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In the previous lesson, you had a homework to do: to build F# harmonic minor and C harmonic minor scales. Here they are:

Notice that the 7th note is an E sharp. In the piano keyboard, E sharp is the same key as F natural. One of our first lessons was about accidentals, and we saw back then that we can name a key in more than one way. It will all depend on their scale.

So, in F# harmonic minor scale there is not an F natural note, but an E sharp note.

In the keyboard diagram:

Notice that the 7th note of the C Harmonic Minor scale is a B natural. It means that we had to raise a half step a Bb note.

In the keyboard diagram:

Today we will learn the melodic minor scale. One more time, if you are familiar with major scales, you will be able to build any minor scale.

Melodic Minor Scale

We built any melodic minor scale by raising both 6th and 7th notes by a half step. However, this scale is used mostly in the ascending mode. In the descending mode, composers usually apply the natural minor scale.

Let’s use scale A Melodic Minor to check it out:

Here’s the ascending mode in the keyboard diagram:

Notice that 6th and 7th notes are raised in the ascending mode, but become natural again in the descending mode.

We can say that popular and jazz music often use the melodic minor scale in the ascending mode. The descending mode is frequent in classical music.

Here’s how A Melodic Minor scale sounds like:

Now, let’s build E Melodic Minor scale by first showing the E Natural Minor scale:


The next step is to build E Harmonic Minor scale:


Harmonic minor scales have the 7th note raised by a half step. Now, if we also raise the 6th note, we will have the Melodic Minor scale:

In the keyboard diagram:


The next exercise is to build D Melodic Minor scale. Let’s start by building D Natural Minor:


And going directly to D Melodic Minor scale:

Using the keyboard diagram:

Notice that the 6th note is a B natural and the 7th note is a C sharp.

Try to build B Melodic Minor and G Melodic Minor scales yourself.

That’s it! In the next lesson, we will start to understand how to build chords using just one major or minor scale, and then make a cool chord progression.

Happy productions!



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