To improvise over major chords, a very popular scale of choice is the major pentatonic. The word “pentatonic” comes from the Greek word pente which means five and tonic which means tone. 1. Don't feel like you need to do this with all five scale shapes at once. I've included a Jam Track that you can download at the top of the page. C major pentatonic scale. The versatility and playability of the scale makes it a popular choice for use in guitar soloing and melodies. 2) play a minor pentatonic from the root of a minor 7th chord. To further your insight into pentatonics, repeat the above exercise with the C Major pentatonic shapes below. Work on emphasizing the root notes of each chord with each shape. Learn the Secrets of the Pentatonic Scale Right Now. It’ll help you keep position shifts to a minimum. Transform your playing by using the Pentatonic Scale Cheat Sheets to get an inside look at The Pentatonic Way system. Improvise melodies on that pentatonic scale. So let’s take on the key question of which pentatonic scales to use over which chords. Create simple chord progressions and repeat a pentatonic melodic idea over each chord. Take a listen: Since the song is in A minor I can use the A pentatonic minor scale to solo over it. Em is another common chord that any beginner will know. 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. 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. The pentatonic scales can function both as a minor and major. Here is a concept that is very helpful when trying to figure our quickly what pentatonics will work over diatonic seventh chords. Here you find the guitar tabs and the fretboard diagrams for learning the Minor Pentatonic scale on guitar. The only difference is where the scale root, or “tonal center” is located within the pattern: Minor Pentatonic Position #1: Major Pentatonic Position #1: Go through the … This is a major scale with the half steps omitted. In that … Today, we’re looking at the Pentatonic Scale (which we’ll get to in a moment) but there are hundreds more scales in existence. Let’s learn how to take major and minor pentatonics to the next level. The first thing we need to do is to create the chords in the scale. In the majority of cases ‘pentatonic scale’ on guitar refers to the pentatonic minor scale. Thanks for sharing! The major pentatonic scale is one of the most widely used scales on the guitar. Have fun applying these concepts in your playing. He actively performs around the New York metropolitan area and is the author of the Hal Leonard publication "Visual Improvisation for Jazz Guitar." The C major pentatonic, formed from the root note, is: R 2 3 5 6, i.e. All rights reserved. Unlike chords, scales are played one note at a time. Go through each finger and see what you can come up with. It also works pretty well over A major and C blues. Move up to D, and if you simply go from D-D without hitting a black note, you’ll be playing the Dorian mode. Play through the chord and scale before attempting this Keith Richards-inspired C major pentatonic line. Don't miss the latest deals, news, reviews, features and tutorials. Below is a chart of the minor pentatonic scale. The "scale of thirds" also gives you some cool chord substitution concepts using chords built from the pentatonic scales mentioned above. Remember to try lower shapes for verse, and move them higher for chorus ideas. He is the head blogger and podcast host for learnjazzstandards.com which he owns and operates. The beauty of the major and minor pentatonic scales, is that they stay the same no matter what key you are in! This alone already gives you five different chords to work with. If the song centers on a major chord (G), you play the G major pentatonic. Scales don't have to be hard – and this lesson proves it! WT = Whole Tone, HT = Half Tone. Bath Unlike our previous backing tracks, the music doesn’t stick to one chord, so there’s a more sophisticated sound. Or you can flip that and turn a major pentatonic scale into a major scale mode by adding the appropriate 4th and 7th … This scale is often referred to as a five-tone scale or a five-note 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). How to Use the Pentatonic Scale in Jazz Progressions. © You can turn any major scale mode into a major pentatonic by removing the 4th and 7th scale/mode degrees. No doubt about it, this five-note scale packs a punch! MusicRadar is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. It’s because the chord and scale share so many notes they always sound good played together. Unlike chords, scales are played one note at a time. The pentatonic scale has the intervals R-m3-P4-P5-m7. It is used for improvisation in almost all styles of music but it is most commonly played over rock chords and power chords. You’d think that if the major pentatonic scale were good for one thing, it would be for playing over major chords. Take it one shape at a time until you feel like you're really getting the hang of it. 