Advanced Something that makes learning the modes of harmonic and melodic minor a bit easier

Advanced Theory

Ids Schiere

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Nov 11, 2019
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Firstly, you do kinda need to know the greek modes for this but essentially what harmonic minor is is a natural minor scale with a sharp seventh and melodic minor is a natural minor scale with a sharpener sixth and seventh.

So you have
1 2 b3 4 5 b6 7 and 1 2 b3 4 5 6 7 respectively.

Now, if we first go through the modes of the harmonic minor scale. You get
1 b2 b3 4 b5 6 b7 which is a locrian 6(basically a locrian scale with a sharpener sixth degree)

1 2 3 4 #5 6 7 which is ionian #5(ionian with a sharp fifth)

1 2 b3 #4 5 6 b7 which is Dorian#4

1 b2 3 4 5 b6 b7 phrygian dominant(phrygian with a raised third degree)

1 #2 3 #4 5 6 7 lydian#2

1 b2 b3 b4 b5 b6 bb7 locrianb4bb7(or super locrianbb7)

When you go to the melodic minor modes you get

1 b2 b3 4 5 6 b7 phrygian6

1 2 3 #4 #5 6 7 lydian#5

1 2 3 #4 5 6 b7 lydianb7

1 2 3 4 5 b6 b7 mixolydian b6

1 2 b3 4 b5 b6 b7 locrian2

1 b2 b3 b4 b5 b6 b7 locrianb4(super locrian)

As you can see all of these modes are just slight alterations of the regular greek modes since ether harmonic minor and melodic minor scales are also just slight alterations of the natural minor scale. If you know your Greek modes well it also becomes easier to learn these since they are very nicely linked.