This guitar scale lesson teaches you how to use a part of the pentatonic scale to create new sounds.
Sometimes it’s difficult for an improvising musician to bring variety into his solos. We need to learn as many improvisation techniques, scales and arpeggios as possible so we can bring new sounds into our improvisations. A way to find new sounds is to take something you already know and use it in a different way.
In this example we’ll have a look at a scale everyone knows: the minor pentatonic scale, which has 5 notes: 1 b3 4 5 b7
The most obvious way to use this scale is to play it on a chord with the same root (for example A minor pentatonic over an Am chord). We all know this sound in and out. It has been used like this for ages in blues, rock, pop and lots of other musical styles.
Now try to take away the b3 and play the remaining scale over a minor chord with the same root. Sounds completely different, doesn’t it? The remaining notes are the notes of a sus chord. Because you don’t play the b3 the suspended sound becomes more prominent.
Sometimes it’s not what you play, but what you don’t play
Here are the guitar scale diagrams in A minor and in 2 positions:
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