The B Flat Melodic Minor Scale Theory

Today’s music theory lesson will focus on the B flat melodic minor scale, which is a diatonic scale that starts and ends on a Bb. These scales were specifically created to aid in the composition of melodies. The ascending Bb melodic minor scale is identical to a major scale, except it has a flat third, while the descending scale has the same notes as a natural minor scale.

NOTES ON THE B FLAT MELODIC MINOR SCALE

The Bb melodic Minor Scale notes ascending are: Bb, C, Db, Eb, F, G, A, Bb

The scale notes of the Bb melodic minor descending are: Bb Ab Gb F Eb Db C Bb

B FLAT MELODIC MINOR INTERVALS

The melodic minor scale is very similar to the natural minor scale, except for a raised 6th and 7th degree by a semitone on the way up. The descending scale is exactly the same as the natural minor scale. This change in intervals converts the minor 2nd interval between the 5th and 6th notes into a major 2nd interval. Furthermore, there is another major 2nd interval between the 6th and 7th notes.
A major 2nd interval is equivalent to a tone or a whole step. For example, F-G is a whole step, and G-A is also a whole step.
You can find one octave of the B flat melodic minor scale below, with the intervals labeled. It’s important to keep in mind that these intervals will be the same for all ascending melodic minor scales.

The descending melodic minor scale has the same intervals as a natural minor scale, which are displayed below.

THE MELODIC MINOR SCALE FOMULAR

The melodic minor scale formula is based on the natural minor scale but rather than being the same notes both ascending and descending they are different.

• On the way up we have a sharpened 6th and 7th degree
• On the way down these are lowered so the scale becomes it’s natural formula.

HOW TO PLAY THE B FLAT MELODIC MINOR SCALE

On piano

To play both the ascending version of the melodic minor scale, you can refer to the diagram below. The fingerings are labeled beneath the scale.

To play the Bb melodic minor scale in desending, you can refer to the diagram provided below.

On guitar

The melodic minor scale can be played in various positions on the guitar.

THE KEY SIGNATURE OF THE B FLAT MELODIC MINOR

The melodic minor scale is commonly used in pieces that are composed in a minor key. For instance, if we play the D melodic minor scale, our piece will be in the key of Bb (natural) minor. Bb minor is the relative minor of the Db major scale, and both scales have a key signature of five flats.

B FLAT MELODIC MINOR ON CLEFS

Below is the Bb Melodic Minor Scale written in the treble clef, bass clef, alto clef and tenor clef including both ascending and descending.

CHORDS IN Bb MELODIC MINOR SCALE

The notes of the B flat melodic minor scale can be utilized to form chords, and you can find out more about this in our article on B flat melodic minor chords. The chords listed below are the chords that can be found in the Bb melodic minor scale.

THE JAZZ Bb MELODIC MINOR SCALE

The jazz melodic minor scale is distinct from the standard melodic minor scale. As we have observed in classical music, the ascending melodic minor scale varies from the descending melodic minor scale. However, in jazz, both versions are identical, and both the 6th and 7th degrees are raised. Essentially, the jazz melodic minor scale corresponds to the ascending version of the classical music melodic minor scale.

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