melodic minor

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by spaceboy, Jul 16, 2004.


  1. spaceboy

    spaceboy Member

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    hey. there's always a lot of talk on here about the melodic minor scale, but the way I learnt it, the Melodic Minor is different ascending to descending - natural minor with a sharpened 6th and 7th up, then just natural minor down. so how can this be implimented on the guitar, or in any way other than just using it as a scale...?

    cheers!
     
  2. jzucker

    jzucker Member

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    Forget about that ascending/descending classical thing. The scale you want is 1,2,b3,4,5,6,7. It's sometimes referred to as Melodic minor ascending.
     
  3. vladorg

    vladorg Supporting Member

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    Well,for a start you can try harmonizing each degree of the melodic minor with a seventh chord-this way each of the modes derived from the melodic minor will sound good played over the corresponding seventh chord.And this is only the beginning...there are many,many useful sounds in the melodic minor.

    Vlad
     
  4. lhallam

    lhallam Member

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    What I often do when taught a new mode/scale is find a use for it. For example while screwing around with locrian, I came up with a locrian melody over a Bdim m7 (aka 1/2 diminished) to E7 progression.

    If you do what vladorg suggests and then jam over it, you will come up with your own ideas.

    The reason why the classical masters came up with the #7 in a minor scale is so the V chord will be major which resolves better to i than a minor v.

    ex. in A minor (no sharps or flats) the natural v chord would be E minor - e-g-b. Unless you're Santana it doesn't pull well back to the i so they made the V chord E-G#-B.

    So now we've got a harmonic minor scale.

    Well screw it, let's make the iv chord major as well for those plagal cadences (subdominant to tonic A-A-A-MEN) so they sharped the 6th. So in the key of A minor you have a major IV - D-F#-A.

    Now you've got the melodic minor scale

    I don't recall why they changed it for the descending. It probably has to do with it's pull toward the i.
     
  5. Mark C

    Mark C Member

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    I don't think of it as a changing when it descends. It was already a minor scale to begin with, so the change is ascending, as per Lance's already excellent description. As Jack put it, jazzers don't use this scale like classical musicians. Try playing it a half step higher than a V7 chord in a ii-V7-I progression. (ie. Ab mel. minor over the G7 chord in a dm7-G7-CMaj7 progression) You will get some nice tension tones over the dominant chord.

    Note to self - get off my own butt and practice some of these ideas myself!:D
     
  6. spaceboy

    spaceboy Member

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    excellent. thanks for explaining that - very helpful, as per usual ^_^

    I'll have a look at implementing that in the ways suggested...

    aha! SOS gets into melodic minor pretty quickly, so that'll help too. thanks people!
     
  7. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    spaceboy-The whole different ascending/descending thing was originally to make it easier to sing, doesn't apply to guitar so just think of it as a minor scale with a raised 6th and 7th
     
  8. fyler

    fyler Supporting Member

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    or a major scale with a b3rd
     
  9. Tom Gross

    Tom Gross Supporting Member

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    ...which is also a nice way to find familier fingerings. Just use your Major scale stuff and b the 3rd. Especially cool with those 3 note per string fingerings.
     
  10. fyler

    fyler Supporting Member

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    see the second exercise in SOS for exactly that!
     
  11. spaceboy

    spaceboy Member

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    so, is there any point to the melodic minor in and of itself? or is it just for it's various modes and derivetives? i mean, on it's on it sounds a bit useless... very disjointed, just like playing part of a minor scale then playing part of a major scale. maybe that's why the classical honchos changed it for descending... or maybe I just haven't found the correct use for it yet. oh well, off experimenting I shall go.

    cheers!
     
  12. jzucker

    jzucker Member

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    Every scale is useless until you turn it into music. There is nothing that makes melodic minor any different than any other scale in that regard.
     
  13. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

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    beautifully said Jack ....
     
  14. Swain

    Swain Member

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    Try this when the V Chord comes up:

    Just take your IV and V chords, and play m7b5 arpeggios from the same Roots.

    EX: Over D7, play Cm7b5 and Dm7b5 Arps.

    I find these 2 Arps. allow for some nice, angular Lines. Also, they are very easy to visualize.

    This will give the effect of playing Mel. Min. 1/2 Step above a V Chord. And that will create a strong "Pull" back to the I Chord.

    Very hip usage, e.g. 1/2 Step above a V Chord. Dig it.
     
  15. rotren

    rotren Member

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    The Melodic Minor scale is soooo useful! It's my favorite scale, together with the diminished scale. Study it, and see what it can do. You can derive so many beautiful chords from it too.

    By the way, everyone should get the jazz chord book that Scott Henderson wrote. It's really worth looking at. This book - http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/a/item.html?id=75945&item=2966456
    Not really a book, it's a chord reference helping tool thingy... :) but it's useful.
     

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