Melodic Minor

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by flavaham, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. flavaham

    flavaham Member

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    Melodic Minor is a pretty sweet scale given that there are no avoid notes. I know that there are tons of uses for it, so what's your favorite? Where do you throw it in?

    I think a half step up from a X7alt chord works very well (Bb Melodic Minor over A7alt). Gives you the b9, #9, 3,#11, b13/#5, b7 and 1. This might be pretty common but it'll get the ball rollin'.

    Your turn!
     
  2. mleggett

    mleggett Member

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    John Stowell has a great class on Trufire, Advanced Jazz Soloing, that uses the MM in pretty much every conceivable way. Over oajor, minor, dom7, diminished.
     
  3. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

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    One way of using that scale is to simply play the minor pentatonic up a whole step from the scale tonic.

    So an Ab melodic minor has a Bb minor pent, and it turns out to be all the altered tones of the G7 chord that we are playing against.

    ....iim7.............V7..................Imaj7.................VI7
    ...Dm9........... G7alt............ Cmaj7#11............. A7alt
    Amin pent...Bb min pent......B min pent...........C min pent

    The use of the Bb and C min pents are derived from the Ab and Bb Mel Minor scale.

    Thanks to John Scofield for this lesson 25 yrs ago in his video
     
  4. Sandro

    Sandro Member

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  5. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

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    I'm reading Jonny Pac's book now actually. At $7 for the PDF, it seemed a low-risk investment to get some insight into how he teaches his students. It's a pretty good value, imo.

    As for John Stowell's melodic minor instruction, his audio course might still be downloadable from here: http://davidvaldez.blogspot.com/2010/01/john-stowell-video-lesson-applying.html

    Stowell's instruction is at the intermediate to advanced level though. He throws concepts out there in rapid succession.
     
  6. mleggett

    mleggett Member

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    [QUOTE
    Stowell's instruction is at the intermediate to advanced level though. He throws concepts out there in rapid succession.[/QUOTE]


    Your head will be spinning well before you get to the end of the lesson, but you'll have six months of ideas to work on and a host of new sounds. Not for dabbling, I agree.
     
  7. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

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    Your head will be spinning well before you get to the end of the lesson, but you'll have six months of ideas to work on and a host of new sounds. Not for dabbling, I agree.[/QUOTE]

    I recently got his Modern Jazz Improv Truefire course on data DVD. This reminds me - I'm going to take just ONE concept from the DVD (like flipping back and forth between Ionian and Lydian over a Maj7 chord - well, something like that) and work with it for several weeks.
     
  8. tvegas99

    tvegas99 Silver Supporting Member

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    just discovered the Johns Stowell stuff as well... awesome!
     
  9. vhollund

    vhollund Member

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    and
    One step below V7 is a good suspended V13b9sus4 chord
    From the 5th of V7 gives V13#11
    From the b3 of iim7b5 gives a Locrian M2

    That's all I use it for till now except on minor chords, and thats a lot actually
    But I'm open to ideas if something missed me ?
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012
  10. vhollund

    vhollund Member

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    THeres one more i forgot because i havent used it much

    On a l major chord from the M6 it out there but it works if you come back quickly
     
  11. flavaham

    flavaham Member

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    So it gives you a #11/b13. Probably a quick hitter but no reason that shouldn't work over most major7 chords.
     
  12. flavaham

    flavaham Member

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    So I've been out exploring within the melodic minor scale and I have discovered two modes that I now can't get enough of. They are Lydian b7 and Mixolydian b6. Both sound sweet over a dom7 chord but here's my dilemma. Do I think of these individually or try to get this all within the context of one melodic minor scale?

    In other words - should I look at a G7 chord and think of G Mixo b6 and Lydian b7 OR C Mel. Minor and D Mel. Minor?? Tomato/tomato or does this make sense to you? How do you think of this type of situation when soloing? Obviously if I just sit and practice it, I'll eventually know where everything is but maybe some ideas?

    One idea along these lines is to play a phrase in straight Mixolydian that uses the 4 and 6, then play it again with a b6, then play it with a #11. Same tonality with three different moods. Nice!
     
  13. Seraphine

    Seraphine Member

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    Famous for using ascending and natural minor descending, yet Jazz using it there and back again... I usally have it pop out only because I'm turning on a dime in direction / expression or I'm throwing gypsy minor into some Major sound.... I've never much incorporated it into a system like many here that have spent some time playing around with it... The reason for it I just don't consider much, even in composing.

    The Baroque formation of it, especially making for a natural singing "melodic" sound and dealing with the Harmonic Minor ( trying to find resolutions they liked )... Jazz taking it to new heights etc... It was and is all based on what sounds to the ear... Our sense of harmony has been changing a lot in the last 100 or so years easy.... Thus what Jazz has done with the whole matter and the fact many play it now ascending and descending...

    It's like Grammar eh? If it sounds correct it usually is? Nah... Just depends on what you want. What statements and expressions you make... and such sounds have been and are changing.
     
  14. Seraphine

    Seraphine Member

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    Don't quote me on the accuracy of this please lol...

     
  15. flavaham

    flavaham Member

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    Not sure what this means honestly, but I'd like to check out these lessons. Having trouble finding them though. Anyone have links?
    Thanks!
     
  16. flavaham

    flavaham Member

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    So, I signed up for the free trial of truefire but I can't get any of the lessons to play. It says I get 30 days of free access to videos but all I get is essentially a trailer for a video that I have to buy. What's up??
    A little help maybe? Thanks!
     
  17. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Supporting Member

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    I never liked the idea of thinking about another key/scale. But I base everything off of chord tones, and on the guitar neck chord shapes. So for G7 with a b6th that's exactly what I'd think, G7b13. To take it a step further I may also think F7#11, or whatever other chord would imply that sound. I may end up with melodic minor, maybe something else, don't really care.

    Thinking C MM over G7, you're going to be limited by whatever C MM scale shapes you know, how are you going to do that in the middle of a chord progression? And how are you going to find your way to the next chord? Just seems convoluted to me. I feel the same way when people teach to play Ab melodic minor for a G7alt chord. I'm thinking, "No, just play a G altered scale." What I mean is it's good to know what key you're getting those notes from, but from a playing standpoint I think it's a mistake to visualize another shape. "Seeing" Ab MM, to me that's going to lead me to notes that imply an Abmin/maj chord. Could be super cool for that situation, but not necessarily what I want. Kind of like the guitar playing you at that point. IMHO!
     
  18. vhollund

    vhollund Member

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    I didn't invent the concept ;-)

    I know that a lot of jazz musicians favor the sound.
    The most common use of it is by play a major chord from the M3
    If you Resolve it to minor chord from the M6 you can explore the sound from there
    Or as a big ending add9 chord from the M3 its good too

    But the applications I told you about in the post before should give you plenty to work with :

     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012

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