Melodic Minor Scale Explained

10 Exotic Jazz Sounds PDF

Lesson Transcript

Okay, let's take a look at the melodic minor scale. Here is C melodic minor: C D Eb F G A B. So it's basically the minor scale up to fifth, but then it has a major sixth and a major seventh. This is a very nice scale; it has a very film noir sound. And a lot of the Hitchcock films, Bernard Herrmann, the composer, used this scale a lot, like in "Vertigo". You get this sort of minor cord with a major seventh, so C minor for the major seventh. This is one of the chords that gets produced from this melodic minor scale. You here it in "Vertigo" where he basically takes this chord and arpeggiates it in opposite directions.

Another chord that's derived from this scale is the minor 6 chord, so C minor 6. Looks like this: C Eb G A. It's a minor chord with a major sixth, and this is a great ending chord, just arpeggiating a minor sixth chord. And the minor 6 chord is very similar to the minor chord with a major seventh, which we just looked at. You can create all sorts of patterns with this major 6 and major 7 above a minor chord.

You also hear this chord at the end of the James Bond theme, at the end when he shoots the gun barrel. There's this chord. It's a E minor chord with a major 7 and a ninth transposed into C is a C minor chord major seventh and a ninth. And again, this is the sound of the melodic minor scale. A very nice scale. You can play this over the one chord over a minor two-five-one. At least if it says 'C minor major 7' or a 'C minor 6' chord. So over this C minor sixth chord, it sounds great.

It also works great when you're using block chord textures. It's a nice compositional technique. You just enclose every chord with an octave, and then you just fill in some of the chordal tones in between. Now it would be rare for a composer to use the melodic minor scale to write an entire piece of music. It's more like a flavor that you can use for just one chord, often the ending chord.

Now if you want more exotic jazz piano sounds, well, I've put together a free piece of sheet music which goes into even more exotic jazz piano sounds. You can download that for free at the link below. And apart from that, I'm gonna handpick the next jazz tutorial video here. So you can continue learning more jazz piano sounds that you can walk away with and use at the piano today.

My name's Julian Bradley. Thank you for watching, and I'll see you in the next video.

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