Dansm's Guitar Scale Lessons
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 1 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, e-mail me!
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?

Learning Scales
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

Minor Scales
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

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1997 Daniel E. Smith.