The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  1. #1
    Greetings everyone from South Africa

    I have been an on/off guitar player for a number of years now.
    Recently, I have started getting more serious and started looking at jazz.

    Anyway, I have read that the minor pentatonic can be played over the root dom7 - This confuses me.

    Am pentatonic - A C D E G
    A7 chord - A C# E G

    Do I avoid that minor 3rd when improvising then?
    Should I be swapping out that minor 3rd for the perfect 3rd?
    Maybe go a fret lower and play the 9th?
    Is there something I am missing?

    I've also read that I have read that the minor pentatonic can be played over the root Maj7
    Am pentatonic - A C D E G
    AMaj7 chord - A C# E G#

    I have to be missing something here?

    I can understand using the relative minor pentatonic of a given key....As in using Am pentatonic over C Major.

    I get that using Am over C Major might be bore-snore - Is this perhaps why it works over the root dom7? To add color/flavour/spice?

    Appreciate any thoughts


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    There are 4 minor pentatonics you can use over a M7. For CM7 there's Am, Em, Bm (the Bm gives the #11 sound) and Cm (for the blues).
    If there are any others I doubt they'd be much good.

    Here's a list if you're interested.

    Major chords:

    C major:

    Em pentatonic (M7 sound)
    Am (M6 sound)
    Bm (Lydian sound)
    Cm (Blues sound)

    Minor chords:

    D minor:

    Dm pentatonic (m7 sound/blues sound)
    Am (m9 sound)
    Em (m6 sound)

    Dominant chords:


    Dm pentatonic (sus4 sound)
    Em (13th sound)
    Fm (b9 sound)
    Am (4ths sound)
    Bbm (altered sound)
    Gm (blues sound)

    M7b5 chords:


    Dm pentatonic (m7b5 sound)
    Em (m9b5 sound)

    Over a Major 2-5-1:

    Em and Am pentatonic can be played over Dm7 – G7 – CM7.

    Cm pentatonic will give blues sound.

    Over a minor 2-5-1:

    Bm7b5 (Dm or Em) – E7b9 (Dm or Gm) – Am7 (Am)

  4. #3

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    Yea... I reposted this old post of How Insensitive from 2011 for use of subs... but my lousy attemp at soloing through the reharm of How Insensitive basically just used Pents and different blue notes. Back in the 70's and 80's that was what many of us just did... somewhat trying to appeal bigger audiences. Hard habits to break...LOL

    Here's the old post... changes and vid

    OK... so here's a totally new re-harm. of How Insensitive... I just wrote it out... sort of got through... I have exceptionally busy week coming so I figured I'll post even though it pretty rough... I like the feel, and the changes. Here are the changes... basically. It's in 3/4, with a dotted quarter, dotted quarter / quarter, quarter, quarter... a 2- 3 feel.
    There's 16 out front...with this groove. Thanks Reg

    C-13 / F9 ,F9#11 / A13 / #11 /
    C-9... / 11............ / G13 / #11 / repeated

    C-11 .../ F9 , #11.. / A13....... / #11 /
    F13..... / (F13)....... / G13...... / G13sus G13 /
    C-9 .... / C-11 ......../ G13 sus ./ G13sus /
    F-9, 11 / Ab13....... / D-9, 11.. / G7alt. /
    Ab13.. / sus, 3......../ G13....... / sus, 3 /
    F13.... / F13 .........../ Ab13sus / Ab13sus /
    C-11.. / F13........... / D-11...... / G13, #11 /
    B-11 .../ Bb13, #11 / D-9, 11.. / G13, b13 //

  5. #4
    Thanks guys for the detailed replies - Appreciated.

    I have much to do to get this completely understood.

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Yea... you know.... there is the other pent. right, The Dom. Pent. Which also has a couple minor versions. I know we use to get into it... PB sure does.

    So if the G7 dom. V7 version is...
    G A B D F
    1 9 3 5 b7

    The most used versions or patterns are the related VII-7b5...B-7b5
    B D F G A
    1 b7 b5 b13 b7... and

    the related II-7... D-7
    D F G A B
    1 b3 11 5 13

    I think years ago I posted about how they can be used when related Melodic Min ...harmony or melodic references were implied etc...

    I could dig it up and then your pentatonic licks.... I mean melodic developments could really expand. It's nothing new, I'm pretty sure Django used them. Like Fleur de Ennui etc...

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    Use your ears and keep it simple. Blues players often play the minor third over a dominant chord. It is “wrong”, but that is what makes it “blue”.

    Playing a minor pentatonic from the 6th is the “major pentatonic”. You’ve probably played that all your life. A happy country music sound. Want more of a Maj7 Larry Carlton sound? Try a pentatonic from the 3rd. That’s a C# pentatonic over an AMaj7. Look at the notes and you’ll see you have the AMaj7 hiding in there.

    Can you play an A minor Pentatonic when the song is otherwise going to AMaj7? Sure. With enough rhythm and intention yo can make anything work But if your ears tell you it’s too “out” for your playing, don’t try to force it. In the end it’s all about making music you like.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  8. #7

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    Yea... it's all just fun, right. Here's an old recording of an old tune of mine...called "simple simon". Nothing complicated... but I did consciously try and use Dom. Pentatonics for head, and camouflaged the II V groove with voicings. No real rehearsal required to play LOL.
    Attached Files Attached Files