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.

Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS -

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

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