Originally Posted by \m/Eat At Joe's\m/
hang on a minute. when i was learning piano melodic minor was minor ascending, more of a major feel descending. which means you could only really use it for ascending/descending scalar type passages. as far as chord progression, i have no idea. maybe something with tonic major??? who knows
The classical concept is that ascending melodic minor has a raised 6th and 7th. In A minor:
A B C D E F# G# A
This is in order to make a major
-type resolution to the upper tonic (A).
When descending, the scale reverts to natural minor:
A G F E D C B A.
IOW, the descending sound is more
minor in feel than the ascending one. (This applies to composition
, not improvisation.)
Melodic minor is not really associated with any chord progressions
per se. The ascending form would be used over the V7 chord (E7 in A minor), but not anywhere else.
In jazz, however, melodic minor is used in both directions as an improvisation scale. Its first mode is used over the tonic chord in a minor key. IOW, A melodic minor on an Am chord in the key of A minor. (The chord might be written as Am(maj7), or Am6.)
More interestingly - as Unanything says - modes of melodic minor are used over other chords, often in major keys.
E.g., for an E7 chord (in key of A minor or A major), a jazz player might use the "E altered" scale, which is 7th mode of F melodic minor. This gives the root, 3rd and 7th of the chord (E, G#, D), plus a b5 and #5 (Bb, C) and b9 and #9 (F, G). Jazz practice is to use it to resolve to A (melodic) minor or A major. But nothing says you
The other common use of a melodic minor mode is "lydian dominant" = 4th mode melodic minor. E.g., D melodic minor over a G7 chord. This is basically normal G mixolydian, but with a raised 4th: G A B C# D E F G.
In jazz, this chord typically resolves down a half-step, to F# major or F#m. Or it can resolve a whole step up - to A major. (It's not normally used to resolve to C major, although it could be.)
(Its nothing to do with the key of D minor. G7 wouldn't be used in that key.)
Another cool, but rarer, mode is "phrygian natural 6".
Over an Em chord, instead of E phrygian, you could play the D melodic minor scale = E phrygian natural 6: E-F-G-A-B-C#-D-E. A slightly brighter sound than plain E phrygian.