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  1. #1

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    When you're approaching a minor 2-5-1, as in e.g. Dmi7b6, G7#5, Cmi7, do you prefer to think Melodic Minor Modes or just Melodic Minor "converted"?

    MODES APPROACH

    * for the 2, respond with the 6th mode of Melodic Minor (I believe the traditional response is Locrian but I like the sound of the natural 2)
    * for the 5, respond with the 7th mode of Melodic Minor - "Diminished Wholetone"
    * for the 1, respond with Dorian.

    Under this approach, I need to get 2 new modes of Melodic Minor under my fingers, say in at least 2 positions, so 4 new scales.

    MELODIC MINOR ONLY APPROACH

    * for the 2, recognize D is the 6th of F Melodic Minor; play in F Melodic Minor.
    * for the 5, recognize G is the 7th of Ab, so play in Ab Melodic Minor.
    * for the 1, play C dorian

    This way I just get Melodic Minor under my fingers, and move it around as needed, maybe in 2 positions, so 2 new scales to learn instead of 4. But the mental manipulation required seems kind of awkward.

    What do you do?

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  3. #2

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    No one way.

    I'm aware that m7b5 can be covered with the melodic minor a b3 higher.

    But, I'm also aware of the chord tones in a m7b5 and I don't have any trouble picking additional notes by ear.

    So, I know that Dm7b5 is D F Ab C. I know that Bb and B are choices, that the 9th, E, is likely to sound ok, and that the 4th, G, is also likely to work. For the G7b13, I'm likely to think "G7 plus alterations" which will end up as a Gmixolydian with an Eb instead of an E.

  4. #3

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    what richie hart said

  5. #4

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    I use the melodic minor as a non-functional harmonic source..

    I use the augmented scale and the embedded chord arpeggios (major and minor)on the first three degrees of the scale..

    for the 4 5 6 & 7 I use dominant and altered dominant and their substitutions..

    the 6 & 7 degrees--mi7b5 chords...I convert to dom 9th chords and dom7b9#5..and use diminished scales and the many arpeggios/scales of their embedded chords found in the scales

    whole tone fragments are part of this approach and I use it as a connecting scale to any and all the above

  6. #5

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    No, I definitely don’t think any of that.


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  7. #6

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    Yes, I do that. I'll think both ways. I don't think it matters which approach you use as long as you make it musical. Eff it and play C melodic minor over the i chord and just be running melodic minor everywhere haha. I have it worked out to where I can think G diminished whole tone or Ab melodic minor for example. Don't forget Lydian Dominant over the V7 chord which is G mixolydian with a raised 4 or D melodic minor. Another easy one to visualize over the V7 chord is an Ab diminished arpeggio - easy for runs.

  8. #7

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    I am stuck with the altered scale. So on Galt I easily go for the modes approach.
    However on dm7b5 I am incapable to go for the modes, so I play the f melodic minor, more precisely the E altered... as I said I am stuck there... (well, there are room for the improvement)

    Speaking melodic minor and cm as tonic... if the context allows, I prefer play c melodic minor there instead of dorian especially when the chord is not really cm7 (a la Real Book) instead cm6, as tonic

  9. #8

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    So re: the OP. This sort of question is.... well OK.... What kind of jazz are we talking about?

    That's ONE option for playing minor II-V-I's. A good sounding one, but one that works best when you have a bit of time to explore those colours. IMO education materials make a massive meal out of II-V-I's. They aren't that complicated.

    The simplest way to play on a minor II-V-I is simply to play a minor melody. I realised that's what classic era players were doing most of the time. The tritone/altered sounds are a bit of spice you put in there when you want.

    The locrian #2 sound on IIm7b5 (So Dm on Bm7b5) is very specific. It's not what bop players use, for example. It's more Bill Evans-y.

    OTOH, bop players will often play a MAJOR II-V going into a MINOR I chord in their line... maybe

    IIm7 V13 Im(maj7)

    So, yeah, there are a lot of ways to do it. Not just the one way it says in the theory books or whatever.

    Which players do you like to listen to, and how many minor II-V-I lines have you learned by ear?

  10. #9

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    Also, as Gabor says


  11. #10

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    Good one, Christian. Seemed clear to me.