Guitar Instructors Grand Rapids MI

Playing the exact same scale over different chords creates a whole new sonicpalette without stepping too much outsidefunk or R&B and into jazz. Read on and get more information.

Grand Rapids Community College
143 Bostwick NE
Grand Rapids, MI
 
Grand Rapids Community College
(616) 771-3945
Grand Rapids MI
Grand Rapids, MI

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Aquinas College
1607 Robinson Road SE
Grand Rapids, MI
 
Calvin College
(800) 688-0122
Grand Rapids MI
Grand Rapids, MI

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Calvin College (Music Department)
(616) 526-6000
3201 Burton Street, S.E.
Grand Rapids, MI
 
Arts Outreach Program at Grand Rapids Community College
(616) 234-3944
Grand Rapids MI
Grand Rapids, MI

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Arts Outreach Program at Grand Rapids Community College
143 Bostwick NE
Grand Rapids, MI
 
Calvin College
1795 Knollcrest Circle SE
Grand Rapids, MI
 
Aquinas College (Aquinas College - Music Department)
(616) 632-8900
1607 Robinson Road S.E.
Grand Rapids, MI
 
Cornerstone University (Fine Arts Division)
(616) 949-5300
1001 East Beltline NE
Grand Rapids, MI
 
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Expanded Harmony with Pentatonics

In Ex. 1, we play a minor pentatonic scaleover a minor 7th chord, both with the sameroot: a G minor pentatonic scale over a Gm7chord. This works because the scale veryclosely resembles the arpeggio of a minor7th chord.

Ex. 2 deals with Bbmaj7, the relativemajor, which is three frets or a minor third above. One way to think of this is, if yousee a major 7th chord, play a minor pentatonicscale based on a root a minor thirdbelow the written chord’s root. Same scale,different setting.

Now let’s look at some less common,yet simple and creative ways to use thisscale, five positions of which are shown inFig. 1. Playing the exact same scale over differen tchords creates a whole new sonicpalette without stepping too much outsidefunk or R&B and into jazz. The simplicity of the minor pentatonic scale ensures anaccessibility to the listener, even when it isused to create varied altered tensions. Allof the following examples use the G minor pentatonic scale, superimposing it over other chords. Notice how the function ofeach scale degree changes depending onthe chord underneath. To truly appreciatethese new colors and flavors, you’ll wantto record or have a friend strum the underlying chords as you play over them.

Ex. 3: G minor pentatonic scale over aCm7 chord

The easiest way to think of this techniqueis to play a minor pentatonic up aperfect fifth (or seven frets) from the root of a minor 7th chord.

Ex. 4: G minor pentatonic scale over anFm7 chord

Think of this one as a minor pentatonicstarting a major second (two frets) up fromthe root of a minor 7th chord. Used in thisway, the sound created works well overDorian harmonic content, because eventhough there is no 3, we do get the Dorianapproved6th degree.

Next month we’ll explore even morecolorful ways to employ our old five-notefriend. Stay tuned!

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