Progressions for melodic and harmonic minor?

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by GtrWiz, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. GtrWiz

    GtrWiz Member

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    Hey there,

    I'm looking to beef up my knowledge of MM and HM scales, and their most common modes, I know the fingerings and the theory, but not the sound. So I was thinking it'd be cool to have some simple progressions to jam over, but like I said, I don't really know the sounds, so coming up with a progression is a bit hard. Any suggestions?
     
  2. UnderTheGroove

    UnderTheGroove Supporting Member

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    If you want progressions to jam over, Jam Tracks Exotica has 3 Harmonic Minor tracks.

    The harmonized Harmonic Minor scale gives these chords:
    1 minor
    2 diminished
    b3 augmented
    4 mior
    5 major
    b6 major
    7 diminished

    You can create a harmonic minor progression using any combination of those chords. It is also often used temporarily in a natural minor progression that goes to a major or dominant 5 chord.

    The harmonized Melodic Minor scale:
    1 min
    2 min
    b3 maj(b5)
    4 maj
    5 maj
    6 min(b5)
    7 dim
     
  3. Kappy

    Kappy Member

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    Sorry if it's very obvious, but have you tried harmonizing those scales by stacking them in 3rds? Out of those chords you should be able to come up with some cool progressions/grooves and also some ideas about how they sound over a given chord.
     
  4. littlemoon

    littlemoon Member

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    Here are some practice progressions for the melodic minor scale and two of its modes.

    littlemoon

    Melodic Minor Scale


    Uses for Improvisation
    * m(maj7) chords.
    * m6 chords. Often a dorian scale would be a better choice
    * Chord IV minor in a major key.

    Practice Chord Sequences

    Sequence 1
    ||: Cm(maj7) | | | :|| Cm(maj7)
    C melodic minor.................................................|

    Sequence 2
    ||: Am(maj7) | | Gm(maj7) | :|| Am(maj7)
    A melodic minor.................G melodic minor.................|

    Sequence 3
    ||: Amaj7 | | Dm(maj9) | :|| Amaj7
    A lydian .......................D melodic minor.................|

    Lydian Dominant

    Uses for Improvisation
    * 7(b5) and 7(#11) chords
    * Secondary dominant chords especially those built on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th notes of the key. Example: in the key of C - D7, E7, F7, A7, B7.

    Practice Chord Sequences

    Sequence 1
    ||: C7(b5) | | | :|| C7(b5)
    C lydian dominant .............................................|

    Sequence 2
    ||: Bbm9 | | G7(b5) | :|| Bbm9
    Bb dorian.......................G lydian dominant..............|

    Sequence 3
    ||: C6 | | D7(b5) | :|| C6
    C major .. .....................D lydian dominant..............|

    Altered Scale

    Uses for Improvisation
    * Any altered dominant chord
    * Any dominant chord leading to a minor key

    Practice Chord Sequences

    Sequence 1
    ||: C7(#5,#9) | | Fm(maj7) | :|| Fm(maj7)
    C altered........................F melodic minor..............|

    Sequence 2
    ||: Dm7 | G7alt |Cmaj9 | :|| Cmaj9
    D dorian..........G altered......C major......................|

    Sorry, but my formatting spaces are being removed by the program; so I can't get the sequences lined up correctly. I think you can figure out where to make the changes, however.
     
  5. Tom Gross

    Tom Gross Supporting Member

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    Littlemoon - Great Stuff!

    All - Check out Don Mock's two excellent books on MM & HM.
     
  6. slackandsteel

    slackandsteel Member

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  7. GtrWiz

    GtrWiz Member

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    Thanks for the tips. :JAM
     
  8. littlemoon

    littlemoon Member

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  9. tacorivers

    tacorivers Silver Supporting Member

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    This may not be "right", but I like to throw in the melodic minor over the IV and V chords in a 12 bar blues.
     
  10. littlemoon

    littlemoon Member

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    It's as right as rain. Especially the altered scale over the V. Well phrased melodic minor lines can take the tedium out of and give a new twist to the blues.

    littlemoon
     
  11. gez

    gez Member

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    Little late here, but the following helped me.

    An easy way to learn how to use the melodic minor is to start with the humble major scale. Over a Imaj7 to IV7 progression, play the same idea over both chords but flatten the 3rd of the major scale for the IV7.

    So, in the key of C you have CMaj7 to F7 and play an idea around the C major scale for the CMaj7, then use the same idea for the F7 but use Eflats wherever you played E naturals before. You get that lovely sharp11 sound. Not only that, but you learn to play motifs - handy way to stretch out solos!

    Same thing works for Amin7 to F7 in the key of C and these same chords in the key of G, which gives you a II to flat VIIx progression. These are really common progressions (more so than the 1maj7 to IV7 progression), used a lot in standards.
     
  12. azgolfer

    azgolfer Member

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    Melodic minor is commonly heard on VII7 dominant (for instance Eb7 to Fmaj7) chord that's in a lot of standards, for instance "Days of Wine and Roses". Harmonic minor is pretty easy to hear, it's that "Spanish Guitar" sound. Try Am G F E7, or just F E7, or the solo to "Don't Fear the Reaper" for a rock sound.
     
  13. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    Best bet is to transcribe some tunes from Marc Copeland, Ritchie Bierach, John Abercrombie and Ralph Towner. Lots of melodic and harmonic minor mode progressions in there.

    Take a look at the polychord chart on my free lessons page:

    http://www.sheetsofsound.net/lessons/index.htm

    Take some common chord progressions and swap them out with polychords that suggest melodic or harmonic minor.

    For example, here's something I posted in another thread. It's a
    II V I IV chord progression.

    Original:
    | Dm7 G7 | Cmaj7 A7 |
    With Subs:
    | D/Eb C/Ab | E/C C#m74ths | ????

    • 1st chord G harmonic minor
    • 2nd chord F Melodic minor
    • 3rd chord A Melodic minor
    • 4th chord E Melodic minor
     
  14. azgolfer

    azgolfer Member

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    Hmm.. Are those simple ? Is it good to start with hearing 4 different scales in two bars ? Are those guys easy to transcribe ? I'm sure you've forgotten more about music than I know, but he says he isn't hearing the basic scales yet.
     
  15. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    You're right. They're not simple and more advanced than the original poster's question. However, they are relevant to the subject of the posting and useful to folks if they happen to search for this topic and want a reference to some more advanced material.
     
  16. Tom Gross

    Tom Gross Supporting Member

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    I dug em.
     
  17. Tom Gross

    Tom Gross Supporting Member

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    I dug em.
     

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