Other Scales outside progression:
Mixolydian 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 Lydian Dominant1 2 3 #4 5 6 b7 H-W Diminished (Octatonic) 1 b2 #2 3 #4 5 6 b7 FAltered Scale( Super Locrian) 1 b2 #2 3 #4 #5 b7
Chords C7 So over a plain 7th chord, the most logical scale choice is Mixolydian, right? No alterations, nothing fancy. Just straight 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7. This works perfectly well over C7, C9, C13. You just might want to avoid landing on F though while the chord is ringing . It is where you are going, not where you are. C7#11 Whoa, what happened there? This is where the first alteration in the sequence comes into play. Let us assume an unaltered 5 here. Now we have a F# in our C7 chord, creating 2 tritones in the chord, one between C and F#, and the other between E and Bb. Sweet. How do we make sweet music over this chord? By using Lydian Dominant of course! Aptly named, it tells you exactly what is in the scale. Lydian tells you there is a #4, the Dominant gives you b7. In total you get a scale that looks like 1 2 3 #4 5 6 b7. This is the 4th mode of Melodic Minor. In our case, the Melodic Minor Scale that would coincide with C Lydian Dominant would be G Melodic Minor. Also try C7b9 Ok, let's think here. More than likely, we are headed straight for F-7 here. Let us assume we have an unaltered 5th here (G). The most common idea might be to play Phrygian Dominant here, which contains the same notes as Ab Harmonic Minor. Another option might be C H-W dim, or C Mixolydian(b2). Take your pick. If you see this chord symbol as an improviser, feel free to use really whatever you want, but make sure you have a Db in there. C7#9 This is the famous Hendrix' chord, although he was quite fond of E7#9. Same deal as before, use a scale that has a D# in it. You will commonly see the Altered Scale used here. Maybe even consider Dorian (b2). I posit use of this scale because it has both b9 and #9, and while it may not have a Major 3rd, you can always insert one. C13b9 Once again, Dorian (b2) and the H-W dim will work nicely. Also consider Mixolydian (b2). Use common sense (and the above chart to search for scales with both b2 and 6). C7#5 Whole Tone scale works nice over this one, which also throws a #11 into the mix. Try the Altered scale here as well, it is a good candidate to play over almost anything with a #5(b13)/b5(#11) C7b13 Consider Mixolydian (b6) among other things. C alt7 If you see this, throw in as many alterations as you can, making the Altered Scale an obvious choice. If you are familiar with tritone substitution, right there you are using the b9 and b5 of the altered dominant. Here is a powerful way to look at the Altered Scale: Imagine it is a major scale with a #1 a tritone away from the root of the resolution chord! So for you smarty pants who might ask What happens if I tritone sub the altered dominant with an altered dominant? Funny you should ask. If you are leading to F major, it contains all the notes of F major except for F, which is replaced with F#. Major Scale #1 again! That about wraps it up. In short, use your ears and brain when you play. There are several combinations of tensions which can be used together, so you can mix and match to your heart's content when dealing with altered dominants. Listed here are merely suggestions of scales to play over different chords, but remember, it is all about the melody!
Whole Tone1 2 3 #4 #5 b7 Mixolydian(b6)1 2 3 4 5 b6 b7 Phrygian Dominant1 b2 3 4 5 b6 b7 3rd mode of Harmonic Major (Phrygian b4?)1 b2 #2 3 5 b6 b7 5th mode of Harmonic Major (Mixolydian(b2))1 b2 3 4 5 6 b7 2nd mode of Melodic Minor (Dorian (b2)) 1 b2 #2 4 5 6 b7