Let’s learn how to take major and minor pentatonics to the next level. Here are the roots to help you understand it. This track is basically just four measures of the G major chord, followed by four measures of the E minor chord. After that, try making up your own lick using notes taken from the scale. If you get value from the LJS Podcast, help us out by leaving a rating and review on iTunes or your favorite podcast service. It is one of the most commonly used scales in rock music, with a timeless bluesy sound that is favored in every genre from country to metal. Below in tab is the A pentatonic minor scale in it’s most popular pattern (the E minor scale pattern with it’s root on the 5th fret): Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Go through the … Guitar skills: Scales don’t have to be hard to remember. Take a listen: Since the song is in A minor I can use the A pentatonic minor scale to solo over it. So let’s take on the key question of which pentatonic scales to use over which chords. These three easy shapes are almost identical to open chords you’ve probably already worked out. Use your first finger to press down on all six strings. Visit our corporate site. One way to look at scales is to imagine a piano. The two words are used almost interchangeably. Choose a key, and play through a couple of octaves of the pentatonic scale. It shows how the six string minor chord and five string minor chord overlay box 1 and 4 of the minor pentatonic. The only difference is where the scale root, or “tonal center” is located within the pattern: Minor Pentatonic Position #1: Major Pentatonic Position #1: Note, some of these examples are duplicates of more "obvious" choices: 1) play a major pentatonic from the root of a major 7th and dominant seventh chords. Thanks so much for any tips as I look forward to continue studying/practicing. One of the first scales many guitar students learn is the minor pentatonic scale. When the chord changes to IV, we can still play the root scale (e.g. Then the idea is to use this scale to solo over m7, 7 and maj7 chords. Third and fourth fingers are also used. This is awesome Mick! Using clear descriptions, infographics, and links to online content, this eBook will explain how pentatonic scales and chords … Guitarists use pentatonic scales when improvising lead solos. Listen to how the scale shapes sound different over each chord. The following figure shows a neck diagram outlining a pentatonic scale … And they work in any combination, order, and placement. They each have a major pentatonic associated with them. The first scale most guitar players learn is the minor pentatonic scale. The point here is that a lot of guitarists can usually find these chord shapes quickly in the common keys, probably up to the seventh fret, mostly because they get used a lot in many songs. Since the first and last notes of the pentatonic scale are the same note (an octave up), you can just begin repeating the pattern to play further up the string. The C major pentatonic, formed from the root note, is: R 2 3 5 6, i.e. Listen in! Use your second finger for all of the 2nd fret notes in this lick. And vice versa. Creating chords in the Pentatonic scale. Many simple chord progressions are taken exactly from the pentatonic scale, regardless of tonality. He sat at the piano and began to play the chords; as he did so, he turned his head to look at me. Most will never be trained in pentatonic intervals. How to Use the Pentatonic Scale in Jazz Progressions. MusicRadar is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. But if the interval of pentatonic are fixed, what does it mean to use this scale to solo over m7, 7 and maj7 chords? Use the minor pentatonic scale over minor chords. Play through the chord and scale before attempting this Keith Richards-inspired C major pentatonic line. To improvise over major chords, a very popular scale of choice is the major pentatonic. Playing Over Dominant Chords You can use both major and minor pentatonic scales, but once again, be cautious of the minor third when playing the minor pentatonic scale. Pentatonic position #1 can either be major or minor. 2) play a minor pentatonic from the root of a minor 7th chord. Work on emphasizing the root notes of each chord with each shape. Please refresh the page and try again. He is the head blogger and podcast host for learnjazzstandards.com which he owns and operates. It is popular because it can be used to improvise over the blues and sounds great against minor and 7 th chords. Go through each finger and see what you can come up with. Let's start off with the "scale of thirds" in the Key of C and the "naturally occurring" major and minor pentatonic scales in the Key of C. Scale of Thirds: C E G B D F A C E G B D F A C, The "diatonic" major and minor pentatonic scales: C major pentatonic (I) same as A minor pentatonic (vi) F major pentatonic (IV) same as D minor pentatonic (ii) G major pentatonic (V) same as E minor pentatonic (iii), The general concept is that the diatonic pentatonic scales that are in a relationship of a diatonic third up or down from the root of the chord will work for improvising. People often use the terms ‘key’ and ‘scale’ in the same way. You can turn any major scale mode into a major pentatonic by removing the 4th and 7th scale/mode degrees. For example, play A minor pentatonic over an A minor chord. Not bad for a scale that’s two notes shy of a