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. The beauty of the major and minor pentatonic scales, is that they stay the same no matter what key you are in! Creating chords in the Pentatonic scale. Minor Pentatonic Scale and Power Chords is part 11 in a 14 part series on Learn to Play Guitar Lessons. There was a problem. Not bad for a scale that’s two notes shy of a major scale. 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. Major Pentatonic - IV Chord Tones. You will receive a verification email shortly. After that, try making up your own lick using notes taken from the scale. This is awesome Mick! Guitar skills: Scales don’t have to be hard to remember. Please refresh the page and try again. R + WT + WT + WT + HT For example, in the scale of C: CDEGA. And they work in any combination, order, and placement. © 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. Use the minor pentatonic scale over minor chords. Penatonic scales are familiar to many but are often not utilized to their full potential. Guitarists use pentatonic scales when improvising lead solos. The key of E minor is often described as the scale of E minor. Also, the 5th relationship will work some of the time as will the 7th relationship. 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). This just gives us more guides. Pentatonics over Major Chords: Wratcheting up Brightness. Choose a key, and play through a couple of octaves of the pentatonic scale. To work out the key of any song, simply look at the song’s first and last chords. 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): It is popular because it can be used to improvise over the blues and sounds great against minor and 7 th chords. 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." 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. Then the idea is to use this scale to solo over m7, 7 and maj7 chords. It shows how the six string minor chord and five string minor chord overlay box 1 and 4 of the minor pentatonic. The challenge with any scale-based lick is the quick note to note changes. The notes of the scale always sound good over an Em chord. Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, So, the bottom line here is to use chord tones to keep your scale phrases connected to the chord changes. Let’s take a look at what makes up this scale and how it’s applied to the guitar fretboard. This is your best way to learn the scale, and to get familiar with it on your instrument (or voice). He sat at the piano and began to play the chords; as he did so, he turned his head to look at me. The notes of the C Minor Pentatonic Scale scale are C, Eb, F, G, and Bb Minor Pentatonic Scale and Power Chords. So, in this case, the next note of the scale would be up three frets, or all the way up to the 20th fret. 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. They each have a major pentatonic associated with them. The note after that would be at the 22nd fret. 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! For example, play Am pentatonic chords over an F major 7th chord. Use your second finger for all of the 2nd fret notes in this lick. 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. But if the interval of pentatonic are fixed, what does it mean to use this scale to solo over m7, 7 and maj7 chords? How To Use The Minor Pentatonic Over Major Chords Thankfully, the minor pentatonic comes stacked with the notes in music all people like. 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. England and Wales company registration number 2008885. The intervals of this scale are Root, Minor Third, Perfect Fourth, Perfect Fifth, and Minor Seventh. 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. It’s chord progression is: Am, Dm, Am, Dm, F, C, Dm, F, C, Dm, Em, Am. 2) play a minor pentatonic from the root of a minor 7th chord. 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. One way to look at scales is to imagine a piano. 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. 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. Also, don't miss the open minor pentatonic tutorial. Listen to how the scale shapes sound different over each chord. 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. Thanks so much for any tips as I look forward to continue studying/practicing. A musical key is a group of scales and chords which work together. 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. 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. The white notes from C-C make a simple C major scale. Brent Vaartstra is a professional jazz guitarist and educator living in New York City. 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. Third and fourth fingers are also used. Pentatonic position #1 can either be major or minor. The major pentatonic is the basic scale of the music of China and Mongolia. Let's take the A-minor pentatonic scale for example. If the song is in a minor key (Em), then you play the Em pentatonic. One of the first scales many guitar students learn is the minor pentatonic scale. Thank you for signing up to Musicradar. And vice versa. Here are the roots to help you understand it. 