The jazz minor scale is one of several minor-type scales available to use in improvisation. Depending on which way you want to approach it, it is either the ascending form of the melodic minor scale, or simply a major scale with the third degree flattened.
If I’ve lost you already, don’t worry, just remember it as a good scale for introducing some interesting sounds when played over minor 6 (m6) or minor/major 7th (m/maj7) chords.
The jazz minor scale is sometimes known as the jazz melodic minor scale.
Jazz Minor Scale Guitar Diagrams
In the following diagrams, the root note of the scale is shown as a white circle.
Notes In A Jazz Minor Scale
The notes in a C jazz minor scale are:
C, D, Eb, F, G, A, B, C
As previously explained, the jazz minor scale is essentially a major scale in which the third degree has been flattened. Here are the notes in a C major scale for comparison:
Notes In C Major Scale For Comparison
C, D, E, F, G, A, B – only the third is different.
This is a good way of remembering how a jazz minor scale is constructed, but in practice it is better to learn some or all of the shapes rather than working them out on the fly whilst improvising. The jazz minor scale is a very useful scale to have in your armoury, as you can also use it to create altered scales. See the altered scale page for more information.
For a lesson on how to use the jazz minor scale, with a backing track to play along with, follow this link: Improvisation With Jazz Minor Scale.