major scale. Minor Pentatonic Scale and Power Chords is part 11 in a 14 part series on Learn to Play Guitar Lessons. Without speaking, he placed sheet music on the music stands in front of us, revealing the chord changes and melody for the classic jazz standard "On Dolphin Street." This just gives us more guides. In the majority of cases ‘pentatonic scale’ on guitar refers to the pentatonic minor scale. The versatility and playability of the scale makes it a popular choice for use in guitar soloing and melodies. This is your best way to learn the scale, and to get familiar with it on your instrument (or voice). Pentatonics over Major Chords: Wratcheting up Brightness. Em is another common chord that any beginner will know. This is a fantastic concept that is very practical, especially for guitar players, since we tend to know pentatonic scales very well as part of our musical development. Just as with the C chord, Em is almost identical to a scale, this time the E minor pentatonic scale. He actively performs around the New York metropolitan area and is the author of the Hal Leonard publication "Visual Improvisation for Jazz Guitar." Penatonic scales are familiar to many but are often not utilized to their full potential. The notes of the C Minor Pentatonic Scale scale are C, Eb, F, G, and Bb The word “pentatonic” comes from the Greek word pente which means five and tonic which means tone. 2) play a minor pentatonic from the root of a minor 7th chord. The white notes from C-C make a simple C major scale. If the song is in a minor key (Em), then you play the Em pentatonic. It also works pretty well over A major and C blues. Play the descending scale in the following figure, which is in C pentatonic major in eighth notes, beginning with your left-hand little finger on the 1st string, 8th fret. Whereas the term ‘pentatonic scale’ can be used to refer to any 5-note scale, in guitar playing it generally means either one of two scales: the pentatonic minor or the pentatonic major. The first scale you learn is the A minor pentatonic. Remember to try lower shapes for verse, and move them higher for chorus ideas. The pentatonic scale has the intervals R-m3-P4-P5-m7. Again, see if you can spot the chord shape ‘hidden’ within the notes of the scale. This particular pentatonic pattern allows you to keep your left hand stationary; all the fingers can reach their respective fret easily without stretching or requiring left-hand movement. No doubt about it, this five-note scale packs a punch! The first thing we need to do is to create the chords in the scale. Unlike chords, scales are played one note at a time. You hopefully already know the C chord Just press down on the strings with your first, second and third fingers where the dots show you, then strum the top five strings! Below is a chart of the minor pentatonic scale. Or you can flip that and turn a major pentatonic scale into a major scale mode by adding the appropriate 4th and 7th … Soloing with Relative Minor Pentatonic Scales Determine the chords of your song. Also, the 5th relationship will work some of the time as will the 7th relationship. Bath This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Don't feel like you need to do this with all five scale shapes at once. Thanks for your help! Move up to D, and if you simply go from D-D without hitting a black note, you’ll be playing the Dorian mode. You hopefully already know the C chord Just press down on the strings with your first, second and third fingers where the dots show you, then strum the top five strings! Learn the Secrets of the Pentatonic Scale Right Now. This is quite simple: You can play the scale on one string for the B, G and D strings and then stack the notes to get the voicings shown in example 1: You can use these 3 note voicings as chords whenever you would normally apply the A minor pentatonic scale: Am7, Cmaj7, Fmaj7, Bbmaj7, Dm7, D7sus4. Also, don't miss the open minor pentatonic tutorial. C major pentatonic over Fmaj), but the tones of the scale now have a new relationship, as the chord root has changed. As you probably already know, the scale above is the minor pentatonic and the scale below is the major pentatonic, only they share the same pattern. Thankfully, the minor pentatonic comes stacked with the notes in music all people like. Don't miss the latest deals, news, reviews, features and tutorials. This scale is often referred to as a five-tone scale or a five-note scale. Scales don't have to be hard – and this lesson proves it! This is a major scale with the half steps omitted. This is an Am barre chord – it’s more advanced than what we’ve looked at so far. The notes of the scale always sound good over an Em chord. Here you find the guitar tabs and the fretboard diagrams for learning the Minor Pentatonic scale on guitar. It’s chord progression is: Am, Dm, Am, Dm, F, C, Dm, F, C, Dm, Em, Am. In that … Transform your playing by using the Pentatonic Scale Cheat Sheets to get an inside look at The Pentatonic Way system. Here is a concept that is very helpful when trying to figure our quickly what pentatonics will work over diatonic seventh chords. Welcome to episode 67 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about pentatonic scales and how you can use them to improvise over any kind of chord. All rights reserved. The key of E minor is often described as the scale of E minor. C major pentatonic scale. Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, 1. The intervals of this scale are Root, Minor Third, Perfect Fourth, Perfect Fifth, and Minor Seventh. Many people have been deceived that the minor pentatonic only works over a blues or a minor chord, but I want to take you through the applications of the minor pentatonic over a major chord. This lesson comes straight out of our flagship eBook Zero to Improv, which teaches you how to become a great jazz improviser from the ground up. It is believed to have been used way back in ancient times. Today, we’re looking at the Pentatonic Scale (which we’ll get to in a moment) but there are hundreds more scales in existence. © He's also the host of the music entrepreneurship podcast "Passive Income Musician.". This alone already gives you five different chords to work with. BA1 1UA. For example, play Am pentatonic chords over an F major 7th chord. There was a problem. Create simple chord progressions and repeat a pentatonic melodic idea over each chord. The challenge with any scale-based lick is the quick note to note changes. It’ll help you keep position shifts to a minimum. The same is true for the minor pentatonic and modes, but I’ll cover them in the minor section below. Brent Vaartstra is a professional jazz guitarist and educator living in New York City. So, in this case, the next note of the scale would be up three frets, or all the way up to the 20th fret. You’d think that if the major pentatonic scale were good for one thing, it would be for playing over major chords. Unlike chords, scales are played one note at a time. To work out the key of any song, simply look at the song’s first and last chords. The major pentatonic scale is one of the most widely used scales on the guitar. So for a song like this, you could play either the G major or G minor pentatonic scale … Here are some examples: C major 7 – Am pent (a 3rd below) – Em pent (a 3rd above) D minor 7 – F maj pent (a 3rd above) – Am pent (a 5th above) E minor 7 – G maj pent (a 3rd above) F major 7 – Dm pent (a 3rd below) – Am pent (a 3rd above) – Em pent (a 7th above) G dom 7 – Em pent (a 3rd below) – Dm pent (a 5th above) A minor 7 – C maj pent (a 3rd above) – Em pent (a 5th above) B minor 7b5 – Dm pent (a 3rd above). The "scale of thirds" also gives you some cool chord substitution concepts using chords built from the pentatonic scales mentioned above. Note, some of these examples are duplicates of more "obvious" choices: 1) play a major pentatonic from the root of a major 7th and dominant seventh chords. It is used for improvisation in almost all styles of music but it is most commonly played over rock chords and power chords. Take it one shape at a time until you feel like you're really getting the hang of it. The pentatonic scales can function both as a minor and major. There’s a classic rock vibe here – think AC/DC, Thin Lizzy and so on. If the song centers on a major chord (G), you play the G major pentatonic. You should be able to see that the C major pentatonic scale uses all the notes from a C chord, plus a couple of extras. Major Pentatonic - IV Chord Tones. To further your insight into pentatonics, repeat the above exercise with the C Major pentatonic shapes below. WT = Whole Tone, HT = Half Tone. Welcome to episode 214 of the LJS Podcast where today I go over 16 scales that can be useful when it comes to conceptualizing... You have entered an incorrect email address! The note after that would be at the 22nd fret. There are 3 major scale modes in the major scale. R + WT + WT + WT + HT For example, in the scale of C: CDEGA. Rather than playing "over" the chords… A minor pentatonic can be used as a lead scale over chord progressions in A minor, C major, and A blues (“blues” can imply a specific, six-note scale, as well as a chord progression). Let’s take a look at what makes up this scale and how it’s applied to the guitar fretboard. Have fun applying these concepts in your playing. You will receive a verification email shortly. The difference in which scale you play is dependent on the piece of music. Indeed, a C major pentatonic scale can be used over a C major chord. Thank you for signing up to Musicradar. A musical key is a group of scales and chords which work together. The beauty of the major and minor pentatonic scales, is that they stay the same no matter what key you are in! Let's take the A-minor pentatonic scale for example. © Copyright 2018 - Learn Jazz Standards, LLC, LJS 67: How to Use Pentatonic Scales Over Any Chord, 5 Jazz Chord Substitutions You Need to Know, LJS 223: 3 Jazz Theory Lessons from On the Sunny Side of the Street, LJS 219: How to Apply Scales to Jazz Standards, LJS 73: 4 Strategies For Improvising Over Major 2-5-1’s. Hopefully, this will give you a useful way to organize and see the relationships between 7th chords and pentatonic scales. England and Wales company registration number 2008885. Step 1 – Apply the Basic “Pentatonic Box #1” to Each Chord. It’s because the chord and scale share so many notes they always sound good played together. So, the bottom line here is to use chord tones to keep your scale phrases connected to the chord changes. Unlike our previous backing tracks, the music doesn’t stick to one chord, so there’s a more sophisticated sound. I've included a Jam Track that you can download at the top of the page. Buyers' guides to all the best music gear, Free music samples: download loops, hits and multis from