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