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this lesson should be familiar with, the trusty five-note minor pentatonic, which is intervallically spelled 1, b3, 4, 5, b7. The examples presented herein will loosely

revolve around the key of D major, with a D dominant-seven modality. Remaining in a single key like this will help you hear the subtle differences between what

Ex. 1a

D Minor pentatonic scale

       4              4  D7

 T A B

12 10 12

10 12

10 13

10 13 10

13 10

12 10

12 10

12

Ex. 1b

D half-whole diminished scale D7

       

             4            4  T A B

12 10 12 13

10 11 13

10 12 13

10 11 13 11 10

13

12 10

13 11 10

13 12 10 12

Ex. 2a

D diminished lick with legato phrasing D7



     ()  4                  4  

B1 T A B

10 12 13

11

10 13 12 10

13 10 11

13

10 13 11 10

13 (15)

Ex. 2b

Same lick with legato finger slides D7

     ()  4                  4  

B1 T A B

10 12 13

11

10 13 12 10

13 10 11

13

10 13 11 10

13 (15)

we’re altering and adding to the sound and formula of the minor pentatonic scale. In beginning this kind of study, it can be difficult to hear these alterations accurately if you were to move through an assortment of keys and tonalities, so it’s best to focus on a single key at first and get an earful of what you’re adding and altering before moving forward with this concept. After you become comfortable playing altered and mutated phrases based around dominant-seven sounds and the general flavor of D7, I highly recommended that you try transposing these same concepts to other keys, while exploring different chord types, progressions, and tonalities. The first area of this lesson blends the D minor pentatonic scale (D, F, G, A, C) with the eight-note D half-whole diminished scale (D, Eb, F, F#, Ab, A, B, C), played in the same fretboard position. Ex. 1a shows a one-octave D minor pentatonic scale run played in a rhythm of steady 16th notes and centered around tenth position. Most of you are probably familiar with the sound and fingering of this common scale. Once you have the sound ringing in your head, play through Ex. 1b, a D half-whole diminished scale run played in the same position. Notice that the five-note D minor pentatonic scale resides within the octatonic (eight-note) D half-whole diminished scale, which is intervallically spelled 1, b2, b3, 3, b5, 5, 6, b7, with the b2 and b3 alternatively being reckoned as the b9 and #9, respectively. Combining the minor pentatonic and half-whole diminished scales is one of Herring’s favorite musical strategies, so if you aspire to emulate his brilliant style, invest some time acquainting yourself with the feel and sound of blending these two scalar entities. The dissonant flavor heard over a D7 chord (D, F#, A, C) is created by combining and using the D minor pentatonic and the D half-whole diminished scale—which we’ll simply refer to hereafter as the D diminished scale—over the dominant-seven-based tonality of this chord type. This kind of “mix-and-match” phrasing, by the way, is very common in blues, rock, jazz, and fusion styles. In music theory, the D7 chord belongs to the major-key family and would normally signal the use of the seven-note D

O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7 / G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M

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