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  1. #1

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    Hoping someone can help this click for me.. in Elliot’s book he shows the using the altered scale over the V chord and uses the melodic minor pattern one step up. That makes sense to me, however he then adds two more options he says are the 1st and 3rd of the harmonized melodic minor.

    Am I harmonizing the true harmonic minor or the altered scale? I’m confused as he shows that say a G altered scale is the same shape as Ab harmonic minor but 1/2 step up but the 1 of the harmonic minor arp looks to be a G melodic minor and not the harmonized Ab harmonic minor.

    pic attached! Hope someone can unwind my thinking process!

    Melodic Minor to Altered scale (Elliot soloing book)-40bf162e-8415-412f-89ec-a4da43bcfe3c-jpg

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  3. #2

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    The book I have does not mention harmonic minor at all, it only mentions melodic minor for the altered scale (Chapter 16 right ?). Regardless, the I chord and the III chord are the same for both harmonized harmonic minor and harmonized melodic minor scales. You should play Ab minor(M7) arpeggio and B Major7(#5) arpeggio over G7.

  4. #3

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    My bad! I got it right in the title but yes, I totally meant Melodic not harmonic.

    what you’re saying makes things a little clearer now. I think I’m conflating the shape and it’s relation to the altered scale with the shape of the I and III of the MM scale.

    I think my question now is what degree of MM is the augmented scale? Is it the 7th?


    Many thanks!!!

  5. #4

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    3rd mode (degree) of MM is Lydian Augmented mode.7th is Altered (super Locrian)

  6. #5

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    Ooof... I’m really mashing up my terms!

    thank you so much for your help!

  7. #6

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    If you haven't done this, it's a good idea. If it's too simple, I apologize.

    G alt is the G7 (aka G mixolydian scale) (white keys, starting on G) EXCEPT: the fifth and ninth are each altered in both directions as follows.

    G7: G A B C D E F

    Galt: G Ab Bb B Db Eb F . The notes are the same as Ab melodic minor. But, what is actually happening is that you're altering 5 and 9 of a G7 (aka G mixolydian) scale. If you think hard about it you may find a flaw in this theory, but I'd recommend against going down that rabbit hole.

    To learn the sound, play Dm7 G7 Cmaj7. Play a Dm7 arpeggio, then an Abm(add9) arpeggio and then Cmaj7.

    All of these arcane scale names used with dominant 7th chords are describing, to my way of thinking, alterations of the 5 and 9, whether or not there is a 6, and whether it's suspended or not (third, or is it raised to a fourth?).

    The nomenclature is tricky and can get overwhelming if you're trying to learn all this stuff as separate patterns in multiple places on the neck.

    My view, probably a minority view, is that you learn one alteration at a time, by sound (and however else gets it internalized). I think b9, #11, #9 then #5 is a good order to work in. Sus is pretty obvious. Once you know the sound you want, if you need help finding it, you can learn the arcane scale names. Or, you can learn the superimposed chords.

    For example, if you want the sound of G7 played under the #9 and #11, play a Bbm triad against G7. Or play a G7 arp mixed with a Bbm triad arp. Those notes are G A Bb Db D E F. You can do it by scale name too. Personally, I don't see why it's easier, but if the scale name helps you, it's fine with me (D harmonic minor, btw).

    The problem with the scale names is that until you're comfortable with them, the nomenclature is non-intuitive and a little overwhelming. If you think about raising and lowering the 5ths and 9ths, there are four obvious combinations (flat 5 flat 9, raised 5 flat 9, etc) and some less obvious combinations where you have, also, the unaltered 5ths and 9ths. And, then there is the presence or absence of the 6th and the 4ths. If you wrote out all the possible permutations (is this technically a permutation or a combination?) there would be a lot of them and most of them would have scale names. There would be major, minor, mel min, harm min, harm major, diminished, whole tone and maybe others. Changing a single note in the scale can completely change the name of the scale. It's confusing. But, it's still 5ths, 9ths, 6ths and 4ths.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 10-27-2020 at 02:07 AM.

  8. #7

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    Thank you for this rp, very helpful! Especially the part about not stressing about the labels of things.

    I feel like I’m just making the turn where I’m able to call on things for certain sounds. After all, it’s the sound I’m after.

    Thanks again to all!

  9. #8

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    It's a very useful sound over the V chord I'd say. Sounds good in major or minor and gives a fairly out sound for the V chord but it is elegant. Every tone except the 1, 3, and b7 are altered lol! I have it under my fingers to just run ok. Would be cool to start making up melodies using it. Maybe someone has some examples.

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by booneroo
    Hoping someone can help this click for me.. in Elliot’s book he shows the using the altered scale over the V chord and uses the melodic minor pattern one step up. That makes sense to me, however he then adds two more options he says are the 1st and 3rd of the harmonized melodic minor.

    Am I harmonizing the true harmonic minor or the altered scale? I’m confused as he shows that say a G altered scale is the same shape as Ab harmonic minor but 1/2 step up but the 1 of the harmonic minor arp looks to be a G melodic minor and not the harmonized Ab harmonic minor.

    pic attached! Hope someone can unwind my thinking process!

    Melodic Minor to Altered scale (Elliot soloing book)-40bf162e-8415-412f-89ec-a4da43bcfe3c-jpg
    It's not just you. It's confusing. But understand the most important part: this is more of an ear thing than something just on paper, but I'll explain the paper part.

    I'm assuming this is A7? So, the first grid is just A mixolydian for reference, and the second is A altered. (So, 1 is A, b2 is Bb etc.)

    The bottom 2 grids are spelled differently. they are spelled from the parent melodic minor scale: B-flat melodic minor. And they spell from the root of the actual chords from the parent scale.

    "1" now represents the root of each arpeggio (not A), and each is different. Just understand that his basic idea is: "Arpeggios from the parent MM scale sound good over their altered counterparts." PracticeA7 arp going into BbMin(maj7) arp (or Em7 arp going into BbMin(maj7) arp). It's a great sound, and sounds like A-altered.

    The enharmonic spelling of melodic minor when used in this way can be really confusing in the beginning , and many guitarists never get their mind around it . To be fair, horn players and pianists etc. learn melodic minor cold in junior high school. so, it's only one degree of separation/abstraction in learning to apply melodic minor as altered (seventh scale degree). For guitarists it's really 2 degrees of separation, because we never learned to play melodic minor very well, if at all. Confusion/abstraction on top of the unfamiliar. It's pretty helpful to learn melodic minor as its own sound pretty well first, over minor chords etc. honestly, the Lydian dominant sub is a lot easier to hear and see as well, again, because there's only one degree of separation from straight dominant or major/minor.

    Again, ignore all of that and just keep in the back of your mind until you get the basic EAR part down under your fingers: those arps sound good over A7.

  11. #10

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    Excellent advice! Thank you!