Exercise to improvise on Minor Swing

Exercise to improvise on Minor Swing

Bring out the major sixth over the minor chords of Minor Swing

On the A minor chord, you can use different modes: Aeolian, Dorian, Melodic etc.

Dorian and melodic modes are characterized by a MAJOR sixth (or thirteenth).

This color is particular to gypsy jazz since guitarists prefer to play minor chords with the major sixth rather than the seventh.

To make a minor chord, they would therefore play degrees 1-3-5-6.



Even if we don’t go in-depth on scales in this exercise, I share with you as a hint 3 scales that can be used on minor chords.

On a minor chord, you can use:

– the natural minor scale (Aolian mode)

  • Dorian Minor Mode

  • the melodic minor scale

The Dorian and melodic modes are characterized by the major sixth, it is from these modes that it comes! We will therefore focus on this note in this exercise.

If you want to learn more about which scales to use on minor chords, you can download a PDF at the bottom of the page with these three scales written out, along with other scales!

You will also find there the minor swing chart.


Exercise for improvising on Minor Swing

This exercise is for improvising on Minor Swing and playing the major sixth over the minor chords:

  • on A minor: F#

  • on D minor: B

This gives a very nice effect, especially on the A minor chord!

First, try to find the note, then little by little when you are more comfortable, try to turn around and “play with it”!


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Below you will find a PDF for download with the score of scales and modes to use in improvising on a minor chord, as well as the chord chart for Minor Swing. By signing up you will also be informed of the latest news on the site!

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