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Modes of the Melodic Minor Scale - The Locrian #2 Mode

Published May 8th, 2003. © Chris Juergensen/chrisjuergensen.com. All Rights Reserved.

This lesson has been revised and published in THE INFINITE GUITAR. Info >>>


The Locrian #2 Mode and the minor ii-V-i -This mode works perfect against a min7b5 chord. The combination of both the locrian #2 and altered mode work well over minor ii-Vs.

 
Melodic minor scale patterns:
Pattern 1
Pattern 2
Pattern 3
Pattern 4
Pattern 5

Review time. These are all the modes of the melodic minor scale. This lesson will deal with the sixth mode, the locrian #2 mode.
1. Melodic Minor
2. Dorian b2 mode
3. Lydian Augmented mode
4. Lydian Dominant mode
5. Mixolydian b6 mode
6. Locrian #2 mode
7. Altered mode (sometimes called the Super Locrian mode)
 
The order of the modes will never change even when the key does. Examine the chart below. By checking the very bottom row of the chart you can find out what chord the mode works for. Ex: the B locrian #2 mode is the same as the D melodic minor scale and works over a Bmin7b5 chord.
 
melodic minor
dorian b2
lydian augmented
lydian dominant
mixolydian b6
locrian #2
altered
F
G
Ab
Bb
C
D
E
C
D
Eb
F
G
A
B
G
A
Bb
C
D
E
F#
D
E
F
G
A
B
C#
A
B
C
D
E
F#
G#
E
F#
G
A
B
C#
D#
B
C#
D
E
F#
G#
A#
min/maj7
min7
maj7#5
7
7
min7b5
altered 7

The locrian #2 mode
The name tells you exactly what it is: a locrian scale with a raised 2nd.
 
Chords from the locrian #2 mode: min7b5, min9b5, min11b5
 
Compare the locrian scale to the locrian #2 scale below and check out the differences.
 
B locrian
 
B locrian #2
 
This mode of the melodic minor scale will work well over any min7b5 chord. It is important to remember the locrian #2 mode rule: locrian #2 = melodic minor scale up a minor 3rd.
 
Test time. Get out your pencil and paper and then check your answers down at the bottom.
 
Test
1. A locrian #2 = ? mm 6. B locrian #2 = ? mm
2. E locrian #2 = ? mm 7. D locrian #2 = ? mm
3. G locrian #2 = ? mm 8. F locrian #2 = ? mm
4. C locrian #2 = ? mm 9. G# locrian #2 = ? mm
5. F# locrian #2 = mm 10. C# locrian #2 = ? mm
 
The combination of both the locrian #2 and altered mode work together quite effectively for minor ii - Vs. Work on the following exercise slowly and gradually bring it up to the desired tempo. Practice it in all positions and keys. Remember: B locrian = D melodic minor (mm up min3rd), E altered = F melodic minor (mm up min2nd) and A dorian = G major (major down maj2nd). You can also try using an A melodic minor over the Amin7 chord. The major seventh in the scale works fine as a passing tone.
 

Test Answers
1. C mm 6. D mm
2. G mm 7. F mm
3. Bb mm 8. Ab mm
4. Eb mm 9. B mm
5. A mm 10. E mm
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