Jazz Guitar Improvising: The Jazz Minor Scale
This is an introduction to jazz improvisation, beginning with basic harmony, scales that are fundamental in jazz composition and thus, improvising on guitar.
Example 1 shows the melodic minor harmonized scale in 7th chords. There are a few peculiarities regarding this scale that we need address to fully appreciate why it’s such a favorite, among others, jazz composers and performers. When you add the 9th interval to the regular harmonized minor, the chords (dominant 7th and Maj 7th chords) all show up “squeaky clean” (except the min7b5). Not so with the harmonized melodic minor scale; there are numerous ways of reaching a “state of alteration” with this harmonic structure.
Example 2: Modes of Melodic Minor
Lays out the modes from the melodic minor scale including extension notes (altered and non-altered). An important point to note is the interchangeability of the melodic minor chords sounds. An interesting characteristic of the melodic minor is that all chords/arpeggios diatonic to the scale are completely interchangeable, which is not the case with the basic modes (Ionian, Dorian etc.).
Example 4 The uses of Melodic minor as substitution scale. The Jazz minor is a very flexible scale to use as an alternative to regular major and minor harmony. Here are five different chords for which the scale can be utilized as a practical and expressive improvisation tool.
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