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  • rbedwell3

Taking the Melodic plunge

I know many of you are familiar with the Melodic minor scale, henceforth referred to as Melodic, but for those that aren't yet, this is for you. I have noticed that many musicians are familiar with the scale, or first mode, and perhaps the altered and Aeolian b5/Locrian nat2 mode, but all of the Melodic modes are useful and easily memorisable as they are only one note different to the Major mode on the same degree of the scale.

The Melodic scale (1 2 b3 4 5 6 7) is definitely the most useful of all scales other than the Major. Once the Melodic and its modes are under your belt, your playing will ascend to a new level of complexity and sophistication.

Relating the Melodic modes back to the Major scale makes them easy to remember:

Major: Ionian Melodic: Melodic minor (b3)

           Dorian Dorian b2 (b2)

           Phrygian Lydian + (b1)

           Lydian Lydian Dominant (b7)

           Mixolydian Mixolydian b6 (b6)

           Aeolian Aeolian b5 (b5)

           Locrian Altered/ Superlocrian (b4)

I have added the notes in the Melodic scale in brackets that are altered when compared to the Major scale modes.

Now the Melodic is used to change to the parallel minor, so in C Major, C Melodic and its modes are used. Practise the C Melodic modes the same way you practise the Major modes, interchanging at will.

The Melodic is also used to change to the minor key on the second degree of the Major scale, so in C Major that's D Melodic. Again, play the D Melodic modes interchanging with the Major modes. Now you have at your disposal a C# and and Eb whenever you want them.

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