• Melodic Minor 7th Chords Demystified

    in Chords & Progressions,Scales,Theory

    Melodic Minor 7th Chords images

    If you already know your melodic minor scales, playing the melodic minor 7th chords are just one step away. If you don’t know either, fret not; this lesson will catch you up to speed.

    As a refresher, here are some of the other minor scales and corresponding chords we’ve studied. It might also be a good idea to check out the melodic minor triads as we’ll use that lesson as a springboard for this one.

    Melodic Minor 7th Chords – The Fundamentals

    Chords come from scales so let’s start by reviewing the melodic minor scale.

    C melodic minor:
    Melodic Minor 7th Chords scale

    This scale results from raising both the 6th and 7th tones of the natural minor scale.

    C natural minor:

    *C natural minor = Eb major scale (yup, Eb major is known as the relative major, C is the relative minor).

    The 6th tone is “Ab.” Raising it by a half step gives us “A.”
    The 7th tone is “Bb.” Raising it by a half step gives us “B.”

    An easy way to remember the melodic minor scale is to think of the major scale with a flatted third.

    C major:

    E is the 3rd tone. Flatting it gives us “Eb.”

    Melodic Minor 7th Chords – The Chords

    Simply combine every other tone of the scale to form chords on each degree.

    1st Chord = C minor-major 7

    *This is an interesting chord only found in the melodic minor scale because of the “b3” (Eb) present with the major 7 (B). Other minor scales use the “b7,” which usually makes the first chord of the scale a minor chord. Here, we get a minor-major 7th.

    2nd Chord = D minor 7

    3rd Chord = Eb augmented major 7

    4th Chord = F dominant 7

    5th Chord = G dominant 7

    6th Chord = A half-diminished 7

    7th Chord = B half-diminished 7

    Melodic minor 7th chords vs major scale seventh chords

    Since the only difference between the major and melodic minor scales is the 3rd degree (major has “E”; melodic minor has “Eb.”), the only chords that will be impacted are the ones that include the 3rd degree of the scale — 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 6th chords.

    That means the 2nd, 5th, and 7th degrees are identical to the seventh chords of the major scale.

    There you have it. The melodic minor 7th chords.

    Until next time.

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    Hi, I'm Jermaine Griggs, founder of this site. We teach people how to express themselves through the language of music. Just as you talk and listen freely, music can be enjoyed and played in the same way... if you know the rules of the "language!" I started this site at 17 years old in August 2000 and more than a decade later, we've helped literally millions of musicians along the way. Enjoy!

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