Melodic Minor is a huge part of the sound of Jazz and especially Modern Jazz. In this video, I am going to go over how you make some great Melodic Minor Licks. In the examples, I will also breakdown the way I am thinking and which arpeggios and melodic devices I use in the lines.
Of course, I am using some of the arpeggios that you need to know to work with melodic minor, but there are also a few great options that most people don’t get around to mentioning because they are not considered a part of the diatonic arpeggio set.
The Melodic Minor Scale
The melodic minor scale is a minor scale with a major 6th or major 7th. In the key of C this is:
C D Eb F G A B C
1 2 b3 4 5 6 7 8
The scale is shown here below:
#1 The mMaj9th arpeggio
This line is build around the CmMaj7th arpeggio in bar 1. The 2nd bar also contains a part made using leading notes for chord tones.
This line is chaining together two arpeggios from the Scale: Ebmaj7(#5) and CmMaj. The 2nd bar is made using chromaticism and a Cm triad.
#3 The Augmented Triad
One of the most flexible and useful parts of the of the sound of the scale is the augmented triad. In this example I am combining the Augmented triad with a Dsus4 triad. The Dsus4 is a good way to emphasize the extensions of 9 and 6th on the Cm chord.
The 2nd bar is mainly using some chromaticism and repeats the augmented triad in a higher octave.
If you want to check out more Melodic Minor material in terms of triads and arpeggios then have a look at this article: Melodic Minor – The Things You Need to Know
#4 Dom7th#5 arpeggios (a great secret weapon)
The B7(#5) arpeggio is a great arpeggio to use on a Cm melodic chord like CmMaj7 or Cm6. The arpeggio contains the augmented triad and the A adds a nice set of colors on the chord:
B7(#5) : B Eb G A
Relative to C: Maj7 3rd 5th 6th
#5 The G7(#5) and Gsus4
The G7(#5) is another way to use a non-diatonic arpeggio on a CmMaj7 chord. In the example below I am combining it with a Gsus4 triad, which is also a good device for a CmMaj7 arpeggio.
Using Melodic Minor on a Minor Blues
If you want to learn how to use Melodic minor in the context of a minor blues then check out this lesson:
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Melodic Minor – How to Make Beautiful Lines
Source: Jens Larsen