The Melodic Minor Scale
The melodic minor scale is the scale you get when you raise the 6th and 7th note in an Aeolian scale up a half step.
A Aeolian = A B C D E F G
A Melodic Minor = A B C D E F# G#
It’s easier to learn the melodic minor scale when you compare it to the major scale.
As turns out: there is only 1 note difference between a melodic minor scale and a major scale.
You get a melodic minor scale when you lower the 3rd in a major scale.
Here’s the C melodic minor scale mapped out on each string.
The 7 in-position fingerings for the melodic minor scale, in the key of C
Notice the names of the fingerings. You want to memorize these.
These 7 fingering names, which are also the names of the 7 modes of melodic minor, are:
- C Melodic Minor scale
- D Dorian b2 scale
- Eb Lydian #5 scale
- F Lydian b7 scale
- G Mixolydian b13
- A Aeolian b5 scale
- B Altered scale
You can download those above graphics here as pdf’s
On a quick, interesting side-note: notice, on the single string hand out, that the melodic minor scale consists of a combination of 2 scales.
The first half: B C D Eb = a half whole diminished scale.
The 2nd half: Eb F G A B = a whole tone scale.
One of the most fun ways to learn and practice those scale fingerings is by playing solos with them over a backing track.
Hit me up in the comments section below or shoot me an email if you would like me to email you a backing track in C melodic minor.
This is a really important scale that you want to know if you want to become a better improviser in jazz.
In the near future, we’ll cover some of the uses of the melodic minor scale.
For now: have fun discovering the new sounds.
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