The melodic minor #Scales


Dave Woods <davewoods1939@...>
 

http://jazzguitarstartingright.com/A%20case%20For%20The%20Melodic%20Minor.pdf

The Melodic Minor like the Harmonic minor is an outgrowth of the basic key structure.
the attachment above shows how it's derived from the five basic key positions.
Alone by itself, out of context, it traps the ear between two different key a whole tone
apart.  This makes it modally ambiguous.  Therefore it gets its sense of direction after a

key structure in a tune  has already been previously established.

Key of C, E minor Phrygian.

E F G A B C D E, splice in a leading tone and you get this E F G A B C D D# E
Eliminate the E natural and you get this F G A B C D D#.
Start it from C, respell the D# as Eb, and you get this C D Eb F G A B C.  It's
"Called" the Melodic Minor.

Thinking back to E minor Phrygian with the leading tone spelled as D#, two
chords are the result F7 (Lydian), F A C D#, and B7b5 (Locrian) B D# F A
.
F7, F A C D# resolves down a 1/2 step by expanding to an octave.
F7, F A C D# resolves to E minor E G B E. 

F pulls down a 1/2 step to E, D# pulls up a 1/2 step to the octave E.
A pulls to G and C pulls to B.

F7, F A C D# can also resolve to E major E G# B E.  This is the origin
of the Famous Tritone Sub formula, using F7 to resolve to E major rather
than B7.

B7b5,  B D# F A can also resolve to E minor or E major.
B7b5  B D# F A, and F7b5, F A B D# contain the exact same notes.
All of this comes out of the same old basic Key Structure shared by
all twelve keys.  Modal Origins shows chord progressions that

illustrate this      http//www.jazzguitarstartingright.com

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bernie_macd
 

Hi Dave

Just a question for you, Is this you explaining why using the key center approach is possible. Are these the reasons we can shift up a 1/2 step down a 1/2 step, up a 4th, up 5th etc but still have to establish the chord or tonal center if we do. That's the way I read it. I think it's a great explanation but I could be wrong. I just accepted that using this approach works but never questioned why.

You could easily lose me in this stuff I think.

Bernie


Mark Cassidy
 

I'm already lost. And frustrated. So, the melodic minor can be different ascending from when it's descending?? Which means that, by the time you've gone up and down, you have pretty much covered every note, flats, sharps and otherwise, between C and C. Do jazz musicians, when they're improvising over a particular chord sequence, actually think in terms of, 'Well, gotta go with a Dominant Lydian here, an ascending melodic or harmonic over here and, Look out!! Here comes a myxolodian a couple measures along the track!' I don't think they do, unless they're plotting something out in advance, or recording, where there's time to sit and peruse a score. But then that's not improv is it? That's composition. I know I'm sounding facetious to some extent but it's born of the frustrations of an old man trying to catch and understand everything coming my way. And I also know that you top class musicians are capable of thinking scales (partial or otherwise) on the
run, as it were, taking stuff from here and there to build a solo almost as second nature. But surely it's as or more important to just try to play what sounds good / funky / cool / new and go with it. As Miles Davis says in the intro to If I Were A Bell, off Relaxin' (in his inimitable grumpy gravelly voice): 'I'll play it and tell you what it is later.'
 
When I listened to Joe Diorio in his YT clip playing the Melodic Minor (and adding bits as he says) and then telling me which chords that would sound cool over I figured I had it. But then everything that came after got my head spinning.
 
Just my frustrated .02 :(

Mark Cassidy


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Jeff Shirkey <jcshirke@...>
 

On Mar 30, 2012, at 9:04 AM, Mark Cassidy wrote:

I'm already lost. And frustrated. So, the melodic minor can be
different ascending from when it's descending??
To cut to the chase: Not in jazz. In classical music, yes.

Jeff


Bob Hansmann
 

Hi Mark,
So, the melodic minor can be different ascending from when it's descending??
The Melodic Minor is different ascending and descending. This has to do with "Musica Ficta" ("Artificial Music") and Counterpoint, and it's too lengthy to get into here. Most modern players, though, use what is called the "Jazz Melodic Minor" scale (a term which I do not like, but what is, is), wherein the 6th and 7th are not returned to their diatonic mi 6th and mi 7th positions, but remain "raised" to their ma 6th and ma 7th states.

