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Thread: Melodic Minor Progressions

  1. #1
    Bedroom metalurgist LaughingSkull's Avatar
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    Melodic Minor Progressions

    I've been exploring melodic minor last few months. I've been playing scales, to get my ears familiar with the sound, but would like to try to improvise. So I've been searching for progressions to accomodate that.
    For practice I harmonized the scale to see the chord possibilities (Em):

    Emmaj7 F#m7 Gmaj7#5 A7 B7 C#m7b5 D#m7b5

    Firstly, mmaj7 sound reminds too much of harmonic minor, with which I am more familiar. Since melodic minor has major 6 I can substitute mmaj7 with m6. Right?

    Maj#5 chord is really evil sounding, can't incorporate It into what I wanted to play. I will substitute it with maj9(no5) chord. I am still on the safe side, right?

    D#m7b5 harmonized further is D#m7b9b5 and can be substituted with alt such as D#7b9b5 or D#7#9#5; right?

    OK, other chords seem cool to me, so harmonized scale now looks to me:

    Em6 F#m7 Gmaj9(no5) A7 B7 (or B11) C#m7b5 D#7#5#9

    I tried for simple progressions like:
    B7 A7 Em6 or;
    F#m7 B7 Em6 or;
    Em6 Em6 B7 A7 Gmaj9(no5).

    Progressions sounds ok, but playing melodic minor over seem "forced" to me, even though theoretically that should be right.
    Am I just not used to the sound and should be just patient to absorb it, allow ears some more time, or am I fataly mistaken?

    Have you any good suggestions for melodic minor progressions? vamps?
    How to venture into melodic minor world?

  2. #2
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    I think the best way to do is in small chucks. And realize there are TWO different MM scales...

    1. is the Mel Min that uses the R 2 m3 4 5 6 M7 R ascending and the Nat Min descending. This is found in more modern "classical" type music, but is not limited to such music, as it's also found in some Pop music.

    2. is Mel Min which is only concerned about the R 2 m3 4 5 6 M7 R regardless of which direction it's going. This application is commonly called the Jazz Minor since it's become 'matured' in the style on music years ago.

    It's easy to see in the #1 that you don't just "blow up and down scale" to solo because you need to adhere to some strict concept while applying.

    But, the same really goes for #2 also. The scale is used in certain places...and a LOT of the times it's not from the same Root as the chord you are playing it over.

    So, if you've been playing the Blues scale and the diatonic scales where you blow from Root to Root...you will definitely need to clear your mind a little from the idea that "one scale fits all over the chord with the small Root as the scale". And if you've been listening/playing to Rock/Blues music, it will help to first look at some VERY common uses of the scale, mainly in Jazz music. If you take the time to hear/see how it's been used for decades it'll help you get a grip on it to see/hear where it fits in Rock/Blues music.

    But, but prepare to do some work on it because the whether you adventure into the Mel Min or the Jazz Min scale, it has it's own perspectives on application. Sometimes using a different Jazz Min scale over each chord in a progression can create beautiful results.

    Here's a little (ok, not so "little") blurb I have on the Jazz Min...since it's the "modern" approach, even though it's been around for decades

    --------------------------------------

    The Melodic Minor is pretty easy to carve up with a few BASIC ideas...

    First, in classical/fundamental theory the Melodic Minor has one set of Intervals going ascending (R 2 b3 4 5 6 M7 R) and a different set of Intervals for descending (R 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7). It's use in this manner is fairly ridged "to the rules".

    As years went by "modern music" of the 1900's developed a different use for the Melodic Minor scale...ONLY using the ascending portion. This was adopted heavily in Jazz Music. It also spawned the "modes of the Melodic Minor scale".

    But the term Melodic Minor has to do with a completely different way of using it as the "jazz" concepts do. Plus, once they broke it into modes, did they have two modes for both, one ascending and one descending??? No it was JUST the ascending Intervals...

    Many people end up calling this scale the Jazz Minor scale due to this reasoning, and application. Anyways...

    Some basic uses of the Jazz Minor are over Minor chords and Dominant chords...

    Minor chords...

    1. Over an Am/M7 the A Mel Min or A Jazz Min scales are dead ringers.
    2. Over an Am6 chord the A Mel Min, A Jazz Min, or even A Dorian are possibilities.

