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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.

Laguardia Community College
31-10 Thomson Ave
Long Island City, NY
 
Creative Strings Workshop
41-11 52nd St. #2
Woodside, NY
 
Filomen M. D'Agostino Greenberg Music School
(212) 821-9660
New York NY
New York, NY

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City University of New York - Hunter College
(212) 772-5020
New York NY
New York, NY

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Turtle Bay Music School
(212) 753-8811
New York NY
New York, NY

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Creative Strings Workshop
(917) 349-5477
Woodside NY
Woodside, NY

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Turtle Bay Music School
244 E. 52nd Street
New York, NY
 
Filomen M. D'Agostino Greenberg Music School
111 E. 59th Street
New York, NY
 
City University of New York - Hunter College
695 Park Avenue
New York, NY
 
School for Strings
419 W. 54th St.
New York, NY
 
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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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