Minor Scale Modes

Minor scale modes

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Minor Scale Modes For Creative Guitar Solos

Modes can be extracted from any scale and minor scale modes lend themselves to many creative possibilities.

The melodic minor scale is an amazing resource from which you can extract modes and there are harmonic possibilities that you just cannot achieve by using only the major scale. Melodies and ideas used in one mode from the melodic minor scale can easily be transferred to other modes of the scale, so you can recycle melodic content to create new and interesting sounds.

Many Types Of Minor Scale

The harmonic minor scale is another scale which is great fun to use when improvising. Although minor scale modes can be extracted from the harmonic minor scale, the most common use of the harmonic minor scale is when playing over dominant 7th chords.

The melodic minor scale in contrast has many more useable modal possibilities. Even when improvising over a dominant 7th chord, more than one melodic minor scale can be used over the same chord.

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A Melodic Minor Scale Over E7

This long, fretboard-covering lick uses many smaller melodic minor scale ideas to create a long, flowing lick.

As mentioned previously, A melodic minor scale is only one of many melodic minor scale possibilities that can be used when playing over an E7 chord. The great thing about the melodic minor scale is that many of the smaller melodic fragments can simply be moved to a different part of the fretboard to create a different flavour when playing over the E7 chord.

Altered Scale Over A7

The altered scale is one of many names given to mode seven of the melodic minor scale. It doesn't matter what you call this scale (Super Locrian, Pomeroy Scale, Diminished Whole Tone Scale... yawn!), it only matters that you understand what is going on.

I would simply think of this lick as Bb melodic minor scale. I can then use any Bb melodic minor scale melody and apply it to the chord. Simple!

This scale needs to be resolved to another chord - the D chord in this example.

Hexatonic Scale In G Minor

A hexatonic scale? Sounds fancy! All this means is that it is a scale containing six notes.

This example uses six notes of the harmonic minor scale. It is still thought of as a minor scale mode, just missing out on one of the notes.

There are plenty of books you could buy that would give this scale a complicated name. Seriously... just think of it as six notes of the harmonic minor scale and life will be much easier.

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