    This progression is a perfect example of the Bb Jazz Min over a Bbm6 chord:

    4/4 time ||: Dm7 | Dm7 | Dm7 | Bbm6 :||

    Play D Nat min for the Dm7 chord, and play Bb Jazz Min for the Bbm6 chord. This is really cool blend, I'm sure you'll 'hear' it.

    m7b5 chords...

    1. Play a Jazz Min scale a Min 3rd above the Root of the m7b5 chord. So, for Dm7b5, play the F Jazz Min chord.

    Dominant chords...

    1. If a Dominant chord is functioning as the V7 of a Key, you can use a Jazz Minor scale a half step above the Root of the Dominant chord. So, moving G7 to Cmaj7 (a V7 to Imaj7) you would play a Ab Jazz Min for the G7 chord. It will create tension over the V7 chord and if you remember to resolve it to a chord tone in Cmaj7 you will create the release for the tension.

    2. If a Dominant chord is NOT functioning as a V7 chord in a Key, IOW it doesn't resolve to the "I" chord, you can use a Jazz Min scale starting on the 5th of the Dominant chord. This type of Dominant chord is term a "stand alone" or a "drop in" Dominant Chord. So, for a G7 you would play D Jazz Min.

    The basics of the song Take the A Train is a perfect example of Jazz Minor chords used over both types of Dominant chords (yes I know the D7 should be a D7#11 but we'll keep it simple):

    4/4 time ||: Cmaj7 | Cmaj7 | D7 | D7 | Dm7 | G7 | Cmaj7 | Cmaj7 :||

    Play the C Major scale for Cmaj7 and Dm7

    Play the "A Jazz Min" for the D7. D7 is a "drop in dominant chord", it's not in Key and doesn't resolve to the "I chord", so "A Jazz Min" is the Jazz Minor up a 5th.

    Play the Ab Jazz Min for the G7 chord. G7 is in the Key of C Major, and is functioning as the V7 and it resolves to the "Imaj7" chord...Cmaj7, so play the Jazz Minor up a half step from the G7/V7 chord...or Ab Jazz Min is used.

    Try this progression (Realbooks version of Night and Day):

    4/4 time ||: Dm7b5 | G7 | Cmaj7 | Cmaj7 :||

    Play F Jazz Min for the Dm7b5
    Play Ab Jazz Min for the G7
    Play a C Major scale for the Cmaj7

    In Closing:

    Using these different scales over the "dominant type chords" creates "altered notes", or gives the dominant chord the sound of an Altered Chord. An Altered Chord (for example Galt, Datl, etc...) is a chord that has had it's 5th or 9th raise or lowered a half-step. So, it's a chord that replaces the 5th with a #5 or a b5, or it has replaced the 9 with a #9 or a b9. You can alter either one of those or both of them in the chord...the Jazz Minor scale played from a different Root does this for you

    The Jazz Minor scale played from different Roots also creates Modes within the Jazz Minor scale. So the "Jazz Min up a half-step" creates what's called a Super Locrian scale/mode FROM the Dominant chords Root. The "Jazz Minor up a 5th" creates a Lydian Dominant scale/modes from the Root of the Dominant chord. The reason I explained the Jazz Min without using the "Mode names" is to keep the confusion limitd...instead of thinking scale AND modes, all you need is ONE SCALE with a few APPLICATIONS. You can get into the Modes as you go...but what you play won't really change...BECAUSE THEY ARE THE SAME THING :P

    You can get a good explanation of it's use over the V7 chords at this tutorial:

    http://lessons.mikedodge.com/lessons/MelMinPrim/Intro.htm


    And you can get a pretty thorough read about the Melodic Minor AND Jazz Minor applications here:

    http://www.guitarplayer.com/story.asp?sectioncode=7&storycode=15365


    Spend a month or two working through this scale. I might not come to you all at once like the Blues did/does but with some time spent with it, it will definitely help your growth as a musician and put some things in perspective.

    To get this completely, from a theory aspect, learning some basics about "chord functions" is very important...it will help you break from "playing guitar" to "playing music".

    You can get a GREAT tutorial on this right here: http://gennation.jconserv.net/viewtopic.php?t=35

    Good luck, all it takes is some time and some listening.
    Last edited by gennation; 05-16-2007 at 12:07 PM.

  3. #3
    IbreatheMusic Author ChrisJ's Avatar
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    Probably the best way to get started would be by recording yourself a long vamp on a E7#9 chord. Switch between the E blues scale and Altered mode (F meodic minor in this case).

    Progressions are a bad idea regarding the MM modes. They are generally used over one chord at a time and in combination.

