Super Locrian over m7b5 chords?

Question by Bill Sargeant
(San Francisco)

Hi Mark,

Do you ever use the super locrian scale over minor b5 chords? Since it contains the chord it would seem to work, however the major 3rd in the scale might be a little strange? What else besides locrian and locrian #2 would you recomend?

Bill Sargeant

Hello Bill,

To answer you (very good) question: I do not!

The “super locrian” is the 7th mode of melodic minor and is more often heard / used as an altered dominant scale / sound. In fact, it is the one we simply call “altered”. See this article series.

As far as m7(b5) goes, I tend to think of Locrian Natural 2 (as you said). Note that it is not a “sharp” 2, it really is a natural 9th so …

Anyways, by thinking of, say Am7b(5) as the C melodic minor scale, this simplifies the thinking, the playing, the connecting … the soloing! Think of the m7b5 as a VI chord, not a VII chord. (-:

See this “Minor II-V-I Mini-Guide” to read about all the options you (could consider) on m7b5 and the whole cadence.

I hope this helps,


Marc-André Séguin
“Improve Your Jazz Guitar Playing with a REAL Teacher”

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