Shaun Baxter brings you another in his series examining the more unusual Pentatonic scales.
How can adding a minor 3rd to the Mixolydian scale expand our Pentatonic possibilities? Once again Shaun Baxter gets us right on track.
Recently, we have been exploring various different ways of using (1-2-3-4-5-6-b7) Mixolydian over a (1-3-5-b7). Dominant chord So far, we have extracted different ‘devices’ and flavours from the scale (triads, arpeggios, Pentatonic scales etc). Each provides a different mental and aural perspective, leading you to play different ideas each time. In terms of Pentatonics (five-note scales), we have thus far looked at the following scales in this mini series: Major Pentatonic scale: 1-2-3-4 -6 b7 Dominant Pentatonic scale: 1 -2-3-5- b7 Indian Pentatonic scale: 1-3-4 -5- In rock and blues, it is also common practice to use the Minor Pentatonic scale as a darker b3 b7. alternative: 1 - -4 -5- b3 This scale possesses a that does not exist within Mixolydian, but has the effect of providing some ear-catching dirt that helps our lines to b3 sound bluesier. By adding a to Mixolydian, we end up with an eight-note hybrid scale: A hybrid Dominant scale: A-B-B#-C#-D-E-F#-G b7 1-2-#2-3-4-5-6- Note that, when writing the scale b3), b3 (Mixolydian with an added the will be described as a #2 as there is already a major 3rd present in the scale. In this lesson, we are going to look at Pentatonic scales that can be derived from this scale that incorporate
#2(b3). the A7#9 Pentatonic scale: A-B#-C#-E-G b7 1-#2-3-5- Although this could be called 7#2 Pentatonic, it’s betterl to think 7#9 as that’s how a #2 would normally appear in a chord (an octave higher): A7#9 chord: A-C#-E-G-B# b7-#9 1-3-5- So, this first Pentatonic scale can also be thought of as a 7#9 arpeggio in which all the information is compressed within each octave.
The next Pentatonic has the same notes as an A6#9 arpeggio where, again, all the information is compressed into each octave: A6#9 Pentatonic scale: A-B#-C#-E-F# 1-#2-3-5-6 Yes, it could be called A6#2, but, as before, it’s more common to see the #2 referred to as a #9 in chords.
Finally in this lesson, we are going to look at the m6 Pentatonic scale. Am6 pentatonic scale: A-C-D-E-F# b 1- 3-4-5-6 Here, note that the #2 (B#) can now be b3 considered as a (C) because there is no other 3rd in the scale.
Diagram 1 shows all three scales in each of its CAGED shapes. Note that the 7#9 and 6#9 Pentatonic scales are shown with a major chord as a main superstructure, whereas, for the m6 Pentatonic scale, it’s a minor chord (due to the lack of major 3rd).
Here, we will be looking at musical examples within each of the five CAGED shapes of these scales; however, this should just be the start of the process, and your aim should be to start developing your own personal repertoire of licks and lines in each shape, so that you have more ammunition to work with when improvising.
The backing track is very slow (60bpm); so, don’t worry too much about the sight of so many 32nd notes in the musical examples since, speed-wise, they are equivalent to 16th-notes at 120bpm.
each scale provides a different mental and aural perspective, leading you to play different ideas