, coupled with a little bit of my own imagination has led me to understand the major modes moods as follows:.
Perhaps betwixt and between being free and lonely. Feeling safe, yet secretly vulnerable. Phrygian definitely zcale the mood to the realm of another world, not scary but definitely displaced. Lots of flats, the darkest of the diatonic modes. I have met many musicians over the years who believe one should never play Locrian, because no one wants to hear it.
In jazz however the minor 7 flat 5 is really common, and of course strongly associated with the Locrian mood. Okay, so this is all in respect of the diatonic scale and its modes. Trying to apply this type of thinking to the Melodic Minor scale scal its modes is perplexing. A mere half tone difference to minod diatonic, yet a whole new set of moods. I thought a bit how to use the melodic minor scale the emotions potentially evoked by the Melodic Minor root mode.
It seems like a Dorian a bit introspective pepped up with a bit of Ionian a bit hopeful, for love, or even a party. Or could it rather be Ionian in minot with a bit of Dorian a bit melancholy doubtful and introspective. It certainly is enigmatic in concept, and sound! Similar to how a colored glass the modelike a stained glass, evokes a feel that depends upon the LIGHT the spirit of the guitarist that engages it and shines through it. Just stumbled on this discussion, I like the explanation about Modes and moods.
In other words we must have a set of chords to deal with and that will inform our choices. The more specific the chord is, that is the more extensions and alterations beyond the triad the less you can mix and match Modes over them. The chords define the how to use the melodic minor scale or mood. The chords drive everything. If the chirds are simple triads then there is more freedom to impose different modes over them without clashes.
The melody of the piece will also give hints to what the final centers are. An important thing to observe is generally the Modes only change with respect to non-chord tones, 9,11, All diatonic minors have R b3 5 7. So you could imply Phrygian over a iim7, but it has to be in context of what tonal center is happening or about to happen. Hope this helps. I highly recommend looking at the arpeggios within the mode, and the tonal mibor within a piece, there may mleodic several.
I never knew that melodic minor differ from Dorian mode with only one note. Leave a Comment Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.
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A Minor Melodic Scale
These days the modes of the melodic minor are used a lot over dominant chords. For example if you play the 5th mode of the melodic minor (place the 5th note of the scale on the root of the chord) you’ll get a scale with a b7 and a b6. This is a great sound over a dominant chord. You get a nice eastern flavour without going too far in that direction (as you would with harmonic minor). Sep 29, · The melodic minor scale is one scale degree removed from the Dorian mode (which has a flat third, a natural sixth, and a flat seventh) and one degree removed from the Ionian mode (which is simply a major scale). The harmonic minor scale is two degrees removed from both Ionian and Dorian modes. Neither scale aligns with Aeolian mode. In short, we can think of using the minor melodic scale: A fifth above an unaltered dominant; A semitone above an altered dominant; Note: In the case of the unaltered dominant, if the resolution chord is minor, it is more advisable to play the melodic minor scale one fourth above instead of one fifth above. For example, if the G7 chord were to resolve in Cm, the C minor melodic scale would be more .
These days the modes of the melodic minor are used a lot over dominant chords. This is a great sound over a dominant chord. You get a nice eastern flavour without going too far in that direction as you would with harmonic minor. Or if you play the 4th mode of the melodic minor you get a b7 and 4. This gives you that nice Lydian sound over dominant chords. Both these scales work over sus chords too.
There are of course 7 modes of the melodic minor and many of these give you useful sets of intervals for various chords and situations. Yes you can use the melodic minor over minor chords, but its not that often done these days. What you do hear people doing and what I often do, is to play normal minor scales Dorian or Aeolian over a minor chord and occasionally play the major 7 to give it that dark twist.
When it comes to playing over minor chords, I think it might be more useful to think of adding flavour to a normal minor scale Dorian or Aeolian with the Major 7 interval, rather than thinking about using the whole scale as such.
Oh and by the way, almost no one plays the melodic minor ascending one way and descending the other anymore. Almost everyone plays it the same in both directions. There are reasons for this. The main thing with any scale is to think about the intervals it has in it. Think of them as a pallet of colours. The first thing to do is train your ear and learn the sounds of all the intervals. Once you know your interval sounds really well you may find the chart below useful.
There is a sure fire test to see if you actually know the sound of a given interval. Play the chord you want to hear the interval over and then while the chord is ringing, sing the interval. If you can sing it, first time without any messing about, and without recourse to playing the note on the guitar, then you know it. If you can hum twinkle twinkle little star your voice is good enough! There are various ways of naming the modes of the melodic minor. I give lessons via Skype, contact me about setting up a lesson here.
How do you use this scale? Why should you use it? How do you learn it?