This melodic minor scale chart for the guitar shows that the melodic minor scale is basically a major scale with a lowered third note which is lowered by a semitone. It is also a dorian mode with a 7th that is raised a semitone.
Whatever way you look at it this scale is mostly used in the Classical and Jazz genres. However, these scales are played a little differently with each genre.
With Classical music you play the melodic minor scale (chart on the top left) when you are ascending and play the natural minor scale when descending. This means that if you were playing in the key of A you would play the notes F# and G# while ascending and F and G while descending. This can get a little confusing but I recommend you play around with the scale to hear the different sounds you can get out of it.
You can just refer to our melodic minor scale chart for guitar on this page when playing this scale with Jazz music. The scale stays the same (as in the scale chart on the top left of the page) whether you are ascending or descending making it easier to memorize on the fretboard.
Melodic Minor Scale Chord Progressions (Jazz Version)
When first starting to figure out chord progressions using melodic minor scale chart I recommend only using three note chords instead of four. So in the key of C the first chord would be C min instead of C min7. The reason for this is that the melodic minor scale is hard enough to get a grasp of without that extra note. Adding that extra note makes it that much harder, and should be done after you have practiced with three note chords first. You will see why below.
In the key of C the notes in the melodic minor scale are C, D, Eb, F, G, A, B
Using basic theory we take the first, third, and fifth of every note in the scale to figure out what chords go with each note. When doing this we get these chords:
C min, D min, Eb aug, F maj, G maj, A dim, B dim
Notice the one augmented chord, and the two consecutive diminished chords? These are chords you probably aren’t used to hearing in your everyday music, and will take more time to understand how they work with the scales. I really suggest you start playing those chords with the other chords in the melodic minor scale to see how they sound when played with the other chords. This will really help train your ear to get used to the sounds in the scale.
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