G Melodic Minor Scale

The below article on the G Melodic Minor Scale describes its structure, notes, intervals, chords, modes, and patterns on the piano keyboard and guitar fretboard. It also provides the guitar tabs and the recommended fingerings.

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Melodic Minor Scale Structure

The melodic minor is one of the three types of minor scales. Harmonic Minor scales raise the 7th note of the natural minor scale to increase its resolution to the tonic. Melodic minor has a raised 6th note in addition, thereby bringing back the maximum length of intervals to a whole tone.

The scale formula for a melodic minor scale is given below.

{W H W W W W H} or {T S T T T T S} or {2 1 2 2 2 2 1}

In these formulas, W, H, T, and S represent the Whole step, half step, whole tone, and semitone intervals, respectively.

With reference to the major scale notes, the melodic minor scale formula is

[1 2 b3 4 5 6 7]

You just have to lower the third note of the major scale to derive the melodic minor scale.

As per the music theory, the melodic minor scales have two forms – ascending and descending. The discussion so far covers the ascending version. The descending version is exactly the same as the natural minor scale.

Intervals Of the Melodic Minor Scale

The intervals between the seven notes of the melodic minor scale with its tonic notes are

R – M2 – m3 – P4 – P5 – M6 – M7 – R(O).

The intervals of the harmonic minor scale are R – M2 – m3 – P4 – P5 – m6 – M7 – R(O).

G Melodic Minor Scale Notes

Using the notes of the G Major Scale [G, A, B, C, D, E, F#] and the formula {1 2 b3 4 5 6 7], you can derive the notes of the G melodic minor scale (Asc) as {G, A, Bb, C, D, E, F# and G(O)}. F# is the leading tone for this scale that strongly urges to resolve to the tonic note G.

G melodic minor scale descending notes in classical music are {G(O), F, Eb, D, C, Eb, A, and G}, the same as those of the G minor scale. You need to use the key signature of the parallel natural minor scale and use accidentals to denote melodic minor scale in sheet music. Similarly, the relative minor and relative major scales are defined based on the natural minor scales that carry the same notes as their relative major.

The notes of G melodic minor carry one flat and one sharp. Hence you require six white keys (including the key octave higher) and two black keys. The diagram below shows the required keys on the piano keyboard.

G Melodic Minor on Piano Keyboard

Scale Degrees

The intervals between the notes of the G Melodic minor scale, the notes, and the scale degrees, are shown in the table below.

Intervals Root M2 m3 P4 P5 M6M7P8
Scale Degrees12345671(8)
Melodic MinorGABbCDEF#G(O)

Diagram Of This Scale On The Treble And Bass Clef:

The notation diagrams of the G Melodic minor scale ascending and descending are shown below, showing its notes on the treble and bass clef.

Treble Clef:

G Melodic Minor on Treble Clef

Bass Clef:

G Melodic Minor on Bass Clef

G Melodic Minor Scale Guitar Positions

The melodic minor scale has 5 patterns laid out throughout the fretboard based on CAGED open chords, with minor alterations. Let us first see the complete combined patterns of notes on the fretboard up to the 15th fret in the diagram below.

You can see the complete scale in one line from fret 3rd to 15th on String 6.

G Melodic Minor Scale Up to 16 Fret

The five recommended patterns for playing the scale are shown on the fretboard.

In Classical music, the distinction between ascending and descending is there. But in Jazz, it is the same scale in both directions. The main characteristics of the patterns are as follows.

G Melodic Minor Scale Patterns

1st Pattern

  1. Chord shape based on: E open chord shape.
  2. Pattern lies between the frets: 1st to 5th fret.
  3. The number of roots: Three.
  4. Lowest root position: 3rd fret on the 6th string.
G Melodic Minor - E Shape

2nd Pattern

  1. Chord shape based on: D open chord shape.
  2. Pattern lies between the frets: 5th to 9th fret.
  3. The number of roots: Two.
  4. Lowest root position: 5th fret on the 4th string.
G Melodic Minor - D Shape

3rd Pattern

  1. Chord shape based on: C open chord shape.
  2. Pattern lies between the frets: 6th fret to 10th fret.
  3. The number of roots: Two.
  4. Lowest root position: 10th fret on the 5th string.
G Melodic Minor - C Shape

