Thursday, June 19, 2014

Modes of the melodic minor - Improvising on alt Chords

In my last post I took a look at an alternate way of soloing on a m7b5 using the 5th mode of the melodic minor. In this next post I want to look a possibility for improvising on the vth degree of a minor ii v i.

If we take the progression Am7b5 D7alt for example, two nice possibilities are there.

In traditional theory we are often proposed to play the melodic minor a half step above:
  • D7alt = Eb melodic minor = Eb F Gb Ab Bb C D Eb

One further possibility would be to use the 6th mode or Locrian #2:
  • Eb melodic minor = Eb F Gb Ab Bb C D Eb
  • 6th mode of Eb = C D Eb F Gb Ab Bb C
An even nicer one in my opinion which has a very modern sound is the 4th mode or Lydian b7:
  • Eb melodic minor = Eb F Gb Ab Bb C D Eb
  • 4th mode of Eb = Ab Bb C D Eb F Gb Ab
Like my proposition for the m7b5 chord, these are very much subject to taste and style. One would really need to play though each mode carefully and with time in order to find the best personal choice. One could even use the mixolydian b6 (charukesi) proposed in the previous post starting on Bb. Each one has it's unique sound.

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