Melodic Minor Scales Using 3 Notes Per String

In this lesson we are going to apply the 3-notes per string format to Melodic Minor scales.

Melodic Minor scales are essential for many styles of music, but they are predominately used in Jazz and Fusion styles.

We are continuing our study of the 3-notes pre string method by applying melodic minor scales using this format. Once again you will need to memorize all seven scale forms and be able to spell your melodic minor scales fluently to get the most out of this lesson. If you don't know how to spell your melodic minor scales yet make sure you check out the "Understanding Minor Scales" theory lesson. That should get you caught up nice and quick.

Also make sure you download the PDF for this lesson, it has all of the scale forms with their respective fingerings.

Melodic Minor Scales Using 3 Notes Per String PDF

Hope everyone enjoys incorporating melodic minor into their playing. We will definitely be using this scale a lot. Enjoy!! 😀

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Melodic Minor Scales 3-Notes Per String


  1. Dennis on July 16, 2010 at 5:41 am


  2. jake on December 6, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    would this be a good scale to practice economy picking with?

    • Carl Brown on December 6, 2010 at 5:22 pm

      Oh yes definitely. It works perfectly with economy picking in both directions. 😀

  3. Frank on February 9, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Hey Carl really cool website. I would be grateful if you would describe what type of rig your playing through when demonstrating Eric Johnson’s pentatonic stuff. Maybe amp and any processing that is used. Thanks

    • Carl Brown on February 9, 2011 at 10:00 pm

      Hey Frank, thanks for checking out my lessons. 😀

      I record all of my video lessons using a Line 6 POD X3 Live. I think I got a lot of the EJ sounding stuff by downloading a free EJ preset from the Line 6 site into my POD. I then slightly tweaked the sound to fit my guitar.

      Cheers!! Carl..

  4. tobi on March 7, 2011 at 5:16 am

    wondering why i should go for MM 3 notes per string , as i would´nt use this scale for speed purposes really.
    the challenge seems to be to get the sound into your mind and do a nice phrasing in a logical sense as you would do with a common scale.
    thats why i use normal fingerings instead of 3 notes per string

    • Carl Brown on March 7, 2011 at 11:15 am

      Hey Tobi, the 3-notes per string thing isn’t just for speed. The main reason I use it is because after a while it makes visualization of the fretboard much easier since there are no uneven shapes and every form connects to the others the same way.

      When I improvise I am always using many different ways of playing these notes because I use a bunch of different techniques like slides, bends and so forth, but I still visualize them using the 3-note method because to me it is more logical when there is a scale shape built off of every note in the key instead of just 5. 😀

      Thanks!! Carl..

  5. Jovente Samondo on September 11, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    would you combine major and melodic minor in your guitar playing when your improvising?

    • Carl Brown on September 12, 2011 at 12:40 pm

      Sure! As long as it fits the harmony that you are improvising over. There really are no rules as long as it sounds good. 😀

      Cheers! Carl..

  6. Baskoro Nugroho on October 20, 2011 at 8:35 am

    thanks carl, i need some song that mostly using MM, for recognize MM sound, can you suggest me, what song must i listen??

  7. Shari on February 2, 2013 at 5:01 am

    You’re Awesome!

  8. todd lucas on March 19, 2015 at 5:32 am

    Awesome lessons, thanks! I thought I had learned somewhere that melodic minor had the major 6th and sharp 7 while ascending, but reverted to natural minor when descending. Is that not the case? Thanks again!

    • todd lucas on March 19, 2015 at 5:24 pm

      Woops, never mind. You covered that point in the ‘understanding minor scales’ lesson. Thanks again!

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