Metal In Melodic Minor

This is solo 2 from the 2nd playthrough video (above) from my, as yet, unreleased E.P. ‘Areopagitica‘. The track is called ‘Party At The End Of The World‘ and this solo starts at 1:49

1:49 – 2:02

The first thing to note with this solo is it’s unusual (for metal) mode – A Melodic Minor. The backing track plays an Am Maj7 chord vamp (moving to Cm Maj7 in the key change at 2:18). I have yet to finish my series of theory posts on the Major Scale Modes but, once they are done, the Melodic Minor modes will be hot on their heels. The scale shapes themselves will feel very strange to the uninitiated, far more awkward than the Major Scale shapes, as you’ll see in the tab. 1:49 – 2:02 sets the scene and vibe of the solo, juxtaposing simple, melodic lines against 16th note legato lines.

2:02 – 2:18

The solo now moves up a gear with the drums taking up a steady beat. I adjust accordingly and move to more aggressive, sporadic 16th note triplet shred licks, culminating in a 6 string ascending lick which hits a high A exit note. I then bring the solo back to its original vibe with some more 16th note lines and time the exit note to coincide with the solo’s next feel & key change (up a minor 3rd).

2:18 – 2:25

Despite the solo still being in in the Melodic Minor mode I decided to completely ignore this and superimpose my favourite Minor Pentatonic tapping lick! (a developed version of Lick 10 from Precision Pentatonics). This is not a ‘correct‘ scale choice for a player to use over a Minor/Major 7 chord as the Min/Maj 7 chord contains a Major 7th interval and the Minor Pentatonic scale a Minor 7th interval. However, when I was jamming my ideas out for this solo, this lick just worked. I’d be interested to hear how everyone else feels about it so let me know! The other thing to note about this lick is it’s timing – Septuplets or 7 notes-per-beat. An unusual beat division which I will go into in more detail in future posts.

2:25 – 2:33

The solo finishes with two more Minor Pentatonic licks. The first is a more obvious rock style 16th note descending run with some Blues Scale thrown in – something a jazz player would shake their head at when playing over a Min/Maj 7 chord no doubt! The second is an ascending, 3 note-per-string, 16th note triplet Minor Pentatonic shred lick more in the style of Paul Gilbert or Rusty Cooley. Check out Precision Pentatonics for more ideas of this kind. The full transcription of the solo is below. Enjoy & let me know how you get on with it.


Download (PDF, 85KB)

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metal in melodic minor

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