HomeBlogMelodic Minor Soloing Over Minor ii-V-i

Melodic Minor Soloing Over Minor ii-V-i

Soloing over a minor iim7b5-V7-i progression is often played with either melodic minor harmony or harmonic minor harmony. Some musicians prefer the melodic minor sound, while others prefer using the harmonic minor sound. I will demonstrate both sounds over this next two-post series.

Jazz melodic minor soloing is a very hip sound.  Over a minor ii-V-i, the melodic minor sound is used thus:

  • Over the iim7(b5) chord, use a melodic minor scale up a minor third from the root.  Ex.  Em7(b5)=G melodic minor
  • Over the V7 chord, use a melodic minor scale up a half-step from the root.  Ex.  A7=Bb melodic minor
  • Over the imin69, use the melodic minor scale based on the root.  Ex. Dmin69=D melodic minor

This is a cool concept, but unless you have some examples, you may not quite know how to apply the concept adeptly.  We want to sound like we are playing JAZZ, not playing scales.  Here are 8 licks to help you understand how you might use melodic minor over a ii-7(b5)-V7-imin69 progression.  All of the licks are in D minor, and thus use:

  • Em7(b5)=G melodic minor G A Bb C D E F# G
  • A7=Bb melodic minor Bb C Db Eb F G A Bb
  • Dmin=D melodic minor D E F G A B C# D

Some example tunes you can use to practice this sound:

Alone Together.  (first four chords are a minor ii-V-i, and it soon moves to a minor ii-V-i based on the four chord)

Whisper Not (various minor ii-V-i progressions in different keys)

Softly As in a Morning Sunrise


Stella by Starlight (click to view my post on melodic minor harmony in this song!)

Enjoy practicing this sound, transposing it to other 11 other keys, and incorporating this concept into your playing!

8 Melodic Minor Licks Over ii-V-i in D Minor pdf

Melodic Minor Soloing pdf

Camden Hughes
Camden Hugheshttp://camdenhughes.com/
Camden is a working jazz pianist, multi-instrumentalist, and music educator currently living near Boise, ID. He teaches music at the Idaho Arts Charter School, and is the jazz adjunct professor at Northwest Nazarene University. Check out his music at www.camdenhughesmusic.com.

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