Melodic Minor Complete part 2: Practical Application
The ascending, or “jazz”, melodic minor scale is one of the most central and recognizable sounds in jazz. Late 19th and early 20th century composes like Debussy and Stravinsky used this sound in their music, and jazz musicians soon afterward began to adopt this tonal color. Melodic minor has become an essential part of any developing jazz musician’s vocabulary, and mastery of this scale is considered to be mandatory.
Because the melodic minor scale is so prevalent and has been in widespread use for so long, there are a multitude of instructional materials available covering the use of this scale in jazz.
Many jazz musicians, however, don’t have a thorough or complete understanding of the theory behind the use of the scale, and still more don’t have as extensive a mastery of the structure as they could.
This two-part class presents the melodic minor scale in a thorough, complete way, with the goal of giving a total understanding of how it has been, and continues to be, used by master jazz musicians.
Part one of the class breaks down the theory, revealing how, why, when, and where to use the scale and providing a clear explanation of the modes and many different techniques to make learning and utilizing them easier.
Part one could be used by any jazz musician interested in gaining a more expansive knowledge of the melodic minor scale. Guitar fingerings and tablature are given, but traditional musical notation is also used throughout so that any instrumentalist or vocalist can benefit.
Part two of the class, which is more guitar-centric, presents a methodical and comprehensive way to gain mastery over the melodic minor scale, with numerous examples and exercises for increasing fluency. Part two also presents some imaginative and exciting ideas for generating new musical sounds with the scale, both for comping/chordal playing and single-note soloing.
Melodic Minor Complete part 2: Practical Application covers:
• five different fingering systems for complete mastery of the scale all over the neck
• numerous examples of playing intervallic patterns both along two or more strings and by position
• many common patterns as well as ideas for generating more unusual and wide-intervallic patterns, with examples
• extended arpeggio fingerings with examples of sweep-picking as well as alternate-picking
• all diatonic triads up and down the neck, all inversions and string sets
• close as well as open triads, played as chords and arpeggios, as well as examples of diatonic cycles to gain fluency with different inversions and voice leading
• practical close position diatonic seventh chords and their uses for comping or soloing
• complete system covering all drop 2 and drop 3 voicings and inversions diatonic to the melodic minor scale, with explanation of the terms “drop 2,” “drop 3,” and the concept of inversions
• color tone replacement chart for spicing up basic four-note seventh chords
• explanation of a system for deriving all the possible four-note chords, including many fresh and modern-sounding voicings
• demonstration of using the augmented major seventh upper structure concept for comping and soloing
• demonstration of using the minor/major seventh upper structure concept for comping and soloing
• detailed analysis of the chord changes to the standard “Stella by Starlight” with a breakdown of the melodic minor modes that can be used
• etude on the Stella changes demonstrating the concepts from the class, including harmonized melodies, augmented major seventh and minor/major seventh upper structures, wide-interval patterns, use of “Goodrick voicings,” and creative use of open strings
• running time: 115 minutes
• includes 38 pages of written materials: 25 pages of examples and exercises discussed in the video and, in addition, a 13-page supplemental appendix covering seventh chord arpeggios by position, triads by position, triad pairs, pentatonic concepts, and fingerings for minor pentatonic (natural 6th) and pentatonic flat sixth scales derived from melodic minor
• All musical examples from the video are provided in music notation, tablature, and chord grid form.
• Each example performance in the video is titled and numbered for easy navigation.
• MP3 backing tracks for written examples as well as full length tracks for practice