    Guitarists are notorious for approaching improvisation like carpet bombing, one scale over a bunch of chords. It isn't possible for the MM modes, and contrary to popular belief, isn't a good idea for the Blues as well.

    Sometimes it is best to use the definitive modal chord for the mode in question, especially the Lydian Augmented mode. So your idea of getting rid of the #5 is a bad idea I think. If you don't like the sound of the #5 in the chord, you most likely won't like the sound of the scale either. Your example of the Gmaj7#5 chord, try playing a B/G chord. Maybe vamp between a D/G and B/G chord using a G lydian mode over the first chord and the Lydian Augmented mode over the latter.

    -CJ

  4. #4
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaughingSkull
    I've been exploring melodic minor last few months. I've been playing scales, to get my ears familiar with the sound, but would like to try to improvise. So I've been searching for progressions to accomodate that.
    For practice I harmonized the scale to see the chord possibilities (Em):

    Emmaj7 F#m7 Gmaj7#5 A7 B7 C#m7b5 D#m7b5

    Firstly, mmaj7 sound reminds too much of harmonic minor, with which I am more familiar. Since melodic minor has major 6 I can substitute mmaj7 with m6. Right?

    Maj#5 chord is really evil sounding, can't incorporate It into what I wanted to play. I will substitute it with maj9(no5) chord. I am still on the safe side, right?

    D#m7b5 harmonized further is D#m7b9b5 and can be substituted with alt such as D#7b9b5 or D#7#9#5; right?

    OK, other chords seem cool to me, so harmonized scale now looks to me:

    Em6 F#m7 Gmaj9(no5) A7 B7 (or B11) C#m7b5 D#7#5#9

    I tried for simple progressions like:
    B7 A7 Em6 or;
    F#m7 B7 Em6 or;
    Em6 Em6 B7 A7 Gmaj9(no5).

    Progressions sounds ok, but playing melodic minor over seem "forced" to me, even though theoretically that should be right.
    Am I just not used to the sound and should be just patient to absorb it, allow ears some more time, or am I fataly mistaken?

    Have you any good suggestions for melodic minor progressions? vamps?
    How to venture into melodic minor world?
    Generally speaking, melodic minor is not used to harmonise chords from - apart from the tonic chord.
    The chords normally used in a minor key are mostly from the natural minor scale (ii, III, iv, VI) plus 2 from harmonic minor (V, vii), and the tonic chord, which is generally associated with the melodic minor - at least in jazz in terms of extensions and improvisation.
    IOW, there is not normally any such thing as a "melodic minor progression". This is probably why you're having problems using it.
    Eg, the augmented chord on III is only used as a passing chord, commonly between i and III or vice versa - and would normally be regarded as an inversion of the tonic (m(maj7) anyway.

    One classic song with a strong melodic minor vamp is "Summertime". AFAIK, Gershwin's original chords are an alternating Am6 and Bm6 (half-bar each for the first 4 bars) - and the only scale that fits both is A melodic minor. However, the melody is A minor pentatonic (with a G natural).
    The rest of the chords - to demonstrate the minor key orthodoxy - are Dm, C, F (natural minor iv, III and VI) and E7 (harmonic or melodic minor V).
    So after the first 4 bars (on Dm), the scale needs to be A natural minor.

    Of course, you don't have to follow orthodox usage!
    But the main problem with using melodic minor harmonised chords exclusively (apart from the issue of the III+ chord) is that they are very close to the parallel major key.
    That's the main reason melodic minor was only used classically when ascending - and then only when resolving to the upper tonic, and not normally to harmonise any chords. It was just too close to the major key sound; as soon as practical they reverted to natural minor.
    Another way of putting it is that "harmonic minor" was invented to improve the harmony (the chord set). "Melodic minor" was an additional invention to improve melodies - so was not used to make chords from.

    Melodic minor modes are used in jazz - as gennation has outlined. But these are not modes of the key scale.
    Eg, in key of A minor, D melodic minor might be used over the ii chord (Bm7b5) and F melodic minor over the V (E7, usually with altered 5th and 9th) or over its substitute the bII (Bb7#11).
    In these cases, it's simply coincidence that those melodic minors fit the chords in question. The idea is to build an interesting set of extensions or alterations on to the basic chord, with no avoid notes. This just happens to result in scales that match certain modes of melodic minor scales. (Eg using D melodic minor over Bm7b5 avoids the b9 (C) you'd get from A natural minor.)

