The Melodic Minor Scale

You could think of it as a minor scale with a natural 6th and 7th degree, or as being like a major scale with a minor 3rd. This is a widely-used scale particularly in jazz, and improvised music. In fact, sometimes this scale is known as the Jazz Melodic Minor to distinguish it from the version of the scale used in the classical music world which descends in a different way, down the natural minor scale: not something we really need to be worried about here. The modes of this scale can also be useful, particularly the 4th mode - the lydian dominant mode - and the 7th mode - the altered scale. I may well do some lessons on the modes of the melodic minor scale at some point in the future.

I've written out the scale below according to the 5 CAGED positions. There are plenty of variations and alternate fingerings for these shapes; I've just gone with what I think is most logical and practical. To be honest, when you're beginning to get into more advanced scales like this you should really be trying to think beyond patterns, and start focussing on the actual notes and intervals found within the scale. You can download a high-quality PDF here.