dansm's guitar scale lessons
the melodic minor key
the melodic minor scale covering the entire fretboard
once you have learned all the modes, you can put them together so you know every note in the key. the basis of soloing is this: start in a box, and stay in your box when you are doing fast stuff, but change boxes and move up and down the fretboard for more interesting solos. this is the pattern you use to move around the fretboard. you have seen all these patterns before, in each mode box, but now they are bunched togther and extend over the entire fretboard. the diagram below shows all twelve frets and all the notes contained in the key you are playing in:

remember that since the melodic minor scale contains different notes depending on whether you are ascending or descending (the chart shown above is ascending melodic minor, that all the notes contained in the natural minor key can also fit into the melodic minor scale. when you are soloing you can choose when to add the raised sixth and seventh and when to include the normal natural minor sixth and seventh. this gives immense power to the melodic minor scale.
when using this pattern to play in a certain key, simply find which fret to start on by identifying the key. since you know where the root is on the diagram, just line that up with the root of the key you are playing in. for example, in the key of e minor, you would play this pattern so the root on the sixth string was at the nut or the twelfth fret:

this example is in the key of a minor:

now, don't go about memorizing this whole chart. simply memorize the small mode boxes, paying special attention to the root and fifth in each, and when you are playing the entire fretboard try to remember how the modes go together. concentrate on a small area at one time, not the whole thing. this will make your life much easier, and will free your mind for spontaneity during soloing. good luck, and have fun with this!
on to the realaudio chord progressions

back to the seventh mode

back to the melodic minor scale

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1997 daniel e. smith.