Minor key questions

Question by Anonymous

Hello Marc-Andre, I’m working on harmonizing minor scales. In most of your lessons you use only the melodic minor. Should I also work on the harmonic minor scales at the same time or get one down first?

M-A’s Answer


Well, I like the melodic minor scale a lot because if find it’s “simpler”. (-:

Plus, I use all of the melodic minor modes/chords on a regular basis, in various context. I can’t say that about harmonic minor, as some of its modes are just plain “strange”…

Of course, if you are seriously studying and playing jazz, you should nail both harmonic and melodic minor scales somehow.

As far as “learning melodic first” : I found out that mastering the melodic minor and establishing it as a framework helped me understand and cope with the harmonic minor later on…

I think it’s the same with the major scale : get the major stuff down before tackling the melodic minor.

Thank you,


As you may know.

Major is major : do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do
Melodic minor is one note altered : b3
Harmonic minor is two notes altered : b3 and b6
Natural minor is three notes altered, b3, b6, b7

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