The Modes of the Melodic Minor Scale

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In the last few articles we have been looking at the Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Scales. Last week it was the modes of the Harmonic Minor Scale, now it’s the turn of the Melodic Minor Scale. As with other scales (such as the Major Scale) we can build modes from the Melodic Minor Scale.

As before, we will stick with the Key of C.


In the same way we built all the chords in the key, we can play a scale starting on each note.

For example: D Eb F G A B C D

This gives a new scale based on the tonal center of D. If we now convert this back to the key of C:


This new scale is called Dorian b2 and is a Mode. It is the 2nd mode of the Melodic Minor Scale.

If we continue this exercise (starting from each note) we can complete the following table:


So there you have it, all 7 modes of the Melodic Minor Scale, and you can play them in any key, just start on the note you want and play the correct intervals!

The names of these modes are again variable. I have put some of the common names in brackets for you. The names are actually a guide as to which notes to play. If you remember the modes that were covered in previous articles, the names tell you what to play.

For Example:

Dorian b2: Play the normal Dorian Scale but flatten the 2nd.

I suggest you play the modes starting from the same note so you can get the sound of each scale in your head.

Starting from C:


Until next time, practice and enjoy some new sounds!!



-Duncan Richardson - MU Columnist


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