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in the minor pentatonic rut. help

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Eminent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 14
Topic starter  

i've seen a few rare guitarists really spice up a blues lead to a basic medium shuffle with "flavorfull" licks and stuff. almost combining minor and major pentatonic scale,, i see them as 1 or the other. is this the secret? combining the 2? . how do i learn this? a jazz thing? any examples i can listen to. thanks.

leave your ego at the door , play the music, love people.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5349

You are very much correct: they key is not seeing scales as seperately. You can mix the major, minors, pentatonics and whatnot scales together. In other words you should learn how every note sounds over chords. This is basically an interval thing, if you know how each note sounds over a C-chord and some variations of it you know them of other chords as well. Go put on a bacis blues backing and just play each note over each chord. Write down how each combination sounds and what feeling it gives. Then take your faviurite none-penta note and start using it in your licks. Then take the next one.

Scales are a way to learn the fretboard, don't get constrained by them!

Prominent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 677

Modes are a great way of approaching that. If your soloing in minor pent', you can then use any minor mode of the major scale.
e.g. Your in E minor
play the second shape of the major scale (but starting from the E)
Your now playing in Dorian mode, which is minor.
Phygian (3rd shape) and Aeolion (6th shape) are also minor modes. Dorian is used a lot in jazz.
Im pretty sure that was a really crap explanation, but its a really simple concept once you get it...Maybe someone else could explain it better?

Noble Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 2337

One that I happen to enjoy and another one to look into for that particular bluesy sound and can be used as a type of blues scale. Is called the Mixolydian. Primarally this is used over unaltered dominant chords like dom7, dom9, dom11, dom13. Also sus4, sus,7, sus9, and sus13.

You'll notice that the patterns used for the C Lydian are the same as the D Mixolydian. The only difference is the note emphasis. Have fun.


Honorable Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 530

Yeah, Mixolydian is big in southern rock too, which has some blues in it. For Mixo, think major scale with a b7.

Like Joe said, C Lydian (#4 in a major scale) = D Mixolydian (b7 in a major scale) = G major. I find its easier to relate back to a major scale when it comes to modes. Although, as stated above, the note choice is what gives the modal sound, as well as the harmony.

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