Advanced Pentatonic Lessons 16-20


Advanced Pentatonic Lesson 16


This is a great opener for a country tune. I think I might’ve got this from Country Boy by Ricky Skaggs but I’m not sure. It also shows the idea of the call and response, where one player might play a lick and then another player answers that lick.

You should also try this using as many hammer-on's and pull-off’s as possible too, it might help you make it “roll” a little quicker at first. Then practice it with all picking.

If you look at it closely this is essentially a G Major Pentatonic lick with a b5 thrown in.


Audio for Lesson 16



Advanced Pentatonic Lesson 17


This shows how the Super-Imposed scale can be used in a jazz-fusion style.

This one uses the first four tones of the G Whole-tone scale. Then it moves into the mix of the G Minor and Major Pentatonics, then into the b5 from the Blues scale.

I have always been an advocate of learn scales. But, not so much as patterns but, the SOUND of the scales. Once you are aware of the SOUND you’ll find you can mix and match all sorts of scales in one phrase.

For the Whole-tone scale I’ve always thought of the first three notes as starting with the Major scale or Major Pentaonic sound (for G it would be G A B), then it hits the b5 (C#) which is also a note from the Blues scale, and the #5 (D#, which I think is the stranges sound of the scale), but then it jumps back to the Minor Pentatonic scale with the b7 and Root again.

So, if we’re playing against a G7 chord and the Major and Minor Pentatonic, and the Blues scale work…why not just drop the #5 and pull the ears into the G Whole-tone scale but without the #5.

The idea of playing “partial” scales is something I learned from countless attempts to learn solo’s by John Mclaughlin, Carlos Santana, Dicky Bett, and many others. By doing this you can simulate many different scales in one idea or phrase.

Another thing I’ve noticed from some of my favorite player is there are times in their solo’s that it almost sounds like they are going to “lose it”. But, they are always able to pull it back on the track and back into the pocket.

Examples of this are Eddie Van Halen, Page, Mclaughlin, Clapton on Crossroad where he lost the “1” beat and was playing on two, Jeff Beck, and many others. It seems that when they are out there it sparks a tension or a bit of confusion…and then they land on their feet. By reaching for other scale sounds (and letting your fingers do the walking) you can achieve this confusion with purpose.

This example show how a usable part of the Whole-tone scale works without being played against an altered chord. The b5 at the end of the lick also shows that bit of confusion for a second before the chords come back in and bring the ears home again.

Experiment with just these notes of the Whole-tone scale an you’ll find it can add tension to your solo’s without falling on your face. It’s easy to fall right back into the Major or Minor Pentatonic, or the Blues scale. Take the listener for a ride.

More about other partial scales and how they can be used latter…but, all of the notes in this example and the notes in examples down the road will all be found in the Super-Imposed scale. So, learning the SOUND of the note against the chord is more important than learning the “scale patterns”.

This is why I mentioned in the very first lesson about listening to the sound of these notes against the chord. So, you can learn to mix sounds.


Audio for Lesson 17



Advanced Pentatonic Lesson 18


Chords, chords, and more chords…

We’re going look at a chromatic chord movement that’s fairly popular. It does include the M7 and the #5.

The audio represents the first two tabs. The bottom tab is further “Grip” exploration and can be moved chromatically two half-steps below just like the first two tabs.

This does step out of the Super-Imposed scale but holds true to the chromatic sound the scale can put us in.

Essentially the example is a Gadd6 (or a Gadd13) then the chord is moved down chromatically two more half-steps. Then I’ve just broke out those notes into smaller fragments.

I’ve also included “Other Grips” that are very similar just to keep you thinking.

We will delve into a lot of different chords found in this scale that can be moved chromatically. And, if you start visualizing the Super-Imposed scale you will find a ton of chord voicing that are available to you in very comfortable grips.

Down the road a ways we’ll look at some cool chord progressions using the scale but start to incorporate these examples as part of your chord work. In a blues progression it is very common to move to the I7 chord a measure before moving to the IV chord, like this in G:

  ||: G | G | G | G7 | C | C | G | G | D | C | G | D :||

So, try these chromatic movements when moving to the G7.


Audio for Lesson 18



Advanced Pentatonic Lesson 19


This is a short little Albert Lee style lick that is played primarily out of the G Pentatonic scale but the b5 is added from the Blues scale.


Audio for Lesson 19



Advanced Pentatonic Lesson 20


Here’s another Albert Lee style lick. This one really “rolls” with the open strings but also move this up a whole-step to A and you’ll see it’s even easier to play without the open strings.


Audio for Lesson 20