LAST MONTH, WE STARTED EXPLORING some new ways to employ the
tried-andtrue pentatonic scale. For these examples, we’ll still use the
G minor pentatonic scale, superimposing it over other chords. The
function of each scale degree changes depending on the chord
underneath, and you’ll want to record (or have a friend strum) the
underlying chords as you play over them to really hear what’s going on.
Ex. 1: G minor pentatonic scale over an Abmaj7 chord
Here, think of playing a minor pentatonic a minor second (a half step: one fret) below the root of a major 7th chord. This creates an interesting uneasiness over a major 7th chord, since you only touch two of the chord tones (the rest are tensions). Using the minor pentatonic in this way may not be appropriate in all situations, since the sound is a little “outside,” but in many cases, it can add an unusual and effective new color.
Ex. 2: G minor pentatonic scale over an Ebmaj7 chord
Think of this as playing a minor pentatonic that is built a major third up from the root of a major 7th chord. This is a more “inside” sound than the previous example.
Ex. 3: G minor pentatonic scale over Bb7 This is a common way to use the minor pentatonic scale. Start a minor pentatonic down a minor 3rd from a dominant chord’s root.
Ex. 4: G minor pentatonic scale over E7#9 Think of playing a relative minor pentatonic up a minor third from the root of an altered dominant 7th chord. This is a very colorful sound.
Ex. 5: Over C7Think of this as playing a perfect fifth above the root of a dominant 7th chord. Playing in this way sounds relatively inside.
In Ex. 6, we mix and match all of these ideas for a hip sound that should still feel totally familiar. Record the chords, get the notes under your fingers, and pay attention to how the scale shifts up or down in relation to the root of the chord. Some are inside, some are more outside, but it adds up to a creative usage of the good old pentatonic scale. Enjoy!
Peter Hook Discusses His Live Recordings of Classic Joy Division and New Order Albums (WATCH)
TC Electronic Introduces PolyTune 3- Next Generation Polyphonic Tuner with Built-In Buffer
Rex Brown Announces Debut Solo Album Debuts New Single (LISTEN)
This Week in Free Stuff: Light-Load Plug-in Instruments
Superbooth17 Day One: The Weird and the Wonderful
Puremagnetik K-Station Atmospheres Revives Love for the Kawai K5000S Additive Synth
The Art of Synth Soloing: Joe Zawinul, the Syndicate Years
Steinway Unveils Art Case Piano Celebrating Composer Modest Mussorgsky
Rediscovering LA Synthesis
Tal Farlow: Seven Guitars That Reveal the Jazz Giant’s Vision as an Innovator
Four Chronographs That Put You in the Driver’s Seat
2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT: The Weekday Warrior
In This Moment Announce 2017 Summer Tour
Trivium Frontman Matt Heafy Performs Acoustic Version of Alice in Chains' "Down in a Hole"
We Start Wars—Featuring Nita Strauss—Premiere New Song, "The Animal inside"
Danish Guitar Virtuoso Quist Premieres "She #Zen" Music Video
TC Electronic Announces PolyTune 3, the Next Generation of Polyphonic Tuning
Traveler Guitar Updates LTD EC-1 ESP Model with Vintage Black Finish
Copyright ©2017 by NewBay Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 28 East 28th Street, 12th floor, New York, NY 10016 T (212) 378-0400 F (212) 378-0470