New Jazz Etude: Two Melodic Minor Scales Organized Into 4ths


Right here’s a straightforward approach to make use of the wealthy contour of the melodic minor scale to prepare melodic materials into 4ths shifting from dominant to tonic. Check out the instance above.

Within the first measure I create two four-note shapes primarily based upon the diatonic 4ths present in each a C main scale, and in a D melodic minor scale. You’ll discover there is no such thing as a C# on this measure (the seventh diploma of the D melodic minor scale, which is a strongly “defining” be aware). However the first be aware within the 2nd measure is a Db, which each sonically and functionally implies the D melodic minor. It is also the primary be aware of a brand new scale, Ab melodic minor. (So the Db capabilities as a standard “pivot” tone between each scales.)

In fact it’s the Ab melodic minor that’s wealthy in altered harmonic tensions over the G7 chord (particularly, -5/#11, +9, -13, -9). But this scale is organized into 4ths, as nicely, to be able to proceed the overall form and course of the melodic line. Once more, there’s a widespread “pivot” be aware in measure 3 (the B pure, which additionally capabilities enharmonically as Cb, the third of the Ab melodic minor scale).

Within the third measure the form adjustments barely, with a descending model of the C maj7 chord. Then the 4ths emerge once more (with a bit variation between the F# and G) till the tip. The overall shade of the road is a bit on the “fashionable” aspect due to the 4ths, however has sufficient acquainted harmonic parts in it in order that it may perform fairly nicely in a bebop or publish bop context.

When you’d prefer to discover the huge array of harmonic prospects by making use of melodic minor scales mixtures over ii-V7-I, please think about my e-book, Melodic Minor Scale Jazz Research: Tonal Organizations and Functions Over Dominant seventh Chords. Click on the hyperlink beneath for a free, downloadable pdf of this etude: