We’ll call it the Mixo-pentatonic scale, but feel free to give it your own name. For example, if the song has the chords A7, D7, E7, you can sound great just using the A minor pentatonic scale. You also know where the chord tones are located within each pattern. To illustrate how chords and scales are very deeply intertwined, we start from a standard 12 bar blues progression in the key of A, with the following chords:The most common and basic approach would be to improvise over this progression using the A minor pentatonic scale. Want to seriously up your guitar game regardless of your level? The problem is that it is somewhat difficult to remember all of these different patterns and shapes. It really is that simple. This is much easier than trying to memorize all the different CAGED shapes in conjunction with all the different scale shapes. In that case we raise the F note to an F# and also play the 9th, which is the E note. By targeting the specific chord tones contained in each chord we break out of the box of minor pentatonic playing and bring emotion, articulation and some great-sounding note choices to our blues guitar solos. Brian, you put a warning sign on this lesson! Even better if one of the chord tones isn't in the pentatonic. It means using only the pitches within a given chord to construct an improvised melodic line over the top of that chord, and then repeating that process for whatever chord is next. In this article specifically we’ll look at how to overcome these barriers by learning how chords and scales work together. How To Tie Chords and Scales Together So That You Are Picking The Best Possible Notes Over Each Chord. For now though, just realize that you aren’t simply just playing the F# minor pentatonic scale over all of the chords within the progression. If you would like some more detailed reasons why using the minor pentatonic scale over ALL chords in a blues progression is not the best method of soloing, you can download my FREE Guitar Soloing Tips guide, where I explain more in depth why using the minor pentatonic scale as the only method of playing blues solos destroys your chances of developing your guitar playing further. There are 5 major and 5 minor chord progressions. As you mastered the minor pentatonic scale completely, you may have noticed that you got stuck and your soloing didn’t improve much anymore. Learn exactly how to master blues guitar with the. Turned out to be a good way to tell your brain what notes are in whatever key you’re currently working on. Using the major or minor pentatonic as a base and then hitting the chord tones of the current chord at the right times. Depending on whether the chord is major or minor would determine whether you use your index finger or your pinky finger to locate the box. Chord Tone soloing does not restrict you to play "inside" the track: you can choose to deliberately violate it to sound "outside" like some Jazz players do. You know your guitar playing can improve, but you have no clue how to do it. The late, great B.B. The method given in this lesson is an alternative approach. Why The Minor Pentatonic Scale Is The Most Overrated Scale To Solo Over Blues Chords, A minor pentatonic scale (with added major 3rd). And so on (Minor pentatonic is a bit different). Thinking of pentatonic scales this way is really powerful. I’ve been playing in bands and studying the fretboard since I was 11. And this is the D dominant pentatonic scale: Notice how all the notes in the chord are covered in this dominant pentatonic scale. Amazing how a lesson has the ability to trigger or complete some scattered idea you had all along but couldn’t quite nail down. Chord Tone Soloing – A Simple Method. Pentatonic scales are killer scales to play over blues and over I-IV-V changes. Since the first chord of the progression is F#m, we can just go ahead and call this a “minor progression in the key of F# minor”. An approach that many great guitarists use to target the right notes over a chord progression is called “Chord Tone Soloing”. The pentatonic scale is the most common scale used for playing rock lead because it sounds great over every chord change in a key, and you can begin to make music with it almost immediately. Rather than trying to explain it to you, I will just show you some diagrams…. They have no clue why their guitar playing doesn’t even come close to that of the guitarists they admire; they are using the WRONG scales! With this approach, you will still be accomplishing the exact same thing, only you will be approaching it from a different perspective. 1:31 – Intro to the “One Pentatonic per Chord” Approach Bravo Brian, we are spoilt by the quality and fantastic content included within your lessons. The “method” could be divided into 4 steps: Step 1 – Apply the Basic “Pentatonic Box #1” to Each Chord. You should experiment with all options and mix them up. F# minor pentatonic over the F# minor chord, A major pentatonic over the A major chord, E major pentatonic over the E major chord, D major pentatonic over the D major chord. Step 3 – Recognize where the Chord Tones are Located Within Each Pentatonic Box. Pentatonic position #1 can either be major or minor. Just transposing the minor pentatonic scale over the D chord is done by A LOT of beginner guitarists, but NO professional blues guitarist would ever dare to do this! In the right colomn you see the five notes of the A minor pentatonic scale.As you see in the table above, the C# note in the A7 chord clashes with the C note of the A minor pentatonic scale. Now, you would simply just apply this basic pentatonic box #1 to each chord. You can see this for yourself below. As you may have noticed, the A minor pentatonic scale doesn’t contain the C#-note. For each of the 10 chord progressions, you