Want to seriously up your guitar game regardless of your level? The “One Pentatonic per Chord” Approach to Soloing Over a Chord Progression. To help with transitioning from one “pentatonic box” to the next, you can start to expand beyond just pentatonic position #1. I have never needed to Most of these guitarists think they’re doing it the correct way, but actually they only use a very basic method of soloing. Why not try both and see how it influences the tone? In this instance, it would be derived from E Mixolydian … That’s why we will use an expanded version of the scale to play over the dominant seventh chord A7: the A minor pentatonic scale with an added major third (see scale diagram below). That’s the reason the article I refer to is called ‘How To Break Through Your Guitar Soloing Limitations – A Story About Chord Tone Soloing And The Dominant Pentatonic Scale’. Now, you would simply just apply this basic pentatonic box #1 to each chord. And so on (Minor pentatonic is a bit different). know it. They will sound really good, because these tones can be found within the chord. This scale is completely tied to the D7 chord and therefore will sound much more professional when applied over a D7. Thinking of pentatonic scales this way is really powerful. Your email address will not be published. Adding up to this, they use the minor pentatonic scale over ALL chords in this blues progression, which makes their solos sound less interesting and definitely not professional. This course was especially rewarding and pleasurable for me, as I am currently concentrating my learning efforts on the subject of Pentatonics. Therefore, I will leave it up to you (or you can just watch me do it in the video), to try and figure out how to confine your playing to just one area of the fretboard at a time. As you mastered the minor pentatonic scale completely, you may have noticed that you got stuck and your soloing didn’t improve much anymore. Here is the scalar framework for the key of F# minor spanned over the fretboard. Why? Further on, I will elaborate on the correct approach and teach you how to apply it correctly. 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. You can see this for yourself below. That is what step 2 is for…, Step 2 – Start to Extend each Pentatonic Box into its’ Neighboring Positions. Great blues guitarists will use the D dominant pentatonic scale when improvising over the  D7 chord in a dominant blues progression. 17:51 – Taking the “Soloing with Pentatonics” Concept even Further…. You know your guitar playing can improve, but you have no clue how to do it. 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. Rather than trying to explain it to you, I will just show you some diagrams…. What I have been explaining now, is Chord Tone Targetting. Unlike the other chord changes this one leaves 2 changes in the notes of the modes. 12:53 – Part 4: Adding in the Remaining Diatonic Scale Notes to Each Pentatonic Box Pattern I have stuck with them for years, but I've plateaued in my soloing abilities. if the chord progression is in A minor, then you would choose A minor pentatonic/A minor blues/A natural minor scale), 3.) It really is that simple. I have learned the CAGED patterns in diatonic scale and their corresponding pentatonic patterns. Next cames modes, in all my years of playing all across the country I have never needed Learn exactly how to master blues guitar with the. When I got to the diatonic scales at the end- bammm. Depending on when you are reading this, the course may or may not be live. Required fields are marked *. When the chords change from C7 to D7, try going from F to F#, then play the D7 chord tones. Try this out for yourself on your guitar, play a C note and play a C# note an octave higher; not the best sound in the world right?Of course, a little dissonance never killed nobody and sometimes that dissonant C note might even be the perfect sound that we are after. Haha thanks so much Phil! 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. For example you could play some of it using the C major pentatonic and some using the ideas above. The “method” could be divided into 4 steps: Step 1 – Apply the Basic “Pentatonic Box #1” to Each Chord. This lesson on chord tone soloing for blues guitar is one of my favorite ways to teach my students how to play licks and lines that make more sense than just going up and down a pentatonic or blues scale. By doing this, you will still be playing 100% in-key, but you will notice that your playing will be sounding a bit more “connected” with each chord as the chord changes occur. To clarify this, take a look at exactly how this wrong assumption looks on the fretboard of the guitar: By transposing, you would be tempted to believe that the notes in the scale you are playing (the D minor pentatonic scale) will sound much better over the D7 chord than the notes in the A minor pentatonic scale. 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 also know where the chord tones are located within each pattern. 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! The chord tone for the 5 chord – A major would still be the first finger on the 4th string. As long as you know the notes of your low E-string, and you apply the appropriate box to the appropriate chord, your playing will sound VERY connected with the chords! I You saw your improvisation qualities improve rapidly and it felt like some kind of magic. I could not put my ax down! There are three ways to play the pentatonic scale pattern for lead guitar solo: A progression in a major key […] 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 . Applying what we explained in the previous paragraph, we can raise the F note in the D minor pentatonic to an F# and thus play the D minor pentatonic with added major 3rd, but there are even better ways. I wonder if it’s because I make C sound like Am and D like Bm cos I’m used to aiming for chord notes in the minor pentatonic. 