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  • Writer's pictureJay EuDaly

Going Modal: Melodic Minor!

What we're going to be dealing with here is the ascending form of the Melodic Minor scale. Let me explain:

The Melodic Minor scale is commonly taught as a Natural Minor (Aeolian Mode) with a sharp 6 and sharp 7 when ascending and naturalizing the 7th and 6th when descending.

Therefore the descending form is simply a Natural Minor (Aeolian). So you're mixing two different scales, which happens all the time – Dorian/Aeolian in a Minor Blues for instance. Yet we don't assign a different name/identity to the hybrid.

Anyway, when I use the term, “Melodic Minor” I mean the ascending form; the Natural Minor with a sharp 6 and 7.

We could also think about it as a Harmonic Minor scale (see last months' lesson) with a sharp 6.

I once had an internationally respected jazz guitarist tell me he thought about it as, “a major scale with a flatted 3rd.”

That seems confusing but ok.

This lesson also has some info on the Minor(Maj 9) chord (think: the second chord of Stairway to Heaven), because that tonality is one of the main contexts for the use of the Melodic Minor Scale.

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Blogs Published Since Last Newsletter

Blues Plus (4): Blues Plus: Bop Blues, A.K.A. the Charlie Parker Changes, with variations.

Note: All 4 Blues Plus lessons will be bundled together as a PDF download and offered to Site Members shortly - watch for it!

Jam Tales: Don Warner: He was turd-plated gold.

Into the Mystic: There is something very primal about music. Beyond the industry, beyond all the theory, beyond the feeling, beyond the physics, beyond everything you can say or think about it, there is something deep and mysterious about it.


Tune of the Month

I'm going to start a new feature in these monthly newsletters. The idea came to me from the blog, Into the Mystic which links to my cover of the classic Van Morrison tune of the same name.

In case you don't know, I've been a performing musician since 1969; over 10,000 shows.

Even now in my golden years I'm playing 2 - 4 gigs a week. That may not be apparent if you know me only from

The blog category, Stories will give you an idea of the decades of performing, touring and recording experience that I have.

If you want to check out what I do besides teaching, just go to and surf around.

So anyway I thought I'd feature tracks from my various CDs and recordings that I've done over the years.

We'll start with the tune that is the intro theme to most of the Master Guitar School videos, Into the Great Black Dark. It's from a 1999 release called "Sound Tracks."


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