The Melodic Minor Scale
The minor scale appears frequently in popular music. There are actually
three different minor scales: natural, harmonic, and melodic. These three
scales differ slightly in their pattern of half and whole steps.
All three minor scales have seven different notes and therefore have seven modes.
The melodic minor scale is a rather strange case: it contains different notes
depending on whether you are playing up (ascending) or down (descending). Ascending,
it contains the pattern discussed below that is normally associated with the melodic minor
scale, but descending it contains the same notes as the natural minor scale.
Therefore, when you ascend, play the mode boxes shown in these pages. However, when you
descend, play the mode boxes found in the natural minor scale lessons.
The ascending melodic minor scale has the same pattern as the harmonic minor scale, but the
sixth is raised a half step. This maintains the half step leading tone between
the seventh and the tonic, which sounds a lot better than the whole step which
appears in the natural minor scale, but avoids the awkward
1½ step between the sixth and seventh which appears in the harmonic minor scale.
The names and formations of the modes are found on the pages below. Once you
learn how to form each mode, you can put it all together so you know
where every note in the scale is on the fretboard. This is probably
the most powerful use of scales. Make sure to go through these
pages in order, because they build on each other. Good luck, remember to have fun, and
keep playin' ! If you have any questions,
My Scale Notation
how to read all my scale charts
Half and Whole Steps
information necessary for learning scales
Which Scales Should I Learn?
this page outlines the important scales for a few
main genres of music
What Are Modes?
a definition of modes for guitarists
Playing Scales: Fretting and Picking
get the most out of your hands while playing scales
Information on Keys
how do you know what key a song is in?
check out this page for help
Which Scales Can I Play?
you have a chord progression in G, but what scales and what
modes can you play over it?
scales don't have to be boring; here are some suggestions
so you learn them, not learn to hate them
Translating Scales and Modes Into Any Key
I showed you the modes in G or Em, so learn how to
play them in ANY key
how to make learning minor scales easier: the relatedness of
major and minor scales
The Melodic Minor Scale
pattern of half and whole steps
The First Mode
The Second Mode
The Third Mode
The Fourth Mode
The Fifth Mode
The Sixth Mode
The Seventh Mode
The Melodic Minor Key
putting it all together
Melodic Minor RealAudio Chord Progressions
practice soloing with the melodic minor scale using these RA files
Back to the Minor Scales
Back to Dansm's Guitar Scale Lessons
You are visitor number
© 1997 Daniel E. Smith.