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INTRODUCTION This series of books are for the student who desires to become a creative musician through the study of improvisation. Each book deals with a specific scale, or a specific chord progression. Scale application is at the heart of improvisation. There are countless guitar players who only know one scale, the minor pentatonic. Every solo they play has the same sound. This of course will result when only one scale is used to the total exclusion of all others. Each scale creates its own unique tonality or colour. Application of all scales is vital to the art of improvisation, and it is that which defines a creative musician. This series of books teaches you several fingerings of each scale, and how to link them, so that when soloing you're able to move seamlessly from one position to the next. The most important and least understood aspect covered by these books is the application of the scales. This entails knowing over which chords the scales can be used. This particular text deals with pentatonic scale. Along with exercises to develop the scale, there are licks which you can insert into your own solos. There's an in depth discussion of the scale's application to the blues, and the major and minor key II - V - I. There are several solos which demonstrate use of the scale. Audio files of all solos along with backing tracks for you to play along to are included. Tab is supplied along with music notation. TUNING NOTES To be sure that you're in tune with the backing tracks, tune your guitar to the guitar tuning on track one. This text was written by Joe Willis, a professional session guitarist of many years experience at the cutting edge of the music business. He has played and worked with many of the biggest names in the world of music including, Tom Jones, Ray Charles, Cilla Black, Lulu, Dusty Springfield, Rick Wakeman, Englebert Humperdink, The Everly Bros, Irene Cara, and jazz icons, Kurt Edelhagen, Jan Luc Ponty, Attila Zoller, Dave Brubeck, Stan Getz, Art Farmer, Michel Colombier to name just a few.

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Audio Page Track Chapter Introduction and Tuning Notes ...................................................................2..................1 Construction........................................................................................................4 1 Major Pentatonic................................................................................................4 Example 1.1.......................................................................................................4 Minor Pentatonic................................................................................................4 Example 1.2 ......................................................................................................4 Examples 1.3 1.4................................................................................................5 Examples 1.5 1.6...............................................................................................6..................2 Example I.7.........................................................................................................7.................3 Chapter 2 ...................4 Examples 2.1 2.2...............................................................................................10 Examples 2.3 2.4..............................................................................................11.................4 Pentatonic Scale Application........................................................................12 Pentatonic Solo No.1.........................................................................................12..................5 Examples 2.5 2.6...............................................................................................15.................6 Examples 2.7 through 2.9..................................................................................16.................6 Pentatonic Licks................................................................................................16.................7 Chapter Minor Pentatonic Over The Blues..............................................................18 3 Example 3.1......................................................................................................18 Example 3.2 ......................................................................................................19.................8 Pentatonic Licks (part two)................................................................................20.................9 B b Blues No.1....................................................................................................23.................10 Pentatonic Scale Application (part two)......................................................24 Chapter Pentatonic Scale Forms..................................................................................26 4 Example 4.1......................................................................................................30.................11 Examples 4.2 4.3..............................................................................................31.................11 Example 4.4......................................................................................................32.................11 Superimposing Pentatonics..........................................................................32 Examples 4.5 4.6..............................................................................................32 Example 4.7......................................................................................................33 Blues In A..........................................................................................................34.................12 Blues In A Analysis...........................................................................................35 Chapter The Cycle Of Fourths.....................................................................................36 5 Example 5.1......................................................................................................36.................13 Linking Pentatonic Scale Forms................................................................40 Examples 5.2 5.3..............................................................................................40..................14 Major Scale Pentatonics.................................................................................42 Examples 5.4 5.5...............................................................................................42 Example 5.6......................................................................................................43 Chapter Pentatonics Over The Dominant Seventh Chord..................................44 6 Example 6.1......................................................................................................45 Examples 6.2 through 6.4................................................................................46 Examples 6.5 6.6...............................................................................................47 Example 6.7......................................................................................................48.................15 Pentatonics Over The Blues...........................................................................48 Example 6.8.......................................................................................................48 Pentatonics Over The Major II - V - I.......................................................49 Examples 6.9 6.10.............................................................................................49 B b Blues No.2.....................................................................................................50.................16 Coda................................................................................................................51 3

CONTENTS


CHAPTER ONE

CONSTRUCTION

The pentatonic scale is used extensively in rock, metal and blues guitar soloing, and to a lesser extent in jazz. The scale is less prevalent in jazz because jazz players use other scales more frequently than rock, metal or blues players. However, the scale is still very common in jazz.

The scale can be constructed as a major or minor pentatonic, consisting of five notes within an octave. Scales are constructed upon their own unique set of fixed intervals. This arrangment of intervals is referred to as the "Intervalic Definition" of the scale. Since scales are named after their start note, this will define the following as C major and C minor pentatonics.

MAJOR PENTATONIC Intervalic definition

TONE

TONE

MINOR 3rd

TONE

MINOR 3rd

Ex1.1

MINOR PENTATONIC Intervalic definition

MINOR 3rd

TONE

TONE

MINOR 3rd

TONE

Ex1.2

As stated, the scale consists of five notes. The first and last notes in the preceding examples are the same, only placed an octave apart. The scale contains five different note names. It is vital that you are able to construct all types of scales. This obviously entails memorising their itervalic definition. In later chapters you are taught how to apply the scale to your soloing with scale patterns, and licks. However, you must first learn to play the scale over two octaves. The scale can be played in seven different fingerings, meaning that any given pentatonic can be played seven different ways. Both the major and minor pentatonic scales reside in each of the seven fingerings. The following fingerboard diagram and Ex1.3 show the scales placed in the fifth position. This fingering is referred to as "form three pentatonic". 4


Construction cont'd

Ex1.3

Chapter One

5th position

The above scale is defined as A minor pentatonic because the first note is A, and the scale conforms to the intervalic definition of the minor pentatonic. If the above scale is played from its second note C, the result is C major pentatonic since C is now the first note and the scale now conforms to the intervalic definition of the major pentatonic. Although both scales are within the one fingering pattern, you can identify the minor pentatonic as playing from the first finger on the sixth string and the major pentatonic as playing from the fourth finger on the sixth string. Each of the seven fingering patterns of the pentatonic can be played in all positions on the fingerboard. Let us now move the above fingering pattern to a different position, by doing so the scale will change key and its name accordingly. Move the scale down one tone (two frets) to the third position, we now have G minor pentatonic, and if played from its second note B b major pentatonic.

Ex1.4

3rd position

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Construction cont'd

Chapter One

Move the scale down one more tone to the first position will result in F minor pentatonic, and if played from its second note A b major pentatonic.

Ex1.5

1st position

Let us now put the minor pentatonic to work with the following exercise. Ex1.6 moves chromatically up the fingerboard. Be sure to get up to those high positions and then descend the same way. Be aware at all times of exactly which scale you're playing. Use alternate pick strokes. Ex1.6

track 2

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Chapter One Ex1.7 moves the minor pentatonic scale through all keys on a cycle of fourths. Practise of this exercise will enable you to find any minor pentatonic scale instantly. track 3 Ex1.7

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Ex1.7 cont'd

Chapter One

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Ex1.7 cont'd

Chapter One

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SOLOING With Pentatonic Scale  

This text delivers an in depth analysis of the pentatonic scale in both major and minor forms. The minor pentatonic is by far the most popul...

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