Guitar Instructors South Bend IN

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.

Indiana University-South Bend (Indiana University South Bend - Music Program)
(574) 520-4872
1700 Mishawaka Ave. P.O. Box 7111
South Bend, IN
University of Notre Dame (Department of Music - University of Notre Dame)
(574) 631-6211
105 Crowley Hall
Notre Dame, IN
Lake Michigan College (Lake Michigan College-Music:)
(269) 927-8192
2755 E. Napier Avenue
Benton Harbor, MI
University of Evansville
800.423.8633 x2468
Evansville, IN

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Ball State University
(800) 482-4278
Muncie IN
Muncie, IN

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Saint Mary's College (Saint Mary’s College Department of Music)
(574) 284-4632
Notre Dame, IN
Bethel College (Bethel College - Music Department)
(574) 257-3391
1001 West McKinley Avenue
Mishawaka, IN
Indiana University Summer String Academy
(812) 855-6025
Bloomington IN
Bloomington, IN

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Valparaiso University
(219) 464-5479
Valparaiso IN
Valparaiso, IN

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Indiana State University
(800) 742-0891
Terre Haute IN
Terre Haute, IN

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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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