    On the tonic chord too, the use of melodic minor is in order to be able to include any scale note as a chord extension or solo note, without nasty clashes or harmonic confusion. The maj6 and maj7 both work as chord extensions. (The b7 of natural minor is OK harmonically, but suggests a different tonality, namely aeolian or dorian mode.)

  5. #5
    Bedroom metalurgist LaughingSkull's Avatar
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    Thanks gennation and ChrisJ for your replies.

    Ok, so if I understand this correct gennation, I can play Emm (e melodic minor) over D#7 chord, to create altered, then over A7 (fifth above E) or A7#11, ...

    since B7 is the V7 chord in Emm than this to should be valid option, right?

    Progressions are a bad idea regarding the MM modes.
    It seems I am learnig this the hard way. But It's better remebered that way.

    What about this example:
    B7 A7 Em6
    It's V7 IV7 i6 of chords all valid in Emm. Is it bad because other scales would sound better?

    I already tried MelMin over dominant chords, but my finger constantly pushes me back to myxolydian, and ears congratulate them ... .

    Even though I listen to a lot of jazz (Mike Stern, ...) my ears seem not to accept MelMin comming from MY fingers.

    Yeah, I know: patience, faith, practice ...

    Guitarists are notorious for approaching improvisation like carpet bombing, one scale over a bunch of chords.
    I found It good way to get familiar with certain scales. And MelMin I found much stranger than major/minor and harmonic minor bunch ...

  6. #6
    Bedroom metalurgist LaughingSkull's Avatar
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    Thanks Jon for your answer. Seem we were typing at the same time ...

    I can understand much better my confusion now. But I see I would have to go through your replies a few times to understand them all.

    And to play over few examples you all pointed at.
    But I'll be back.
    With questions!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaughingSkull
    Thanks gennation and ChrisJ for your replies.

    Ok, so if I understand this correct gennation, I can play Emm (e melodic minor) over D#7 chord, to create altered, then over A7 (fifth above E) or A7#11, ...

    since B7 is the V7 chord in Emm than this to should be valid option, right?
    It depends on the progression...or actually the Chord Functions of these chords. If you called D#7 it's enharmonic name of Eb7...Eb7 could the b5 substitute chord for A7. So, you might be able to play the Bb Jazz Min OR the E Jazz Min depending on the function of the chords.

    If your B7 is the V7, then play C Jazz Min.




    What about this example:
    B7 A7 Em6
    It's V7 IV7 i6 of chords all valid in Emm. Is it bad because other scales would sound better?

    I already tried MelMin over dominant chords, but my finger constantly pushes me back to myxolydian, and ears congratulate them ... .
    I don't have my guitar with me, but...

    does it resolve to Em6? If so...what sounds better an Em7 or an Em/M7? Normally, if it was in the Key of Em, the 6 wouldn't exist, it would be a b6, so you are left with the Em6 either coming from E Dorian or E Jazz Minor....trying Em7 or Em/M7 will tell you which one.

    Again, witthout my guitar...the B7 could be B Mixo and the A7 could be "Jazz Minor up a 5th", IOW a "stand alone/drop in chord". In this case it would E Jazz Min! So, if your Em6 sounds best as an Em7 (instead of the Em/M7) you would have E JM over A7 then E Dorain over Em6. And, in thoery, E Major over the B7 (creating B Mixo).

    It's worth a try, since I can't right now...but you'd have E Major (for B7), E Jazz Min (for A7) and E Dorian (I'm assuming, for the Em6).
    Last edited by gennation; 05-16-2007 at 04:28 PM.

  8. #8
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    ALWAYS asl yourself this for Dominant chords: What's the chord function?

    This will tell whether:

    1. you play Jazz Min up a Half-step (V7)
    2. you play Jazz Min up a 5th (drop-in)
    3. you play Mixolydian (chord functions as a I7)

    There's not a whole lot of other functions for a dominant chord than those.

  9. #9
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gennation
    ALWAYS asl yourself this for Dominant chords: What's the chord function?

    This will tell whether:

    1. you play Jazz Min up a Half-step (V7)
    2. you play Jazz Min up a 5th (drop-in)
    3. you play Mixolydian (chord functions as a I7)

    There's not a whole lot of other functions for a dominant chord than those.
    That's a neat little list.

    I prefer to think of "2" (lydian dominant) as mixolydian #4. Normally in these cases the #4 of the chord matches a note in the key scale, or in the following chord, where the P4 doesn't. That's the clue for me.
    Eg, in a bII7 chord, the #4 is the V of the key (eg an E note on a Bb7 chord in A or A minor).
    On a bVII chord, the #4 is the 3rd of the key (eg E on Bb7 in key of C).

    I also like your idea in "3". I guess many people would think "mixolydian on V chord in major key" - where it's the key scale of course. But you're right that an altered scale is often better on a V7 - though it does depend on the genre, the style of the music.

  10. #10
    Bedroom metalurgist LaughingSkull's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, you gave so much information, that I would need to have several sessions to try everything.

    Still, I return to the question of B7 A7 Em6
    B7 : B D# F# A
    A7: A C# E G
    Em6: E G B C#

    So ALL chord notes are from E Mel Min. I would think that I should use the scales which would accomodate the most chords (in this case all), but my ears don't like melodic minor. And as you all pointed, there are numerous possibilities.

    What is funny is when i just "played" over this (eyes closed) without thinking of scales, it started to show some interesting musical possibilities.

    I started out trying to find good method for practicing melodic minor, but now I'll play first and analyze after.

    Anyway I started with wrong concept. I was misled with this melodic minor harmonization stuff. It looked promising. And I did learn a lot.

    (now can you tell from this long posts that I am bored at a job I no longer like and wold rather play guitar?) I had to get that out.

  11. #11
    Bedroom metalurgist LaughingSkull's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonR
    A favourite strategy of mine is to think "how many notes of the key scale do I need to change to accommodate this new chord?" Answer in this case: just one: C#. Use the C major scale, but with C# instead of C. Result? D melodic minor. (See, you don't need to know the name of the new scale, just which notes to alter from the key.)
    This isn't always the best - most musical - strategy, but it will always work.
    Could not resist this one. Back to my "favourite of the week":
    B7 A7 Em6

    E melodic minor fits all,yet to me doesn't sound musical...
    It might be one of the interesting exceptions to the rule.
    Still I think it must be my skills and being unexperienced with melodic minor. Sure some of you guys could come out with some melodic stuff over this.

  12. #12
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaughingSkull
    Thanks guys, you gave so much information, that I would need to have several sessions to try everything.

    Still, I return to the question of B7 A7 Em6
    B7 : B D# F# A
    A7: A C# E G
    Em6: E G B C#

    So ALL chord notes are from E Mel Min. I would think that I should use the scales which would accomodate the most chords (in this case all), but my ears don't like melodic minor. And as you all pointed, there are numerous possibilities.

    What is funny is when i just "played" over this (eyes closed) without thinking of scales, it started to show some interesting musical possibilities.

    I started out trying to find good method for practicing melodic minor, but now I'll play first and analyze after.

    Anyway I started with wrong concept. I was misled with this melodic minor harmonization stuff. It looked promising. And I did learn a lot.

    (now can you tell from this long posts that I am bored at a job I no longer like and wold rather play guitar?) I had to get that out.
    Additional issues with melodic minor as an improv scale, taking your sequence:

    E melodic minor fits Em6, Em(maj7), etc, very well. This is where jazz players would use it, over a tonic minor chord.
    It also fits A7 very well (making what jazz musicians call "A lydian dominant"). However, minor keys in jazz don't use major IV chords! (Lydian dominant gets used in other contexts. Eg A7#11 might be seen in the keys of G# minor, Ab major, or B major. But not in E minor.)
    Over B7, E melodic minor contains 2 "avoid notes": E and G. The issue of avoid notes is what tends to govern jazz scale choice. Over a B7 chord, you can't hold an E or G without it sounding "ouch". You can't add E or G as chord extensions. Therefore, jazz players don't use this 5th mode of melodic minor (mixolydian b6).

    It may be for the latter reason that you don't like the sound of the scale.

    As you've probably gathered by now, melodic minor IS a very useful and interesting scale - but NOT used as the basis for a key scale. It somehow doesn't work satisfactorily that way.

    The way to use the E melodic minor would be as follows (according to jazz convention):

    1. Over an Em chord in key of E minor.
    2. Over an A7 chord in keys of G# minor, Ab major, B major - or anywhere where the chord is NOT acting as a V (dominant) or secondary dominant. (In jazz you generally see these chords marked as "7#11", which indicates the lydian dominant scale, or 4th mode melodic minor.)
    3. Over a D#7 chord in key of G# minor - or Eb7 chord in key of Ab major. (Same chord, just resolving differently). This is the D#/Eb "altered" scale, 7th mode E melodic minor.
    4. Over a C#m7b5 chord, ii chord in key of D# minor. This is "locrian natural 2", the 6th mode of E melodic minor.