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. For the F# minor chord, you would locate the “box” with your index finger at either the 2nd fret or the 14th fret, which is the note ‘F#’. Hope to see more. This means that you don’t play in one pentatonic scale over ALL chords, but you connect the chords being played in the progression with a certain scale. 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. How Practicing Chord Tone Targetting Will Get You A Better Guitarist. Triads with widely spaced voicings like this are great for giving a ‘bigger’ sound when you’re looking to fill harmonic space. Most guitarists are taught to play minor pentatonic or the flat 5 blues scale when soloing over a 1 4 5 blues progression. In this article specifically we’ll look at how to overcome these barriers by learning how chords and scales work together. Using the major or minor pentatonic as a base and then hitting the chord tones of the current chord at the right times. Pentatonic position #1 can either be major or minor. This isn’t always true for major chords, so only focus on the triad tones for those. There’s another jazz pentatonic scale over a dominant 7th chord that gives off a different vibe. am studing if now. 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. 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. To understand how this scale is linked with the chords being played, we’ll break down the A7 chord, which is a dominant seventh chord. With this technique you are able to choose the notes that will sound best at any given moment in your solo. My teacher has pointed me to chord-tone soloing. 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. Step 3 – Recognize where the Chord Tones are Located Within Each Pentatonic Box. Thanks Brian. This is where you can get other modal scales, harmonic minor, etc without thinking about it specifically. Instant access to chord tones means it’s easier to think about soloing patterns and licks. 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. An approach that many great guitarists use to target the right notes over a chord progression is called “Chord Tone Soloing”. This is done by selecting a scale that works over the entire key and only playing its notes. this is so helpful, thank you! Just as in improvising, or soloing, the pentatonic scale avoids problematic dissonance. The minor pentatonic and the blues scale are the most common ways to play over a dominant blues progression, but these are definitely not the best ways of soloing if you want to sound like your favorite blues guitarists. 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. For the E major chord, you would locate the “box” with your pinky finger on the 12th fret, which is the note ‘E’. In 65 years of music I have never heard of pentatonics. Wish you could bottle this stuff! So for instance I know that in Major pentatonic position 1 I can find 3 versions of a triad while in Major pentatonic position 2 I have only two possiblilites to play a triad. 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”. 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. You should experiment with all options and mix them up. And this is the D dominant pentatonic scale: Notice how all the notes in the chord are covered in this dominant pentatonic scale. 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! A large share of beginner and intermediate guitar players only make use of the minor pentatonic scale to solo over a dominant blues progression. How To Tie Chords and Scales Together So That You Are Picking The Best Possible Notes Over Each Chord. 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. 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 … But there will be times where you want to sound more melodically and you want to hit the perfect note at the perfect time. I took the pains to rule up a sheet, even using a stencil to mark/circle each scale note. To start, after messing around with the A minor pentatonic scale, try using a major pentatonic scale on the A chord, and when switching to the E7 chord, keep on the major pentatonic scale. The late, great B.B. How Do You Use the Pentatonic Scale to Solo? I’m old af now and still at it! 3. When all of the chords belong to the same key, we can use pentatonic scales for each chord, apart from the diminished (vii) chord, and still not stray from the key. When the chords change from C7 back to G7, try going from B♭ to B, then playing the G7 chord tones. Depending on which of the four notes you pick, you will produce a different emotion. When soloing over minor chords using this “pentatonic box #1” method, the 7th is part of the pentatonic shape. In addition to everything else that is included with a Full Access Membership, many lessons include “Full Access Extras”. to know them, but i shall. Think back to the moment when you just learned to improvise on guitar and played your first licks in the minor pentatonic scale. Each video is over 9 minutes long; There are HUNDREDS more “chord tone … Pentatonic position #1 can either be major or minor. This opening phrase is as much about the rhythm as any melodic content. In the key of G, that translates to the notes of G minor pentatonic, G Bb C D F, as shown in FIGURE 1. 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. Even better if one of the chord tones isn't in the pentatonic. Chord Tone Soloing for Jazz Guitar: Master Arpeggio-Based Jazz Bebop Soloing for Guitar: Alexander, Mr Joseph, Pettingale, Mr Tim: 9781789330588: Books - Amazon.ca Chord tone soloing takes quite a lot of practice but stick with it and you’ll get there. 1:31 – Intro to the “One Pentatonic per Chord” Approach I am 78 and comtinue to play. 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. Turned out to be a good way to tell your brain what notes are in whatever key you’re currently working on. It’s important that you realize that there are better options that we could choose than only using the minor pentatonic scale. You see these notes again in the left colomn below. If we were soloing over an E7 chord (E–G#–B–D), our Mixo-pentatonic scale would be E–G#–A–B–D (1–3–4–5–b7). There are 5 major and 5 minor chord progressions. Additionally, if you have been soloing using the major pentatonic over the I chord, then switching to the minor pentatonic will add greater variety to your soloing. 6:09 – Part 2: Expanding Beyond Pentatonic Position #1 into Neighboring Positions The chord tones are always going to be the best sounding notes within the scale, so try to land on chord tones just as the chord changes occur. 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.) I mentioned some of this in Part 3 but let’s take another look. 2:59 – Part 1: Playing “Pentatonic Position #1” over each Chord Over the IV chord, you also have the choice to solo using the minor pentatonic that relates to the IV chord. Why The Minor Pentatonic Scale Is The Most Overrated Scale To Solo Over Blues Chords, A minor pentatonic scale (with added major 3rd). Soloing by Key is the easiest method of soloing because you treat the entire song as one entity. 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. As you may have noticed, the A minor pentatonic scale doesn’t contain the C#-note. The beauty of this method is that for every major chord, the chord tones of the underlying chord will always be found in the “G-Shape”, and for every minor chord they will be found in the “Em-Shape: Note that for the minor chord, I also included the 7th scale degree (the blue dot) to be a chord tone. In that case we raise the F note to an F# and also play the 9th, which is the E note. 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. 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. Choose the appropriate scale based on the key (ie. This is also true for a minor song, where they chords might be Am7, Dm7, E7, and the A minor pentatonic can be put to great use there too. It felt awesome to be able to play over a backing track, to create your own guitar solos and to express the way you felt by means of guitar playing. This gives me a lot of fretboard visualization and I'm able to connect chord tones and create licks based off of what I'm seeing.? This again is a way of thinking that is common among beginner/intermediate guitarists, but definitely not a good approach. If we analyze the D7 chord and the D minor pentatonic scale, we see that the chord contains an F#, while the scale comprises an F note. I simply play the diatonic and pentatonic scales and try not to linger on notes that don’t sound good. For example, if the song has the chords A7, D7, E7, you can sound great just using the A minor pentatonic scale. Are you starting to see why beginner blues guitarists get stuck in their progress on the guitar? This scale is completely tied to the D7 chord and therefore will sound much more professional when applied over a D7. 9:44 – Part 3: Locating the Chord Tones Within These Movable Pentatonic Boxes We’ll call it the Mixo-pentatonic scale, but feel free to give it your own name. This progression is 1 /// 4 /// 1 /// 1 /// 4 /// 4 /// 1 /// 1 /// 5 /// 4 /// 1 / 4 / 1 / 5 /. While you can get by without necessarily learning chord tone soloing, the extra dimension it adds to your playing really makes it worthwhile investment of your practice time. Chord tone soloing is a technique to make your solo sound "in" the backing track. Let’s look at how this happens and how to overcome these guitar playing barriers. Step 4 – Finally, add in the Remaining Scale Notes from the F# Minor Scale, This is where the magic really happens. Chord Tone Soloing Guitar Lesson – Level 4 – Overview and Chord Analysis Download the tab & notation for this chord tone soloing guitar lesson This is a bluesy ballad with a progression based around the tonal center of A, but it has some richer changes than a standard I-IV-V beginning with a D moving to a Dm (IV to ivm) and a bVII (G7) which is followed by a vii-ii-V from the key of A, namely (F#m-Bm7-E7). We can see why this works if we break down the scale and chord notes. However, if you truly want to sound great with your playing it is essential to have the ability to both play “in key” and “connect your playing with the underlying chords”. As these chords move, B.B.King is known to move positions with them, keeping things nice and simple. I started sliding, bending skipping notes like I was possessed! Steal from the best and all that… 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. I always appreciate your comments! Pentatonic scales are killer scales to play over blues and over I-IV-V changes. I’ve been playing in bands and studying the fretboard since I was 11. We made it to the third video in the series where we take a moment to stop and really listen and analyze why each note in the pentatonic scale has a different flavor over each chord in a Blues progression. You want your blues guitar solos to sound like the ones played by your favorite blues guitarists, but you feel like you’re stuck in the same old patterns and licks. 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. I was working on the triads and arpeggio coursed but man, this one started to connect the dots so to speak. You can simply just “noodle around” within each of these pentatonic boxes as each chord is playing. Taking Your Guitar Playing to Blues Heaven By Applying Chord Tone Soloing. Any thoughts? Because many blues progressions utilize I-IV-V chord changes you will often be utilizing Minor Pentatonic & Blues and/or Major Pentatonic as potential lead playing avenues. Let me break it down for you why this is.The A7 chord contains 4 notes, which we already looked at. 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. 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