Static Minor Chords

This section deals with improvising on a static minor chord. As with the previous section the first example presents different scale solution for the chord in this case, minor.

The second example will list some diatonic and dorian type arpeggios. The melodic-minor scale will be dealt with separately.

Example 1. Scales for Minor Chords

scales-for-minor-chord improvisationscales-for-minor-chords-pt2

Example 2 Substitution arpeggios for Cmin7

The first line show diatonic (from C minor) substitution arpeggios whereas line #2 consists of arpeggios that are based on C Dorian (minor scale w. #6, here: a). More on modes in the Modal section.

arpeggios-on-c-minor arpeggios-on-c-minor_dorian

Example 3  illustrates the use of the bVImin7 (Abm7) arpeggio over a Cm chord. You may notice this is not an arpeggio from the diatonic C minor scale, but an example of modal interchange. We have exchanged the diatonic arpeggio on the b6 step of the scale, a Major7, with a minor 7 and have been rewarded with a major 7 (b) and a b5th (bG); nice passing notes to use on a C minor chord.

c minor improvisation

Example 4 includes a C#m7b5 and a Bm7b5 over a Dm chord. This gives us the 7th  and the 6th in stead of the b7th  and the b6th (of the d minor scale). This means we’re effectively using the D melodic minor scale, which is another option over a minor triad, so as with the harmonic minor (maj6 in stead of min6), more commonly used in Flamenco and Heavy Metal (the legacy of Ritchie Blackmore and Yngwie Malmsteen). This approach of using substitute arpeggios could be expanded on indefinitely, and working on stringing together arpeggios like these, across the neck, will open up new areas in your improvising.

Improvising on d minor - metal solo

Example 5 is a line over C minor starting from the VIm7#5 chord, in beat 3 followed by the bVIm7 and rounded up in the final bar on the V7.


Example 6 is a symmetrical line over A minor, using an augmented triad  or every bar; bIII+, V+ and bVI+ yielding nice passing notes like the Maj7th (G#) and the Maj6th (F#).

a-minor-guitar improvisation

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