4th Pattern

  1. Chord shape based on: A open chord shape.
  2. Pattern lies between the frets: 8th to 13th fret.
  3. The number of roots: Two.
  4. Lowest root position: 10th fret on the 5th string.
G Melodic Minor - A Shape

5th Pattern

  1. Chord shape based on: G open chord shape.
  2. Pattern lies between the frets: 12th to 16th fret.
  3. The number of roots: Three.
  4. Lowest root position: 15th fret on the 6th string.
G Melodic Minor - G Shape

Practicing The Scale Patterns

The recommended fingering diagrams for the five patterns are given below. You can modify them if you are comfortable with slightly different patterns.

G Melodic Minor Scale Fingering

What Are The Chords Of The C melodic Minor Key?

The chords of the G Melodic Minor Scale, their Roman numeral designation, and chord qualities are given in the table below.

Scale Degrees1234567
Chord DesignationiiiIII+IVVvidimviidim
Chord NamesGmAmBb+CDEdimF#dim
Chord QualityminorminorAugmentedMajorMajordiminisheddiminished

The following triad chords result from the G melodic minor scale.

  1. Two major chords – IV and V – C major and D major. The scale degree 5 chord V, the D major, is the dominant chord for the scale.
  2. Two minor chords – i and ii – Gm and Am.
  3. One Augmented chord – III+ – Bb+
  4. Two diminished chords – vi° and vii°, Edim and F#dim.

The seven triads, their note names, and their intervals are shown in the table below.

Scale DegreesIntervalsChord NotesChord Name
1R – G – m3 – Bb – M3 – DG – Bb – DGm
2R – A – m3 – C – m3 – EA – C – EAm
3R – Bb – M3 – D – m3 – F#Bb – D – F#Bb+
4R – C – m3 – E – M3 – GC – E – GC
5R – D – m3 – F# – M3 – AD – F# – AD
6R – E – M3 – G – m3 – BbE – G – BbEdim
7R – F# – M3 – A – m3 – CF# – A – CF#

What Are The Seventh Chords Of The G melodic Minor Key?

The following seventh chords naturally occur in G Melodic minor scale.

  • G Minor Major 7th Chord – GmM7 – imM7 – [G Bb D F].
  • A Minor 7th Chord – Am7 – iim7 – [A C E G].
  • Bb Augmented Major 7th Chord – Bb Major7#5 – bIIIMaj7#5 – [Bb D F A].
  • C Dominant 7th Chord – C7 – IV7 – [C E G Bb].
  • D Dominant 7th Chord – D7 – V7 – [D F# A C].
  • E Half Diminished 7th Chord – Em7b5 – viø7 – [E G Bb D].
  • F# Half Diminished 7th Chord – F#m7b5 – viiø7 – [F# A C E].

The Modes Of The G Melodic Minor Scale.

The seven modes of the G melodic minor scale are

  1. G Melodic Minor, also known as G Jazz Minor Scale or G Dorian #7. The mode has structure [1 2 b3 4 5 6 7], hence known as Dorian #7. It has notes [G A Bb C D E F#].
  2. A Phrygian #6 – The structure is [1 b2 b3 4 5 6 b7], and the notes are [A Bb C D E F# G]. This is also known as the A Dorian b2 mode.
  3. Bb Lydian #5 – The structure is [1 2 3 #4 #5 6 7], and the notes are [Bb C D E F# G A]. This is also known as the Bb Lydian Augmented mode.
  4. C Mixolydian #4 – The structure is [1 2 3 #4 5 6 b7], and the notes are [C D E F# G A Bb]. This is also known as the C Lydian Dominant mode.
  5. D Aeolian #3 – The structure is [1 2 3 4 5 b6 b7], and the notes are [D E F# G A Bb C]. This is also known as the D Mixolydian b6 mode.
  6. E Locrian #2 – The structure is [1 2 b3 4 b5 b6 b7], and the notes are [E F# G A Bb C D]. This is also known as the E Aeolian b5 mode.
  7. F# Altered Scale – The structure is [1 b2 b3 b4 b5 b6 b7], and the notes are [F# G A Bb C D E]. It is sometimes referred to as the Ionian #1 mode also.

Conclusion

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