Specific theory question..

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by fiebru1119, Nov 4, 2004.

  1. fiebru1119


    Mar 2, 2004
    Orlando, FL
    I was watching the John Pattitucci video yesterday (vol 2.. the improvising/soloing one). For those who have never seen the video, there is a section where he goes over different types of chords (major, minor, dominant, diminished) in C (for simplicity) and their common alterations/extensions.

    In the "dominant chord" section, he talks about the C7#9#5 chord. He mentions that the scale he chooses to play over this is the "melodic minor a half step up" (Db melodic minor in this case). What gets me is WHY?? Why did he do this (he fails to explain this in the video)?
  2. You use the melodic minor a half step up because it is a nice shortcut to play the altered scale. C7 #9 #5 is a partially altered chord, so you can use the altered scale in it. The full altered chord is C7 #5 #9 b9 #11, I believe, and it doesn't have a natural five in it (there is no G in C7 alt). So here's the C alt scale:

    (notice the use of both sharps and flats -- this is correct)
    C, Db, D#, E, F#, G#, Bb, C

    Also notice that it shares the same exact notes as a Db melodic minor, only starting and ending on the 7th degree of the scale.

    That's why we use the "melodic minor a half-step up" trick. It makes it a whole lot easier to think of an altered scale.

    P.S. Here's another cool trick: on a half-diminished chord, let's say C half-diminished (also known as minor b5), use a Db melodic minor scale. So on half-diminished chords, play the melodic minor scale a minor third up from the root. Cool, isn't it?
  3. fiebru1119


    Mar 2, 2004
    Orlando, FL
    completely understand now, great explanation! Thanks!
  4. Don't forget to sing the scale

    La-La La-Laah-Laah-Laaah-La Lum :D