#1
I like melodic stuff, so I thought what a great way to start to learn some melodic scales, how to construct my own melodic scale etc....and then I came across this:

To construct my own melodic scale I take the major scale, right, let's say C major. It goes: C D E F G A B C

And to turn this in to "melodic" I flatten the 3rd, right? So this scale will go:
C D Eb F G A B C

BUT here is where I got confused:
I have just learned a melodic scale for my next guitar exam and what my teacher taught me is that i do the harmonic minor ascending and the natural decending, and that is melodic.

So which way is right, or are they both right or am I just confusing myself lol. Someone please clear this up for me. Thanks.
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#2
harmonic ascending and natural descending

only really used in piano music tbh
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#3
Melodic Minor scale

Ascending is a major scale with a flat third, descends as a major scale
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#4
Melodic minor is usually practiced like your teacher says. In actually application there are no strict rules about which note to use where. The reason Melodic minor is used is because the augmented 2nd interval in the harmonic minor scale (between the b6 and 7) was considered unmusical (way back when), so the 6th was raised when moving up to the 7th.
#5
Quote by AboveTheBridge
Melodic Minor scale

Ascending is a major scale with a flat third, descends as a major scale


Okay cool, so I was just confusing myself then ha ha lol.

Shot man.
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"I help my Uncle Jack off a horse."
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"i helped my uncle jack off a horse"


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..and how do i make the bridge erect. ..


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#6
Quote by Black Adder
I have just learned a melodic scale for my next guitar exam and what my teacher taught me is that i do the harmonic minor ascending and the natural decending, and that is melodic.

So which way is right, or are they both right or am I just confusing myself lol. Someone please clear this up for me. Thanks.

Well, your teacher's wrong, first of all. Ascending, the melodic minor was played with a natural sixth and seventh; the harmonic minor does not contain a natural sixth, it has a minor sixth. Descending it's a natural minor scale, so it would look like this:
C Ascending Melodic Minor:
C D Eb F G A B

C Descending Melodic Minor:
C Bb Ab G F Eb D

And here's C Harmonic Minor for comparison:
C D Eb F G Ab B

That's the classical intepretation; in modern music, the melodic minor (sometimes called "jazz melodic" or "jazz melodic minor") is simply played with the b3 both ways, so C D Eb F G A B would be the scale regardless of direction if you're using C Melodic Minor.

Does that help at all?
Last edited by :-D at Jul 14, 2008,
#7
Quote by :-D
Well, your teacher's wrong, first of all. Ascending, the melodic minor was played with a raised sixth and seventh; the harmonic minor does not contain a natural sixth, it has a minor sixth. Descending it's a natural minor scale, so it would look like this:
C Ascending Melodic Minor:
C D Eb F G A B

C Descending Melodic Minor:
C Bb Ab G F Eb D

And here's C Harmonic Minor for comparison:
C D Eb F G Ab B

That's the classical intepretation; in modern music, the melodic minor (sometimes called "jazz melodic" or "jazz melodic minor") is simply played with the b3 both ways, so C D Eb F G A B would be the scale regardless of direction if you're using C Melodic Minor.

Does that help at all?

Don't you find comparing to the minor scale confusing? I think that kind of sends the message there is a #6 and #7 (unless you read the rest of your post).

TS, read his post.
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#8
Quote by metal4all
Don't you find comparing to the minor scale confusing? I think that kind of sends the message there is a #6 and #7 (unless you read the rest of your post).

TS, read his post.

Very well.

Fixed.
#9
Quote by :-D
Very well.

Fixed.

Sorry, it's just been a weird thing of mine. Idk. Good post though. Cleared up the previous misconceptions others had.


Oh and TS, instead of calling it the "melodic" scale, it's the "melodic minor" scale. The b3 of course says it's minor.


I'm so picky/bitchy
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#10
The first two replies are wrong. The melodic minor scale was, historically, a minor scale played with a natural sixth and seventh when moving upwards towards the root, and with a flattened sixth and seventh when moving downward towards the fifth. This is rarely done nowadays. For all intents and purposes, the melodic minor scale is just 1-2-b3-4-5-6-7.
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#11
The way I understand it is through understanding why the melodic minor scale came about in the first place.

In the major scale the most powerful harmonic progression is the V-I. An important part of the strength of this progression is due to the minor second interval between the 7th and the tonic.

When using the natural minor scale:
1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 8
the v- i is less powerful due to the b7 being a whole tone away from the tonic. To solve the problem harmonic progressions in the minor key often raise the b7th and so retain the strength of the dominant - tonic resolution. The strength of this resolution is evident if you play Am-Em-Am and then compare it to Am-E-Am. One is clearly a stronger sounding progression.
Thus the Harmonic Minor scale is 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 7 8.

When writing melodically the half step between the 7 - 8 (the leading tone and the tonic) creates a strong pull from the 7 towards the 8. The Harmonic Minor is good melodically in so far as it retains this strong 7-8 relationship however, it fails melodically because it has a 3 semitone leap between the b6-7.
This leap can sound a little disjointed so the solution was to smooth it out by raising the b6th a half step when writing ascending minor scale runs. This way the scale still sounds smooth and retains the strong pull of the 7 toward the tonic.
So we have the Melodic Minor scale 1 2 b3 4 5 6 7 8.

But why only ascending? This is easy. When descending the half step between the 7 and 8 is less important since we are moving away from the tonic and not towards it so when using a descending run the regular natural minor scale is used and nothing is lost.

So try not to think of the Melodic Minor as a Major scale with a flatted third but instead as a Natural Minor scale with a natural 6 and 7 and the Harmonic Minor scale as a Natural Minor with a natural 7th.
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Jul 14, 2008,
#12
Quote by 20Tigers
So try not to think of the Melodic Minor as a Major scale with a flatted third but instead as a Natural Minor scale with a raised 6 and 7 and the Harmonic Minor scale as a Natural Minor with a raised 7th.
As long as you recognize that the scales should NEVER be written with #6 or #7 intervals.
#13
Quote by metal4all
Don't you find comparing to the minor scale confusing? I think that kind of sends the message there is a #6 and #7 (unless you read the rest of your post).

TS, read his post.

As long as everyone makes sure that the scale does not containt #6 and #7 I think it's even better if you try to find the similarities between the various minor scales, for comparison reasons. After all, melodic minor IS based off minor chords/keys whatnot.
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