Melodic Minor Scale: Tips & Tricks
Post by: Dan Buller
The melodic minor scale is a useful scale that can be used to sweeten your bag of tricks. More importantly it’s easier than you would think; the scale is a major scale with a minor 3rd. That's it!
Melodic Minor Intervals/Scale Formula:
1 2 b3 4 5 6 7 1
In its most basic application the scale can be used over minor chords/in minor keys to add an interesting flavor that sounds different from typical minor scale choices. In addition to using it as a minor scale, the modes contained within the scale also present some fun and interesting options!
The fourth mode of the melodic minor scale is called “Lydian flat 7” which is similar to the “Mixolydian mode” (they are just one note different from each other). Even though these scales sound complicated and daunting, they can be attainable pieces to add into your playing if approached in digestible chunks. If you are already familiar with a Lydian scale, the Lydian flat 7 scale only alters the original Lydian mode by using a flatted 7th as opposed to a major 7th.
Lydian Flat 7 Intervals/Scale Formula
1 2 3 #4 5 6 b7 1.
To implement this mode you would play the melodic minor scale up a perfect fifth from the root of the chord you are on. For example, while playing over an E7 chord you would play the B melodic minor to achieve this sound.
If you would like to find out more fun information about the Melodic Minor scale and its applications I urge you to check out this Youtube link of Jens Larson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWRAJukOgTI
In addition to this video Jens has many other videos on this scale as well as other related subject matter for intermediate/advanced guitarists to improve their knowledge of music theory, chord voicings, scales, chops, and knowledge of jazz.
Jens Larson Youtube channel:
Keep on shredding!