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Melodic Minor Scales

Jazz guitarist’s are familiar with melodic minor scales, but they aren’t limited to just Jazz, explore it’s uses. This scale can be used over a variety of chords including altered forms

To make a melodic minor scale just lower the third of any major scale by one half tone(one Fret). Here is what it sounds like

You may have noticed the use of double sharps. This is necessary so the same note name isn’t used twice in a scale.

If the double sharp F was changed to a G there would be two G’s in the scale making it confusing.

The formula for making the melodic minor is as follows.

Whole Tone-Half Tone-Whole-Tone-Whole Tone-Whole Tone-Whole Tone-Half Tone-Whole Tone

This scale is the same as a major scale except that the 3 note is flatted 1/2 tone.

Melodic Minor Chords

Here is a list of the chords for the melodic minor scales. These chords are much different than the natural minor scale as you can see. I’ll explain them below.

Am

AmMa7

Bm7

CMa7♯5

D7

E7

F♯m7♭5

G♯m7♭5

Dm

DmMa7

Em7

FMa7♯5

G7

A7

Bm7♭5

C♯m7♭5

Gm

GmMa7

Am7

B♭Ma7♯5

C7

D7

Em7♭5

F♯m7♭5

Cm

CmMa7

Dm7

E♭Ma7♯5

F7

G7

Am7♭5

Bm7♭5

Fm

FmMa7

Gm7

A♭Ma7♯5

B♯7

C7

Dm7♭5

Em7♭5

B♭m

B♭mMa7

Cm7

D♭Ma7♯5

E♯7

F7

Gm7♭5

Am7♭5

E♭m

E♭mMa7

Fm7

G♭Ma7♯5

A♯7

B♭7

Cm7♭5

Dm7♭5

D♯m

D♯mMa7

E♯m7

F♯Ma7♯5

G♯7

A♯7

B♯m7♭5

C♯♯m7♭5

G♯m

G♯mMa7

A♯m7

BMa7♯5

C♯7

D♯7

E♯m7♭5

F♯♯m7♭5

C♯m

C♯mMa7

D♯m7

EMa7♯5

F♯7

G♯7

A♯m7♭5

B♯m7♭5

F♯m

F♯mMa7

G♯m7

AMa7♯5

B7

C♯7

D♯m7♭5

E♯m7♭5

Bm

BmMa7

C♯m7

DMa7♯5

E7

F♯7

G♯m7♭5

A♯m7♭5

Em

EmMa7

F♯m7

GMa7♯5

A7

B7

C♯m7♭5

D♯m7♭5

If you are having trouble following any of the chord names and what they mean you can check out these two other pages.

Music Intervals and Reading Guitar Chords.

The first chord from the above list is a minor chord with a major 7th in it.

If you play these three chords in order you will hear a familiar progression used in many songs

The second chord is your standard minor 7th chord, nothing special.

The 3rd chord is a major 7th with a raised 5th. This chord is used sparingly and for a short duration most of the time.

The 4th and 5th chords are dominant 7th’s, very common.

The 6th and 7th chords are chords with alternate names. The Fm7♭5 can also be the A♭m6. The Gm7♭5 can also be the B♭m6

An easy way to remember these is to think of the 3rd of the Fm7♭5 as being the minor 6th. A♭ is the 3rd in this chord. This will work with any m7♭5 chord.

Patterns for Melodic Minor Scales

The nut is on the top the 6th string is on the left

The squares are notes before or after the root, use them after you know how the scale is supposed to sound.


Patterns for Melodic Scales
Left handed

The nut is on the top , the 6th string is in the right


The melodic minor scales can be used to improvise with any of the chord forms shown above.

More on the Melodic Minor Scale

I hope you found this page useful.