This lesson on music theory will focus on the C melodic minor scale. It is a diatonic scale that begins and ends on a C note. The purpose of the melodic minor scale is to assist in creating melodies. When played ascending, the melodic minor scale has the same notes as a major scale, with the exception of a flat third. Meanwhile, when played descending, it has the same notes as a natural minor scale.
NOTES ON THE C MELODIC MINOR SCALE
The C melodic Minor Scale notes ascending are: C, D, Eb, F, G, A, B
The scale notes of the C melodic minor descending are: C, Bb, Ab, G, F, Eb, D
C MELODIC MINOR INTERVALS
The melodic minor scale is similar to the natural minor scale, but with a raised 6th and 7th note by a semitone when played ascending. However, when played descending, it is identical to the natural minor scale. This change in intervals transforms the minor 2nd interval between the 5th and 6th notes into a major 2nd interval. Additionally, 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, A to B is a whole step, and B to C# is also a whole step. Below, you can find a one-octave C melodic minor scale with labeled intervals. It is important to note 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 formula for the melodic minor scale is derived from the natural minor scale. However, unlike the natural minor scale, the melodic minor scale has different notes when played ascending and descending. When played ascending, the 6th and 7th degrees are raised by a semitone.
Conversely, when played descending, these notes are lowered to their natural formula, resulting in a natural minor scale.
HOW TO PLAY THE C MELODIC MINOR SCALE
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 C melodic minor scale in desending, you can refer to the diagram provided below.
The melodic minor scale can be played in various positions on the guitar. The standard position of the scale begins on an C note. This shape can be shifted up and down the neck to play various ascending melodic minor scales.
THE KEY SIGNATURE OF THE C MELODIC MINOR
The melodic minor scale is commonly used in compositions that are in a minor key. For instance, if we play the A melodic minor scale, our piece will be in the key of A (natural) minor. It’s important to note that A minor is the relative minor of the C major scale. Both of these scales have no sharps or flats in their key signature.
C MELODIC MINOR ON CLEFS
Below is the C melodic harmonic Minor Scale written in the treble clef, bass clef, alto clef and tenor clef including both ascending and descending.
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