#1
Hey guys, how to use the melodic minor (ascending) effectivly?

It makes some pretty good sounding ascending runs (obviously), and I've had some success using its augmented chords as borrowed VII+, but what else can I do with this? It opens up some pretty strange chords, does the name suggest that its only really for melodies? What other key changes can it facilitate? How can I use some of the other chords it opens up (in a tonal way)? thanks in advance to the theory buffs xD
#3
from what i'm guessing, you're not really using VII+ (and it's not really borrowed).

in C melodic minor: C D Eb F G A B C. the chord built on the B note nets us Bm7b5. for VII+, you'd have to have B D# Fx, which is really most likely to function as the bIII+ (Eb G B) or maybe a borrowed V+ (G B D#).

the chords built from the melodic minor scale are imaj7, ii7, bIII+maj7, IV7, V7, vim7b5, viim7b5.

i don't think it's only for melodies, but i can't really tell you how to use it. you'd basically just start using it like i do. just start thinking about it more, and consider your harmony more.


Just One Hint (tm):notice also that there are two dominant chords: one built from the subdominant and one built from the dominant.

if you make voice-leading work in your favor, you can achieve some pretty interesting modulations.
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Last edited by AeolianWolf at Jun 16, 2010,
#4
"...the chords built from the melodic minor scale are imaj7, ii7, bIII+maj7, IV7, V7, viº7, viim7b5...."

the sixth chord is also a mi7b5....also thinking of these as dominate 9th chords opens up alot more possibilities..

"...i don't think it's only for melodies, but i can't really tell you how to use it. you'd basically just start using it like i do. just start thinking about it more, and consider your harmony more....if you make voice-leading work in your favor, you can achieve some pretty interesting modulations..."

the melodic minor used with care is one of the most versital scales...using fragments of the prevaling melody and whole tone scales and other altered dominate scales 13b9, 7#9, 7b9 and some other symmetrical flavored chord types ... it turns into a monster improv tool

play well

wolf
#5
Quote by wolflen
the sixth chord is also a mi7b5....also thinking of these as dominate 9th chords opens up alot more possibilities..


you're right, i'm not sure how i missed that. good catch.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#6
Quote by AeolianWolf
from what i'm guessing, you're not really using VII+ (and it's not really borrowed).


sorry I meant VII+ of vi (for example Am, E+, then Fm as the new tonic) if thats how to write it correctly?

cheers for the hints guys about the dominant chords thatll be quite handy
#7
The main use of the melodic minor scale is so you have a leading tone going to the tonic in an ascending melody. Thats all there is to it.

"But tubatom, isnt that what harmonic minor is for?"

Yes. But someone decided that the harmonic minor scale sounded to weird with a b6 and a raised 7 against each other. This is probably because its the only diatonic scale with a distance greater than a whole step between two consecutive pitches. So they thought the raised 6 sounded better. And now theres two solutions to one problem

Generally the raised 6 and 7 are used leading into and over V chords respectively (because even in minor keys, you almost always see V instead of v). Other than that, the skies the limit.
Last edited by tubatom868686 at Jun 17, 2010,
#8
Quote by lmlPezlml
sorry I meant VII+ of vi (for example Am, E+, then Fm as the new tonic) if thats how to write it correctly?

cheers for the hints guys about the dominant chords thatll be quite handy


i'd be inclined to call that C E G#, rather than E G# B#, so it's really the diatonic bIII+ you'll find in harmonic and melodic minor scales. you could see it as V+, but that involves borrowing...meh. it's already clean. very clean in fact, because that bIII+ in A just happens to be the V+ of F minor, which works out very well.

i don't use melodic minor much. i actually have no reason not to - i should start using it more.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#9
Quote by tubatom868686
The main use of the melodic minor scale is so you have a leading tone going to the tonic in an ascending melody. Thats all there is to it.

"But tubatom, isnt that what harmonic minor is for?"

Yes. But someone decided that the harmonic minor scale sounded to weird with a b6 and a raised 7 against each other. This is probably because its the only diatonic scale with a distance greater than a whole step between two consecutive pitches. So they thought the raised 6 sounded better. And now theres two solutions to one problem

Generally the raised 6 and 7 are used leading into and over V chords respectively (because even in minor keys, you almost always see V instead of v). Other than that, the skies the limit.

Pretty much this. This way you can have a leading tone back to the minor tonic while not having that 1 1/2 step between the 6th and 7th. The melodic minor is often substituted in with natural minor and harmonic minor to give you more possibility (although there really isnt much of restriction anyway). I dont use it too often, I mainly stick to harmonic and natural minors. However, its definitely useful for a different color I guess you could say.
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