MINOR MAJOR 7 CHORDS: Which Scales Go with Which Chords?

This is the fourth in a series of articles entitled “Which Scales Go with Which Chords?” covering the Minor 7 Chords.

When improvising, it’s important to know which scale(s) to use.  Traditional music usually has one scale for the entire song (or section). When the song modulates (changes key), the scales used are also changed.

Jazz improvisers use any scale they feel sounds best. You still cannot violate the “laws of harmony” – there’s simply more freedom in selecting compatible notes from alternative scales.

When improvising against a Minor ∆7 (1 ▪ 3 ▪ 5 ▪ 7) these are your two scale choices:


c minor major scale

Your selection process when improvising:


ONLY TWO SCALES: Because there are only two (2) scale choices, your selection is based upon using the major versus minor 13th.

c minor major scale

USE YOUR EAR! Regardless of “proper key” – do you like the sound of the major or minor 13th?.

THE “OTHER NOTES”: What to do with the “other notes” not found in the (above) scales?

PASSING TONES: The “other notes” allow you to move (transition) among the notes within your chosen scale. When the “other tone” is sharp (#) it usually moves- up to the next scale note. When the “other tone” is flat (I ) it usually moves-down to the next scale note.

USE YOUR EAR! Please do try breaking the (above) ancient “passing tones” rule. However, you’ll quickly discover “passing tones” really do sound better when their next move is to a scale note.

About blakehandler

BLAKE was a Microsoft MVP and award winning programmer with over 20+ years experience providing complete Windows and networking support for small to medium sized businesses. BLAKE is also Jazz Musician and Instructor for residential clients on the Los Angeles West Side.
This entry was posted in Chord Theory, Harmony, Jazz, Music. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to MINOR MAJOR 7 CHORDS: Which Scales Go with Which Chords?

  1. Pingback: DOMINATE 7 CHORDS: Which Scales Go with Which Chords? | The Road to Know Where

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s