    Another way of looking at this usage is to take a ii-V-i in E minor, where 3 different melodic minor scales might be used:
    F#m7b5 = A melodic minor (F# locrian natural 2)
    B7(#9) = C melodic minor (B altered or superlocrian)
    Em = E melodic minor

    The B7 in that sequence might be replaced with its tritone substitute, F7#11 - which would also take C melodic minor, making F lydian dominant.


    Of course, the usual jazz ii-V-i hardly gives you much time to fully explore each scale! It's handy to have some prepared licks
    Eg, here's a little example of applying the same melodic minor lick across all 3 chords (known as the "Cry Me a River" lick):

    Code:
    F#m7b5         B7alt           Em(add9)
    -7--5---------|-10--8---------|-2--0---------|----------------------------
    -5----5-------|-8-----8-------|-0----0-------|---------------------------
    -5------5-4---|-8-------8-7-5-|-0------0-----|------------------------------
    -4----------7-|-7-------------|-2--------4-2-|---------------------------
    --------------|---------------|--------------|-----------------------
    --------------|-7(T)----------|--------------|------------------------
    (The lick doesn't use the whole melodic minor scale, of course, just 9, root, 5 and b3. But some of the others are already contained in the chords.)
    Notice you could easily replace that tricky B7alt chord shape with this F13:
    Code:
    F13           
    |-10--8---------
    |-8-----8--------
    |-8-------8-7-5--
    |-7-------------
    |-8--------------
    |----------------
    Still resolves nicely to Em.

  13. #13
    Bedroom metalurgist LaughingSkull's Avatar
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    I've been able to work through half of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by gennation
    4/4 time ||: Dm7 | Dm7 | Dm7 | Bbm6 :||
    This sequence is really cool. Great example! Nice transition from D minor to Bb MM.

    Next I tried to play over one chord vamps such as you suggested. E7#9, Dm7b5, Bb7, Fm6, It sounded ok for all, I coud hear different modes sounded, but what was the best was when I joined the like four bars each into single jam track, that is when it begin to happen. F MM fits all chords, that's what I played and it was good, specially when outlining the chords notes at transitions from chord to chord. I think I might have learned the basics of this lessons.

    Quote Originally Posted by gennation
    1. If a Dominant chord is functioning as the V7 of a Key, you can use a Jazz Minor scale a half step above the Root of the Dominant chord. So, moving G7 to Cmaj7 (a V7 to Imaj7) you would play a Ab Jazz Min for the G7 chord. It will create tension over the V7 chord and if you remember to resolve it to a chord tone in Cmaj7 you will create the release for the tension.
    I understood that, tried, but didn't like the sound of it. I resolved nicely to Cmaj7, but Ab MM over G7 was to "hairy" for me. D MM was Ok thogh, perhaps because It's actually one note (C#) away from C major?

    Quote Originally Posted by CrisJ
    Probably the best way to get started would be by recording yourself a long vamp on a E7#9 chord. Switch between the E blues scale and Altered mode (F melodic minor in this case).
    Did that. Switching was fun. I tried this concept on some othe appropriate examples. I found what I imagined from theory that in some cases tasteful interplay of dorian, melodic minor and minor pentatonic or blues scale can lead you to great results.

    Quote Originally Posted by JonR
    Over B7, E melodic minor contains 2 "avoid notes": E and G. The issue of avoid notes is what tends to govern jazz scale choice. Over a B7 chord, you can't hold an E or G without it sounding "ouch". You can't add E or G as chord extensions. Therefore, jazz players don't use this 5th mode of melodic minor (mixolydian b6).
    E didn't bother my ears, but G ... yeah, that was it. The b(east)6.
    What I should have told about progressions is that there are two bars of Em6, followed by a bar of B7 A7 sequence. This is repeated ad infinitum (so far).

    So, I haven't been able to digest your last post yet, JonR. The weekend will be for that. But So far, I have been using a mixture of E mm, e dorian, and e minor pentatonic for A7 Em6, and B7 arpeggio for B7. It's coming on great. Might even turn into a composition . You never know.
    Thanks again all.

    I'll anyone comes with another great suggestion, just clik "reply".

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