Monday, May 11, 2009

Modes to Harmonic and Melodic Minor Scales

Apart from learning the minor modes in the major scale like Dorian, Phrygian, and Aeolian should guitar players learn modes built from the harmonic and melodic minor scales?

I don't teach the modes of the harmonic and melodic minor scales because they're used so infrequently. Instead I like to focus on more fundamental music theory like the modes of the major scale (which includes minor modes). I will say this, be sure to master the lessons I teach in my guitar theory book and DVDs before you venture into more complicated topics. And also keep in mind that exotic scales are used primarily in obscure music like bebop jazz and very advanced instrumental music (like some Joe Satriani songs). The exception would be the harmonic minor scale. It comes up in pieces every now and then but not in any unusual modal form. Check out the opening lead guitar solo to "Smooth" by Carlos Santana.

When you're ready I recommend checking out the following books from Dock Mock on harmonic and melodic minor scales for guitar.

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