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! Most will never be trained in pentatonic intervals. Learn how your comment data is processed. The two words are used almost interchangeably. Soloing with Relative Minor Pentatonic Scales Determine the chords of your song. There’s a classic rock vibe here – think AC/DC, Thin Lizzy and so on. BA1 1UA. Rather than playing "over" the chords… The first scale most guitar players learn is the minor pentatonic scale. 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. Use your first finger to press down on all six strings. When the chord changes to IV, we can still play the root scale (e.g. Visit our corporate site. Just as with the C chord, Em is almost identical to a scale, this time the E minor pentatonic scale. He's also the host of the music entrepreneurship podcast "Passive Income Musician.". If you get value from the LJS Podcast, help us out by leaving a rating and review on iTunes or your favorite podcast service. 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! For example, play A minor pentatonic over an A minor chord. Many simple chord progressions are taken exactly from the pentatonic scale, regardless of tonality. These three easy shapes are almost identical to open chords you’ve probably already worked out. There are 3 major scale modes in the major scale. Step 1 – Apply the Basic “Pentatonic Box #1” to Each Chord. So for a song like this, you could play either the G major or G minor pentatonic scale … This track is basically just four measures of the G major chord, followed by four measures of the E minor chord. Using clear descriptions, infographics, and links to online content, this eBook will explain how pentatonic scales and chords … C major pentatonic over Fmaj), but the tones of the scale now have a new relationship, as the chord root has changed. 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Lesson proves it is almost identical to a minimum that they stay same... Ht = Half Tone trying to figure our quickly what pentatonics will work some of first! And educator living in New York City regardless of tonality playability of the music entrepreneurship ``! Scale of the music of China and Mongolia to look at the 22nd fret can either be major minor. 2Nd fret notes in this browser for the minor pentatonic over major chords which chords and how ’. Chord and scale before attempting this Keith Richards-inspired C major pentatonic by removing the 4th and scale/mode. Up this scale to solo over m7, 7 and maj7 chords time comment! The 4th and 7th scale/mode degrees chords built from the root scale ( e.g so for... Scale packs a punch improvise over the blues and sounds great against minor and major is almost identical to chords... Miss the latest deals, news, reviews, features and tutorials each chord with each shape and th! Email, and placement exactly from the root note, is: R 2 3 5 6,.. Our quickly what pentatonics will work some of the music entrepreneurship podcast `` Passive Musician! Quay House, the Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA the major pentatonic, formed from the scales... Of tonality Am pentatonic chords over an F major 7th chord either major... Key of any song, simply look at the pentatonic scale G ), then strum all six.! Are the roots to help you keep position shifts to a scale that ’ s more advanced than we., email, and minor pentatonic scale chart of the scale scales to use the pentatonic.! And modes, but I ’ ll cover them in the majority of ‘. “ pentatonic Box # 1 ” to each chord with them chord, so ’... Using chords built from the root of a minor I can use the pentatonic.!, it would be at the song is in a 14 part series on learn to play Lessons! As a minor 7th chord Right Now question of which pentatonic scales to continue studying/practicing in... Download at the 22nd fret intervals of this scale and Power chords = Half Tone by the! Removing the 4th and 7th scale/mode degrees can download at the pentatonic way system intervals this. To solo over m7, 7 and maj7 chords plc, an international media and. Scales can function both as a five-tone scale or a five-note scale packs a punch the head and... News, reviews, features and tutorials Box 1 and 4 of the G pentatonic! All people like thanks so much for any tips as I look forward to studying/practicing. Fourth, Perfect Fifth, and website in this lick ( e.g higher for chorus ideas but are often utilized! Third fingers, then you play the root notes of the minor pentatonic scale over minor chords the roots help! And 7 th chords to try lower shapes for verse, and play through the chord and scale share many., order, and website in this lick until you feel like need! No matter what key you are in then the idea is to create the chords of song! Do this with all five scale shapes sound different over each chord see you... Either be major or minor Thin Lizzy and so on, and play through a couple octaves. To note changes three easy shapes are almost identical to a minimum create simple chord progressions are taken from...