Jazz minor scale

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Jazz minor scale on A. About this sound Play 
Jazz minor scale on A with notes related to G7 chord alterations.[1] About this sound Play 
Minor major seventh chord on C. iM7 in C harmonic or ascending melodic minor.[2]
A jazz minor scale over G7 resolving to C.[1] About this sound Play 

The jazz minor scale is the ascending melodic minor scale used both ascending and descending. It may be produced from the major scale with a minor third,[1] making it a synthetic scale, and features a dominant seventh on the fifth degree (V) like the harmonic minor scale.[3] Starting on A, 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8:


The scale may be considered to originate in the use of extensions beginning with the seventh in jazz and thus the necessity to, "chromatically raise the diatonic 7th to create a stable, tonic sound," rather than use a minor seventh chord, associated with ii, for tonic.[4]

The jazz minor scale contains all of the altered notes of the dominant seventh chord whose root is a semitone below the scale's tonic. "In other words to find the correct jazz minor scale for any dominant 7th chord simply use the scale whose tonic note is a half step higher than the root of the chord."[1] For example, the G7 chord and A jazz minor scale: the A scale contains the root, third, seventh, and the four most common alterations of G7. This scale may be used to resolve to C in the progression G7–C (over G7, which need not be notated G75599).[1]

It is used over a minor major seventh chord.[5] See: chord-scale system. The scale also easily allows diatonic chord progressions, for example a I−vi−ii−V progression:[5]

|: CmM7 Am75 | Dm7 G713  :| About this sound Play 

Its modes also include Lydian 5, Lydian 7, Locrian 2, and the altered scale.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Berle, Arnie (1983). How to Create and Develop a Jazz Sax Solo, p.78. ISBN 978-1-56222-088-4.
  2. ^ Benward & Saker (2003). Music: In Theory and Practice, Vol. I, p.230. Seventh Edition. ISBN 978-0-07-294262-0.
  3. ^ Overthrow, David and Ferguson, Tim (2007). The Total Jazz Bassist, p.41. ISBN 978-0-7390-4311-0.
  4. ^ Berg, Shelly (2005). Alfred's Essentials of Jazz Theory, Book 3, p.90. ISBN 978-0-7390-3089-9.
  5. ^ a b Arnold, Bruce E. (2001). Music Theory Workbook for Guitar: Scale Construction, p.12. ISBN 978-1-890944-53-7.

Further reading[edit]

  • R., Ken (2012). DOG EAR Tritone Substitution for Jazz Guitar, Amazon Digital Services, Inc., ASIN: B008FRWNIW