Video Guitar Lesson 9: Usable ideas for the melodic and harmonic minor scales and selected modes
(see below for timings for both this video and the audio version)
So you know a bit about the major scale and its modes, but want to add something a bit different to your playing? Check out this video for some really good ideas taking the melodic minor and harmonic minor from theoretical mystical scales to usable and accessible. If you haven’t yet had the chance to watch the lesson we published last time, it would be good to take a look at that too as we introduce these really useful scales and a few of their modes (see at the bottom of this page for that video or click here).
There will be something in this lesson for everyone!
In this lesson Dan helps me to develop what we began to look at last lesson by taking the theory and looking at how we can actually use and implement it. As always, there is plenty of demonstration and guitar playing throughout including over some ideas like the progression in Stairway to Heaven and California Dreaming. Covering quite a few genres and concepts, we hope you get a lot out of this lesson, whether you want to shred or are aiming for some new strategies to add interest to the melody of your improvisation.
I really enjoyed this lesson and found it really accessible. There’s no need to over-complicate these things and I found that having a few different ways of looking at these scales will really allow me to internalise what they are and find times to use them (e.g. harmonic minor is taking the A minor scale and swapping G for G#, using that when an E major comes up in A minor, knowing the shapes, understanding the tone and a half jump and knowing that it gives an exotic sort of flavour).
All the best, Gary and Dan
Timings for the SoundCloud audio version
|00:06:23||The first scale we look at is the melodic minor|
|00:11:48||The first use is a descending bass line progression like: Stairway to Heaven|
|00:16:20||Dan’s example over Stairway to Heaven progression|
|00:17:27||Funkier ‘Stairway’ backing demo|
|00:19:41||Using melodic minor in a horror movie soundtrack for tension|
|00:21:41||Using in tune where you use an [i IV ii V] progression like Am D Bm E|
|00:23:42||Considering the mode: Locrian #4|
|00:24:32||Locrian #4 over the E of Blues in A|
|00:26:19||Droning an E7#5 for a melodic minor feel|
|00:28:31||Using over a rock song that sits in a static place|
|00:35:17||The second scale we look at is the harmonic minor|
|00:36:56||California Dreaming – using the major chord instead of the v (minor 5th) chord of the minor scale|
|00:37:29||Demo of this use of the harmonic minor|
|00:39:45||Metal backing track and the phrygian dominant mode|
|00:42:58||Using diminished arpeggios|
Timings for the YouTube video version
|00:05:50||The first scale we look at is the melodic minor|
|00:11:15||The first use is a descending bass line progression like: Stairway to Heaven|
|00:15:47||Dan’s example over Stairway to Heaven progression|
|00:16:54||Funkier ‘Stairway’ backing demo|
|00:19:08||Using melodic minor in a horror movie soundtrack for tension|
|00:21:08||Using in tune where you use an [i IV ii V] progression like Am D Bm E|
|00:23:09||Considering the mode: Locrian #4|
|00:23:59||Locrian #4 over the E of Blues in A|
|00:25:46||Droning an E7#5 for a melodic minor feel|
|00:27:58||Using over a rock song that sits in a static place|
|00:34:44||The second scale we look at is the harmonic minor|
|00:36:24||California Dreaming – using the major chord instead of the v (minor 5th) chord of the minor scale|
|00:36:56||Demo of this use of the harmonic minor|
|00:39:13||Metal backing track and the phrygian dominant mode|
|00:42:25||Using diminished arpeggios|
Guitar Gear Mentions:
Last Lesson for new arrivals or those who want to brush up on this content
Keep watching listening and getting in touch. We really want to hear from you! Keep an eye out for some improvements to our video setup coming shortly which we’re really excited about.
You may want to check Dan Davies out in action. You can find a video I made of Dan and his band Full House on this YouTube channel: Full House Brighton Band (more to come with improved video and some different approaches to the audio).