Melodic Minor Scales in Detail
The Melodic Minor is one of the more advanced scales and often crops up often in Jazz and Fusion. I would recommend that you are really at ease with the Major and the Natural Minor Scales so that you understand how this scale is constructed. One element that some players find particularly tricky when learning this scale is that its ascending form differs from its descending form, in other words it goes up one way and down another.
The Structure and Sound of the Melodic Minor Scale
The Melodic Minor, in its ascending form, can be constructed in the same way as a Natural Minor Scale, except that the 6th and the 7th notes are a semi tone higher. In its descending from it is the same as the Natural Minor. Here it is noted out below:
Notice that in the Melodic Minor there are three intervals of a semitone, between the 2nd and 3rd notes (as there are in the Natural Minor) and then also between the 7th and 8th when it is ascending. But when it descends the scale changes, reverting back to the Natural Minor.
Positions and Fingering for the Melodic Minor
Here I have listed some useful positions for playing the Melodic Minor all in the key of A Minor. I recommend that you are really familiar with the Major Scale and the CAGED system before you attempt these ones. The CAGED system will get you used to recognising chord and scale patterns on the fretboard which comes in really handy when workingon this scale. The intervals are consistently moving in and out of position will make this one very tricky to master otherwise.
Position 1 above is one of the most common positions for using this scale. If you begin the scale on the 7th note and play it as a mode you be playing an altered scale or Super Locrian mode. This is one of the most widely used versions of themelodic minor scale and is a must know for Jazz and Jazz/Blues improvisation.
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