In this way, the "Jazz" Melodic Minor can be seen two ways. As the relative minor (say, A mi., relative to C ma.), the 6th and 7th tones are raised 1/2 step both ascending and descending. As a parallel minor (say, A mi., parallel to A ma), the 3rd is lowered 1/2 step both ascending and descending. This is very useful, as it somplifies things considerably, and better accommodates vertical thinking.

best,
Bobby


Bob Hansmann
 

Hi Jeff,
To cut to the chase: Not in jazz.
Not true. Many jazz players like to use the "traditional" Melodic Minors. Ron Carter is among them, and the bass is a really prominent instrument to make so poignant a statement harmonically.

best,
Bobby


Jeff Shirkey <jcshirke@...>
 


Not true. Many jazz players like to use the "traditional" Melodic
Minors.
Didn't you just write:

Most modern players, though, use what is
called the "Jazz Melodic Minor" scale (a term which I do not like, but
what is, is), wherein the 6th and 7th are not returned to their
diatonic
mi 6th and mi 7th positions, but remain "raised" to their ma 6th and
ma
7th states.
That's all I was saying.


Mark Cassidy
 

Bobby,
 
Ok, I like this much better! And it makes much more sense to me now.
 
Many thx,

Mark Cassidy


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bernie_macd
 

Hi Mark You just asked that question like I did years ago. The answer is yes they do, and they do it all the time. I couldn't believe it either " its impossible" I said but it's not. It's a hard road to get to the point were you can do it fluently and it takes a long time and a lot of perseverance to get there (If you ever truly get there). But the more you get involved the easier it gets.


Bernie




Do jazz musicians, when they're improvising over a
particular chord sequence, actually think in terms of, 'Well, gotta go with a
Dominant Lydian here, an ascending melodic or harmonic over here and, Look out!!
Here comes a myxolodian a couple measures along the track!' I don't think they
do, unless they're plotting something out in advance, or recording, where
there's time to sit and peruse a score. But then that's not improv is it?


james mings
 

Mark, check out Yesterday by Paul M. It is a perfect example of traditional melodic minor.
Jim

--- In jazz_guitar@..., Mark Cassidy <cassidymark@...> wrote:

I'm already lost. And frustrated. So, the melodic minor can be different ascending from when it's descending?? Which means that, by the time you've gone up and down, you have pretty much covered every note, flats, sharps and otherwise, between C and C. Do jazz musicians, when they're improvising over a particular chord sequence, actually think in terms of, 'Well, gotta go with a Dominant Lydian here, an ascending melodic or harmonic over here and, Look out!! Here comes a myxolodian a couple measures along the track!' I don't think they do, unless they're plotting something out in advance, or recording, where there's time to sit and peruse a score. But then that's not improv is it? That's composition. I know I'm sounding facetious to some extent but it's born of the frustrations of an old man trying to catch and understand everything coming my way. And I also know that you top class musicians are capable of thinking scales (partial or otherwise) on the
run, as it were, taking stuff from here and there to build a solo almost as second nature. But surely it's as or more important to just try to play what sounds good / funky / cool / new and go with it. As Miles Davis says in the intro to If I Were A Bell, off Relaxin' (in his inimitable grumpy gravelly voice): 'I'll play it and tell you what it is later.'
 
When I listened to Joe Diorio in his YT clip playing the Melodic Minor (and adding bits as he says) and then telling me which chords that would sound cool over I figured I had it. But then everything that came after got my head spinning.
 
Just my frustrated .02 :(

Mark Cassidy


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


PF
 

In regards to what the top notch players are doing : I went to workshop/clinic last year (Bucky P, John Pisano, Howard Alden showed up as a surprise).
John Pisano related story of Joe Pass playing with Ted Greene watching him. After Joe played something awesome Ted Greene asked "what were you thinking about right then?"
Joe replied : "I was not thinking of shit!"


I was going through the same kind of frustration you did.
It's almost information overload - brain goes into ERROR mode.

You have to play and play and play.
There is way too much information to understand it all. When I get frustrated I just take a step back and play something else. I go back to a blues or something I am comfortable with and realize it will all be ok. Gives you some confidence to handle the tougher things.

Try to sing over progressions - you will be amazed - bet you can sing a great solo over any song and you won't be thinking of scales!

Good Luck!

Brian F.


Mark Cassidy
 

Bernie,
 
Yeah, I've been thinking about that since I sent the post this morning (and in my own defence, I did mention that top musicians probably are capable of and do think along those lines) and I hear what you're saying now. But, I still find it hard to believe (or maybe I just don't want to believe) that jazz musicians, once they're in the groove in a sweaty, smoky club, actually refer to technical knowledge as opposed to going with 'feel'. Course, I realize that, to get to the level of being able to play in terms of feel and color and rhythmic movement, you need the technical know-how.

Mark Cassidy


Mark Cassidy
 

PF (Brian),
 
It's incredibly funny that you mention going back to playing blues stuff. Yesterday I got home from work with a long face, thinking about Mel Minors and Harmonics and so on, and I said F*** it, I can't face two hours of hard graft over these scales and where to put 'em and etc, and so I spent a fab couple hours just playing blues runs / progressions and pretty much noodlin' and chillin'. Course, when I went to bed and closed my eyes, there were those darn scales waiting for me, tiny little men running up and down staircases of notes.....sigh ;)

Mark Cassidy

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Mark Cassidy
 

Jim,
 
Thx. Just listened to it. Think I get it (again).