can choose which key that you want to jam in as well as the concept that you want to work on – Pentatonic Scale, Blues Scale, Diatonic Scale, Scale Combining or Chord Tone Targeting. Instant access to chord tones means it’s easier to think about soloing patterns and licks. Think back to the moment when you just learned to improvise on guitar and played your first licks in the minor pentatonic scale. If you want to connect the chords to the key-scale, you may target chord tones within the scale patterns based on the CAGED shapes. Full Access Member “Video Backing Tracks” for this lesson: If you have been improvising or composing solos for any length of time, you are probably accustomed to approaching soloing in the following manner: 1.) Once you get used to this whole “one pentatonic box per chord” method, you can then realize that there are only 3 shapes that you will need to remember. In this chord tones lesson we will learn to target the notes in each individual chord of the 12-bar blues progression and adjust our soloing approach slightly for each one. Here is the scalar framework for the key of F# minor spanned over the fretboard. 2:59 – Part 1: Playing “Pentatonic Position #1” over each Chord In 65 years of music I have never heard of pentatonics. You can think of this scale as a pentatonic version of the Mixolydian mode, which has a formula of 1–2–3–4–5–6–b7. While this "does the job" as far as creating that bluesy sound, there is a far more effective and expressive way of playing through blues … It’s important that you realize that there are better options that we could choose than only using the minor pentatonic scale. Step 4 – Finally, add in the Remaining Scale Notes from the F# Minor Scale, This is where the magic really happens. The white dot indicates the note ‘F#’: When you are soloing over the F# minor chord or the A major chord, you can always add in some additional notes by simply remembering this “pattern”: If an E major or C# minor chord occurs, you would shift to this box pattern: Finally, if a D major or B minor chord occurs, you would shift to this pattern: Now you see how these “pentatonic boxes” fit perfectly into the overall scalar framework of the key. I could not put my ax down! I have learned the CAGED patterns in diatonic scale and their corresponding pentatonic patterns. Once again you will have accentuated the chord change. All notes that are in the D7 chord are in the D dominant pentatonic as well. If we were writing a song in C major, we could pick three chords: C – Dm – G – C Verses usually have melodies that are lower in pitch. if the chord progression is in A minor, then you would choose A minor pentatonic/A minor blues/A natural minor scale), 3.) 0:00 – Intro Demo So let’s say there is a diatonic chord progression that you would like to solo over: These 4 chords are all found within the key of A major/F# minor. A large share of beginner and intermediate guitar players only make use of the minor pentatonic scale to solo over a dominant blues progression. Basically, such a dominant seventh chord is built up using 4 notes: -    The Root note (R) : A-    The major 3rd (3) : C#-    The 5th (5) : E-    The flat 7th (b7) : GAs the A7 chord contains these four notes, they are also a great choice to land on when soloing. When the chords change from C7 to D7, try going from F to F#, then play the D7 chord tones. Step 1 – Apply the Basic “Pentatonic Box #1” to Each Chord. Hope to see more. It’s a slow minor blues with just a handful of changes; we can fall back on the minor pentatonic scale, and we don’t need to learn any new scales or patterns to be able to outline the chords. I started sliding, bending skipping notes like I was possessed! I This chord progression is a simple I-IV-V in C major, it would also work very well with C major pentatonic scale or C major scale. Chord tone soloing is one of those things that either eludes guitarists, or they shy away from it in favor of the one-scale-fits-all approach. For example, if in the progression above the D7 chord is being played, a possible (but WRONG) solution would be to play some licks in the D minor pentatonic scale over this chord instead of staying in the A minor pentatonic all the way. When you get to the D7 chord, try hitting either the F sharp note or the C natural, which is not in the A major pentatonic scale, but is in the D7 chord. You saw your improvisation qualities improve rapidly and it felt like some kind of magic. We’re using pick and fingers to enable shifting to more conventional flatpicked linking phrases, but fingerstyle is a completely valid option here, too. The “One Pentatonic per Chord” Approach to Soloing Over a Chord Progression. all these guitar teachers online talk about playing the chord tones and stuff, and you’ve shown me what that means and how it works . A more advanced approach that comes closer to how great blues guitarists apply Chord Tone Soloing, is to use the D dominant pentatonic scale. If you pick these notes to land on over an A7 chord, you will be able to give a more melodic feel to your lead guitar playing and your solos will have a lot more appeal to them. Just as in improvising, or soloing, the pentatonic scale avoids problematic dissonance. King’s interpretation of, ‘The Thrill Is Gone’, is a great tune to start experimenting with soloing over chord changes. Prior to this, the fretboard just looked a mess, even for someone decently familiar. There are 5 “pentatonic only” video backing tracks which will allow you to practice in each of the 5 pentatonic positions without focusing on chord tone targeting; There are then 5 “chord tone targeting” videos where the chord tones “light up” as the underlying chords change.

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