Music Theory Series- The Melodic Minor Scale

So far this year, we’ve covered the following scales… major scale, minor scale, and the harmonic minor scale. This month we’re covering the melodic minor scale.

What is the melodic minor scale? Let’s take a look at some minor scales on the treble staff below…

As you recall, the natural minor scale has no raising or lowering of the pitches. In this example it’s A B C D E F G A G F E D C B A

The harmonic minor scale raises the 7th degree of the scale both ascending and descending. In this example its A B C D E F G# A G# F E D C B A

The melodic minor scale raises the 6th and 7th degree ascending and then descending it’s a natural minor scale. In this example it’s A B C D E F# G# A G F E D C B A

Let’s see what an ascending melodic minor scale would look like on the piano keyboard below…

And now descending it looks like a natural minor scale…

Again you could literally go around the circle of fifths and build any natural minor scale into a melodic minor scale by raising the 6th and 7th degree of the scale on the ascent and back to the natural pattern on the descent.

Until next time practice building and playing your melodic minor scales!

2021-06-06T15:58:39-05:00 June 6th, 2021|Tags: |

One Comment

  1. Lisa June 7, 2021 at 7:36 am - Reply

    Thank you for these snippets! Love to understand in a visual way what I hear when I play but I don’t always recognize the pattern.

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