Mark Cassidy


jvegatrio
 

Bernie,

I don't think it's that cut and dry. Personally, I try to "hear" what I
want to improvise, rather than doing a "running analysis", my mind doesn't
work too well that way, primarily I suspect because I came up as a
self-taught player. That said, if I see Eb9#11 in a chord progression, I might try
to highlight an A in there somewhere to bring out the flavor of the chord.
I also think improvising is similar to a conversation, and we as players
might have tropes/licks/whatever that we resort to as part of our musical
vocabulary, too. That's why Pat Martino sounds like Pat Martino, Mike Stern
sounds like Mike Stern, etc. "Improvisation" contains a blend of many
elements; if I like the way a particular series of notes sounds over some
changes, I don't see/hear anything wrong in using it more than once, for
example...

The reason a lot of these conversations can get confusing is because we're
using words to convey sounds, an apples/oranges comparison. I bet if
someone played some of this stuff and explained it, that would be much more
effective. Even the best-written and well-intentioned book is a poor
substitute for hearing/listening.

Cheers,
JV

Juan Vega

In a message dated 3/30/2012 9:46:04 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time,
bernie_macd@... writes:


Hi Mark You just asked that question like I did years ago. The answer is
yes they do, and they do it all the time. I couldn't believe it either " its
impossible" I said but it's not. It's a hard road to get to the point were
you can do it fluently and it takes a long time and a lot of perseverance
to get there (If you ever truly get there). But the more you get involved
the easier it gets.

Bernie


John
 

Mark,

The ascending and descending function of the Melodic Minor does not apply in Jazz.
I tell my students that the best way to know, learn and memorize the Melodic Minor is to already apply what they ALREADY KNOW -- and that is the MAJOR SCALE -- But just make ONE ALTERATION on it ...

Just lower the 3rd degree of the Major scale and keep all the other intervals intact ... yes, even the major 7th

For Example:

A Major: A - B - C# - D - E - F# - G#
A Melodic Minor: A - B - C - D - F# - G#

.... (Not so with the Harmonic minor)...

As far as "thinking" about dominant lydian, melodic, harmonic minor, this scale or that scale over whatever changes becomes much to cumbersome a mental task as it would interrupt the internal feeling and freedom is express oneself --

By practicing the various shapes of all the majors, minors and various scales and alterations is MEANT to not only establish muscle memory through kinesthetics through drill BUT it will then produce (not as a secondary benefit BUT as a PRIMARY EFFECT), LEARNED "SOUND" OF THESE MODES AND CONCEPTS ...

When played a million times over the various shapes, we begin to know the "sound-by-ear" when we hear it ... and can recall it up in an instant whenever we want that particular sound ...

For me (and my students) this is what practice schedules and regimes should all result in and point to ...


Mark Cassidy
 

John,
 
I hear you. My frustration was just getting the better of me. I understand that learning the scales etc to the point where their sound over given chords is second nature allows that sound to be on hand whenever chosen / needed (and not remembered as a particular scale, but as a sound sensation to suit a given context).
 
What you're telling me here about the Melodic Minor is what Joe Diorio said and that's what I'm going with. That's it.
 
Thx for this!

Mark Cassidy

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Bob Hansmann
 

Hi Jeff,

Didn't you just write:

Most modern players, though, use what is
called the "Jazz Melodic Minor" scale....
Yes, emphases on the word "most", but definitely not "all".

best,
Bobby


John
 

What/Why it's so useful and cool as the "Jazz Minor" is mostly due to the fact that it's root is a half step higher than the root of the chord, i e. Ab Mel minor for G7 -- which contains the root, third, seventh, and four of the most common alterations. Another interesting employ is to take the tritone sub of that same half-step Mel min over the Dom chord as a Mel min also -- gives of D Mel minor for G7 -- Martino territory -- I like doing this when the situation arises -- using the Mel minor half a step above the Dom chord followed or preceded by the Mel minor's tritone sub -- really cool with Dom 7#9: E7#9 use F Mel minor and/or B Mel min -- look at the exquisite logic -- the B Mel min being a half step higher than the Bb7 -- tritone sub for the E7#9.

On Mar 30, 2012, at 1:32 PM, Mark Cassidy <cassidymark@...> wrote:

John,

I hear you. My frustration was just getting the better of me. I understand that learning the scales etc to the point where their sound over given chords is second nature allows that sound to be on hand whenever chosen / needed (and not remembered as a particular scale, but as a sound sensation to suit a given context).

What you're telling me here about the Melodic Minor is what Joe Diorio said and that's what I'm going with. That's it.

Thx for this!

Mark Cassidy




Mark Cassidy
 

John,
 
Thx again. Going print this off and take home to mess with over the weekend, try and get my juices going again!

Mark Cassidy

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