Harmonic Minor vs Melodic Minor

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by eddie101, Sep 6, 2006.

  1. eddie101

    eddie101 Member

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    what are the true, uh, differences between the two scales and over what progressions can you play them and make them sound "right"?

    For example, I was told that you can play Melodic Minor scale (I think) over "Little Wing" chords. Can someone explain as to WHY? Thanks! :YinYang
     
  2. Kappy

    Kappy Member

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    The HM is the same as the MM except the HM has a lowered 6th and the MM does not. Harmonize them to find out which chords they work over.
     
  3. MGT

    MGT Member

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    I'm still learning this stuff but there are modes for each of those scales just as there are for the major scale. For example, the 7th mode of the melodic minor is the superlocrian mode & also known as the altered scale (because it contains all of the notes that are used to alter a dominant 7 chord).

    Thanks for the reminder that I have a hell of a lot of work to do!!!
     
  4. willhutch

    willhutch Supporting Member

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    Big topic. There are lots of cool sounds with these scales. Do some web research. There are a lot of books that cover this, too. Don Mock has a book entitled Melodic Minor Secrets revealed that does a good job helping unearth the cool sounds avaiable. I think there is a Harmonic Secrets revealed as well.
     
  5. beePee

    beePee Member

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    Harmonic Minor is used to alter the V chord from minor to major or dominant chord.
    Typically it’s only used over the V chord in the compostion.It’s formed by raising the 7th of the Natural Minor.

    A Melodic Minor is altered for the resolution of melody lines. It raises the 6th and 7th of the Natural Minor when it ascends up…and lowers them both back down to their original pitch when descending. A perfect example of this is Bach’s Bouree from the Lute suite in E minor. And “Yesterday” by a group called the Beatles. :)

    Of course all sorts of modal concepts can be mined of these .The most common (and coolest in my book) is the fore mentioned Super Locrian.

    IMO best bet is to not abuse these and find an applicable music purpose instead of the usual wankin they have been subjected to.


    BP
     
  6. jspax7

    jspax7 Member

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    +1! I have both of them. Good explanations as to which altered chords the scales work with.

    As with many of these books, slower examples and play along progressions to solo over at slow, med. and fast tempos would be helpful.
     
  7. gennation

    gennation Member

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  8. eddie101

    eddie101 Member

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    In other words, play MUSIC, rather than sounding as if you were practicing scales or something, NO? I could not agree with you more, trust me on this. Many thanks, Ed :YinYang
     
  9. gennation

    gennation Member

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    I've always found it hard to wank with the Melodic Minor scale...it's to melodic, and if you wank with the Harm Min scale you sound like too many other people. So, wankings not allowed ;)

    Here's a GREAT Melodic Minor read that was in Guitar Player magazine last month: http://www.guitarplayer.com/story.asp?sectioncode=7&storycode=15365

    Read that for sure.
     
  10. Tom Gross

    Tom Gross Supporting Member

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    ..also be aware that the use & definition of melodic minor in classical harmony is different from it's use in jazz, rock, & fusion.

    +1 on Don Mock's books
     
  11. Kappy

    Kappy Member

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  12. beePee

    beePee Member

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    cool Ed.Yes it's way to easy to turn this into a theory wankfest.The thing is it's true at some point you HAVE to practice but....it's getting beyond it that is the tallest hurdle.Most either never try to clear it or never clear it or think that clearing it is the only thing.....I never think about my legs moving left right when I'm running (or when I used too!!)

    All of the above faux paux sound the same to me ...un musical.This stuff ain't rocket surgery.The more it's turned into it the more the music suffers.Good musicians have good ears.Solid theory is just the natural result.

    The greatest "theory " revelation I ever had is when Joe Pass sat in a private lesson room at GIT and said "I don't think of any of thiis stuff when I'm playing...and try to avoid it when I'm not!!.The man had huge ears...that's all that matters to the listener.They don't care about how much theory you know...shud up and play yer geetar!!

    Bee"Jethro Bodine"Pee
     
  13. Tom Gross

    Tom Gross Supporting Member

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    Yeah, but getting beyond it without ever going there is really hard.
     
  14. tvegas99

    tvegas99 Silver Supporting Member

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    In truly bad taste, I'm going to show you the short way around the barn as it was taught to me, here are some well known uses of the MM that were shown to me when I first started studying jazz, in other words, ways to start immediately using it and getting the sound in your head. BTW, it helped me to think of the MM as a regular ole' major scale with a m3rd, it made the whole thing a little less daunting...:messedup

    Over a m7b5 play a MM a m3rd up from your chord- Dm7b5 play an F melodic minor

    Over a dom7 chord in a II-V progression play a MM a 1/2 step up from your dom chord- G7 play an Ab MM, next over the same progression use the MM a whole step down over your G7, so play a F MM over the G7

    The least "out" sound over a dom7 chord is too play the MM up a P5th, over a G7 use a D MM

    Enjoy!! I hope this helps...:AOK
     

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