Nice work! You made it through 7 Melodic Minor Modes in 7 Days.
Give yourself a hearty pat on the back, then let’s recap our key learnings and go over next steps.
Key things you need to know:
- Modes and chords are two sides of the same coin.
- Melodic Minor modes enhance chord progressions you already know.
- The modes/chords/licks of Melodic Minor harmony are interchangeable because there are no avoid notes in Melodic Minor harmony.
- There are 5 positions, but you only need to learn 2-3 well.
- The best way to play and think about modes is by relating them back to their parent Melodic Minor scale
A summary of the modes:
- All guitarists should know Melodic Minor and Altered modes.
- If you’re a jazz musician, you should know Lydian Dominant and Locrian #2.
- If you’re an advanced jazz musician, consider exploring Susb9 and Lydian Augmented.
- Don’t worry about Mixolydian b6, unless you’ve mastered all the other modes.
The following steps are only applicable if you’ve practiced and feel comfortable with everything we covered so far. If you need to brush up on specific modes, don’t hesitate to revisit previous lessons!
Step 1. Practice altering dominants
So far, you’ve mostly been isolating the modes. This is a great way to get started. Your next step is to then play the modes in context. You want your lines to weave from “normal” Major or Minor Scale harmony into Melodic Minor harmony, and out again. This “push and pull” is what creates interest for your listener. The best place to do this is over V chords.
Here’s a selection of Jam tracks. Practice playing altered over all V7 dominant chords you come across.
Step 2. Hit the SHED!
Yup, you eventually have to learn all 5 positions of the Melodic Minor scale. If you don’t, there will be dead zones in your fretboard that will hamper your improvisations. Now is a good time to revisit our interlude lesson and start practicing.
Step 3. Compose songs
A common practice strategy taught in colleges is to compose songs using techniques you’ve learned.
Your assignment: write a 32 measure song using 7 chords from the Melodic Minor scale.
You need to include at least one of each of these chords:
- Dom7 Alt
How did it go? Don’t worry if your song sounds overly rich. The goal here is to overuse this “spice”, so you can develop a sense of how to “add it to taste”. Advanced students should repeat this exercise five times in different styles and compose melodies over each chord progression.
We want to congratulate you on making it through this class – we know it’s been intense!
We had a blast developing this class for you. As always, the Pickup Music team is open to suggestions on how to improve our lessons and best help our members reach the next level in their guitar-playing journeys.
Do you have feedback on this Master Class or future lessons? Shoot us an email at [email protected], we’d love to hear from you.
Best of luck for your practice!
But wait there’s more: We’ve got one final lesson on the CAGED system. You may want to skip this lesson if you’re not yet familiar with CAGED!