PEN­TA­TONIC POWER Five notes, myr­iad styles

In this spe­cial fea­ture Ja­cob Quist­gaard ex­plores the in­ex­haustible gold­mine that is the mi­nor pen­ta­tonic scale, show­ing how you can use it to great ef­fect in blues, but also in rock, coun­try and jazz too.

Guitar Techniques - - Contents -

Ja­cob Quist­gaard has writ­ten the ul­ti­mate guide on how to get the most out of the pen­ta­tonic scale in a range of mu­si­cal styles!

The mi­nor pen­ta­tonic is the most used, seen and heard scale in the pop­u­lar mu­sic of the Western world. It’s a great start­ing point for any gui­tarist, whether they’re on a mis­sion to learn the riffs of rock bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zep­pelin, Foo Fighters and Rage Against The Ma­chine; set on jour­ney­ing into the ex­pan­sive world of jazz im­pro­vi­sa­tion; or even want to carve a niche in coun­try. The mi­nor pen­ta­tonic scale is a com­mon, key com­po­nent that will un­lock a mul­ti­tude of doors. No mat­ter how far any­one man­ages to delve into any spe­cific mu­si­cal ter­ri­tory, they’ll keep com­ing back to that sa­cred five-note scale and the many won­ders it has to of­fer.

Whether you are a blues gui­tarist, jazz mu­si­cian, fu­sion player, coun­try nut or met­al­head, the mi­nor pen­ta­tonic will re­main not only ex­tremely use­ful and ac­ces­si­ble, but also a su­pe­rior melodic tool that has an en­vi­able nat­u­ral ten­dency to cre­ate strong and mem­o­rable melodies and riffs.

In jazz for ex­am­ple, the cov­eted II-V-I pro­gres­sion (of­ten seen as the heart of jazz com­po­si­tion and im­pro­vi­sa­tion) can be ne­go­ti­ated with only mi­nor pen­ta­tonic shapes - and that in­cludes em­pha­sis­ing some re­ally colourful chord tones too.

In essence, you can im­pro­vise over many chords and pro­gres­sions, in­clud­ing fairly ex­tended ones, if you know which pen­ta­tonic

No mat­ter how far any­one man­ages to go into any spe­cific mu­si­cal ter­ri­tory, they will keep com­ing back to that sa­cred five-note scale and the won­ders it has to of­fer.

scale to ap­ply - and how. This of course re­quires some de­gree of har­mony and the­ory un­der­stand­ing - now don’t drift off, as over the fol­low­ing pages you are go­ing to gain a lot of ex­tremely use­ful knowl­edge that you can put into prac­tice in al­most any style you play, on any day of the week.

Of course, it’s not only a ques­tion of har­mony when it comes to us­ing pen­ta­ton­ics cre­atively (a com­mon mis­take gui­tarists make is that know­ing scales will make them great mu­si­cians; sadly there’s more to it than that). Sound, dy­nam­ics, rhythm and taste are also im­por­tant when play­ing in each of our four styles. Mov­ing through blues, rock, coun­try and jazz, we will fin­ish on an ex­tended ex­am­ple that blends these ideas and har­monic con­cepts into a fun study.

For ex­tra easy ap­pli­ca­tion, we will pri­mar­ily be look­ing at things from a mi­nor pen­ta­tonic per­spec­tive, even though some­times it’ll tech­ni­cally be the ma­jor pen­ta­tonic of the rel­a­tive ma­jor key (which con­tains the very same five notes).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.