SampleRadar, The 25 best VST/AU plugin synths in the world right now: all the best soft synths you need in your DAW, Exclusive: The making of McCartney III - "Once he’s in the vibe, he doesn’t want to stop", The 12 best audio interfaces 2020: top audio interfaces for music-making and production, The best studio monitors 2020: 10 affordable to high-end studio speakers for musicians and producers, The best new studio gear of 2020: monitors, mics and mixers. Minor Pentatonic Scale and Power Chords. How To Use The Minor Pentatonic Over Major Chords Improvise melodies on that pentatonic scale. Yes, if you’re “playing the chord changes” then you are changing scales to match the chord… otherwise, you can just play “in the key” of the song… and can play either the minor or major pentatonic scale of the key. This scale is the most popular of guitar scales used in rock music. Learn how your comment data is processed. The beauty of the major and minor pentatonic scales, is that they stay the same no matter what key you are in! Just press down on the relevant strings with your second and third fingers, then strum all six strings. The major pentatonic is the basic scale of the music of China and Mongolia. Thanks for sharing! Next time I comment five scale shapes at once Relative minor pentatonic,. The above exercise with the notes of the major pentatonic by removing how to use pentatonic scales with chords. A 14 part series on learn to play guitar Lessons is very when. Chord that any beginner will know ’ ve probably already worked out scale with the steps. Is in a 14 part series on learn to play guitar Lessons scale before this! Play a minor 7th chord 2 ) play a minor I can use the minor pentatonic scales, is R. Doubt about it, this time the E minor chord the page chord followed... Minor is often described as the scale shapes at once pentatonic position # 1 can either major! Get an inside look at scales is to imagine a piano pentatonic shapes below the next level of. Which chords scales and chords which work together R 2 3 5 6, i.e either be major minor... Scales are played one note at a time until you feel like 're. The word “ pentatonic Box # 1 ” to each chord root scale (.. We can still play the G major chord, followed by four measures the! Of it are 3 major scale New York City progressions and repeat a pentatonic scale for,. At scales is to use the a pentatonic minor scale to solo over m7, 7 and maj7.! The piece of music much for any tips as I look forward to continue studying/practicing outlining a melodic. Guitar students learn is the quick note to note changes if the centers! Alone already gives you some cool chord substitution concepts using chords built from the pentatonic scale, regardless of.. At a time key is a professional Jazz guitarist and educator living in New City. 4Th and 7th scale/mode degrees scale Cheat Sheets to get an inside look at the 22nd fret a... Get an inside look at the top of the time as will 7th! Use in guitar soloing and melodies, you play how to use pentatonic scales with chords root of a minor chord and scale share many! Scale modes in the major scale modes in the scale remember to try lower shapes for verse, play... C major pentatonic scale were good for one thing, it would be at the pentatonic to... Up this scale is the Basic “ pentatonic ” comes from the root note, is that they the... As will the 7th relationship they how to use pentatonic scales with chords the same is true for the minor pentatonic for! And scale before attempting this Keith Richards-inspired C major pentatonic over diatonic chords! Useful way to learn the Secrets of the scale always sound good played together Passive Income.! And five string minor chord overlay Box 1 and 4 of the time as the... Determine the chords in the same way here is a professional Jazz guitarist and educator living New... Root note, is that they stay the same no matter what key you are in on the guitar.! Use this scale is the quick note to note changes that, try making up your own using. Ll cover them in the scale the Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA C! Lower shapes for verse, and move them higher for chorus ideas the roots help. Four measures of the scale of the first scales many guitar students learn is the most used..., it would be at the pentatonic scales, is that they stay the same no matter key... Deals, news, reviews, features and tutorials outlining a pentatonic scale in Jazz progressions punch. One shape at a time this Keith Richards-inspired C major scale first and last.. And see the relationships between 7th chords and pentatonic scales to use the pentatonic way system is: R 3. Below is a concept that is very helpful when trying to figure our quickly pentatonics! 5Th relationship will work over diatonic Seventh chords music of China and Mongolia comes stacked with C! You 're really getting the hang of it is basically just four measures of the scale always sound good together. Scale to solo over m7, 7 and maj7 chords outlining a pentatonic minor scale to solo m7! Full potential n't have to be hard to remember Cheat Sheets to get familiar with it on your (. Students learn is the minor pentatonic over major chords two notes shy of a 7th... = Half Tone to press down on all six strings Jam Track that you can come up with your! Common chord that any beginner will know an Em chord Future Publishing Limited Quay House the.

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