Phase equilibrium experiments on a compositionally modified olivine leucitite from the Tibetan plateau have been carried out from 2.2 to 2.8 GPa and 1,380–1,480 °C. The experiments-produced liquids multiply saturated with spinel and garnet lherzolite phase assemblages (olivine, orthopyroxene, clinopyroxene and spinel ± garnet) under nominally anhydrous conditions. These SiO2-undersaturated liquids and published experimental data are utilized to develop a predictive model for garnet lherzolite melting of compositionally variable mantle under anhydrous conditions over the pressure range of 1.9–6 GPa. The model estimates the major element compositions of garnet-saturated melts for a range of mantle lherzolite compositions and predicts the conditions of the spinel to garnet lherzolite phase transition for natural peridotite compositions at above-solidus temperatures and pressures. We compare our predicted garnet lherzolite melts to those of pyroxenite and carbonated lherzolite and develop criteria for distinguishing among melts of these different source types. We also use the model in conjunction with a published predictive model for plagioclase and spinel lherzolite to characterize the differences in major element composition for melts in the plagioclase, spinel and garnet facies and develop tests to distinguish between melts of these three lherzolite facies based on major elements. The model is applied to understand the source materials and conditions of melting for high-K lavas erupted in the Tibetan plateau, basanite–nephelinite lavas erupted early in the evolution of Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, as well as younger tholeiitic to alkali lavas from Kilauea.