Guitar Instructors Weaverville NC

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.

Swannanoa Gathering
PO Box 9000
Asheville, NC
 
University of North Carolina-Asheville (UNCA Music Department)
(828) 251-6432
One University Heights
Asheville, NC
 
Mars Hill College (Music Department - Mars Hill College)
(866) MHC-4YOU
100 Athletic Street
Mars Hill, NC
 
Campbell University
Buies Creek, NC
 
Make a Joyful Noise Studio
(919) 682-1641
Durham, NC
 
Swannanoa Gathering
(828) 298-3434
Asheville NC
Asheville, NC

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Warren Wilson College (Warren Wilson College Music Department)
(828) 771-3044
P.O. Box 9000
Asheville, NC
 
Montreat College (Montreat College - Music)
(828) 669-8012
310 Gaither Circle
Montreat, NC
 
North Carolina School of the Arts
(336) 770-3260
Winston-Salem NC
Winston-Salem, NC

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University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
(919) 966-3621
Chapel Hill NC
Chapel Hill, NC

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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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