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Altered Minor Scales

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In this lesson we'll look at altering the natural minor scale in order to create a different sound, a new flavor that's called melodic minor. This time we change 2 notes. We change the 7th scale degree from a minor 7th to a major 7th and we also change the minor 6th degree to a major 6th degree. This also has wide ranging consequences.

Historically, this was done in order to achieve a more melodic rising scale, hence the name "melodic minor". As a result the IV and the V chords both have major 3rd. Again, changing these notes also affects any other chord that those notes are use on. As well as each mode of the scale.

These are the harmonies that result from the melodic minor scale.

  • A - C - E = 1-3-5 (i) A minor chord

  • B - D - F# = 2-4-6 (ii) B minor chord

  • C - E - G# = 3-5-7 (bIII) E augmented chord

  • D - F# - A = 4-6-1 (IV) D major chord

  • E - G# - B = 5-7-2 (V) E major chord

  • F# - A - C = 6-1-3 (vi dim) F# diminished chord

  • G# - B - D = 7-2-4 (vii dim) G# diminished chord

    And these are the modes of the melodic minor scale.

    Melodic minor

    Phrygian with major 6th

    Lydian Augmented (with #5th)

    Lydian Dominant

    Mixolydian wuth minor 6th

    Locrian with natural 2nd

    Super Locrian or Altered Jazz Scale

  • Lesson Info
    Altered Minor Scales