Melodic Minor Modes 2, 3 & 4 – Lesson 104

About Melodic Minor Modes 2, 3 & 4 – Lesson 104

Level: Advanced

Melodic Minor Modes 2, 3 & 4 – Lesson 104

In this lesson we show you the 2nd, 3rd & 4th modes of the Melodic Minor Scale – their construction, applications and related chords.

Syn’s Tips

A lot of concepts in this one I love it!

I'd like to begin with Voice Leading. Now there are various philosophies behind this practice, some strict, some lenient, some complex, and some simple. I'm going to lightly get into the lenient and simple as this is what I prefer, but if you choose, you can discuss further with your friends and I highly suggest that you do so in the "comments" section above. I'll be hanging out with you guys there as well and would love to explore this with you all a little more!

Voice Leading simply put, is the Connection of Harmony Through Melodic Lines and what this means on a very basic level, is that you should be aware of the movement of the melody or highest note, pitch wise, within the chords your are playing. What we are trying to accomplish, is the smoothest possible transition from chord to chord and usually, BUT NOT ALWAYS, this means that the melodic intervals should be closer together and contain a theme or Motif.

If this sounds difficult, well, sorry to say, it really can be but the general practice shouldn't be. To begin with, just listen to and watch the chord progression as you play it and ask yourself these questions

1) Is your fretting hand making big jumps up and down the neck when you change chords?

2)Do your chord changes sound disjointed and incohesive?

3)Are you struggling to find the right voicing and therefore settling on a more familiar chord shape?

If you answered yes to any of these, and I still do to this day, you may want to Spend More Time Experimenting With Different Chord Shapes, Inversions, and Substitutions. Even simply taking a chord shape that's familiar to you and changing the Melody Note to sound better in between the adjacent chords of the progression you are playing will begin to improve this technique and develop your ear.

Now some of you big brains may be asking, "Well I can move the melody around, what about the other end of the Harmonic spectrum...The Bass Line?!". Great question but since I don't want to further confuse you, I will just tell you that consideration for the ENTIRE CHORD or HARMONY is called Counterpoint. Again, I highly suggest discussing this amongst yourselves, but only once you've attained clarity with Voice Leading. More on this later.

For our next topic that Papa Gates touched upon in this lesson, let's switch gears a little and go back to Substitutions and more specifically, our Tritone Substitution. Simply put, a Tritone Substitution is when you substitute any Dominant chord for another Dominant chord a Tritone away. You should know this interval by now but if not and you are jumping around the lessons, it's a flat fifth, raised fourth, six half steps, or three whole steps away(all of these are the same distance).

Most musicians mainly use the Tritone Sub in Jazz and I do as well as it is a VERY common Chord and Melodic Substitution for the "V" and "VI 7" in the famous I VI ii V Jazz progression called the Turnaround, BUT, I use this quite a bit for Avenged Sevenfold as well.

For example, we use a progression in D minor quite often where we sub an E flat major chord for an A major resolving back to D minor. The whole progression looks like this, i III ii bii7(sub for V) or Dm FM E7 Eb7(sub for A7). The E7 is actually a sub for E minor7b5 which you can do do for any chord at any time really. More on that for later because MY GOD, this is WAY too much for now!

Now when you come across these Dominant 7th chords, especially as Tritone Subs, you can play the 4th mode of the Melodic Minor Scale called Lydian Dominant over them to get some really "Out" tension before resolving back to the "I" chord.

We are gonna need some serious help from all of you for all of this! It goes against my better judgement to introduce too much bonus material especially as advanced as all of this is, BUT, I really do believe in your ability to help one another so go prove me right and upload videos to the "Lesson Comments" section below of your questions, ideas, demonstrations, and creativity!

Lesson Comments

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Ids Schiere
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Ids Schiere Wow Syn's tips on this are amazing also a bit daunting bit still amazing! I have one question though on the voice leading part. Mostly point 3 because I do really tend to use chord shapes I'm used to(like C, A, E and F shape) is that wrong or is that enough?
Ids Schiere
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Ids Schiere Thanks PG! I do sometimes out melodies over a chord I'm just nor familiar with how the stuff is called😅
Brian Haner Sr.
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Brian Haner Sr. This is a subject that needs a couple hours of video to cover - but let me give you the quick rundown. Voice leading is simply putting the melody note you want heard on top of the chord. A good exercise is to play a chord - lets take G - and put a G on top. Simple. Now go through the G major scale and put a different note on top of a G chord. Note that you will have to change positions and shapes to make this work. So up next is a G with an added A on top, then G with a B on top, then C (which is a sus4), then D, then E (which is a 6th) and finally F# (which is a major 7). Now lets go through the shapes to do that. G is easy. G with a A would be an E shape at the 3rd fret and just add your pinky on the 5th fret, 1st string. G with a B on top is a D shape at the 7th fret. Same with the sus4 - just add your pinky. G with a D on top is an A shape at the 10th fret. Same with the 6th - A shape, but add E on the 12 fret, 1st string. Finally the G with an F# - which is back to your E shape on the 15th fret, but drop the 1st string down to the 14th fret. The idea is that you should be able to do this with any chord - not just major chords. minor chords, dominant 7th chords, major 7 chords, 6ths, etc. It's a lot of work, but if you can put any note on top of any chord, you are on your way to playing chord melodies. One last note - sometimes the note you need to put on top is NOT in the scale. Adjust accordingly.
Ids Schiere
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Ids Schiere Wow Syn's tips for this are daunting but unbelievable! I'm reading up on my theory with some book but this soundsa lot more interesting to me than the section I'm at in my book!
Austin Ingerman
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Austin Ingerman https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ao1wJ6st99U The first lick that I play in this solo is a Lydian Dominant lick used over a C7
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