Advance Pentatonic Lessons 21-25


Advanced Pentatonic Lesson 21


This is a use of the scale to create a George Benson type sound.

To break this down, all of the slides are nothing more than half-step passing notes into the notes of a Gm chord and then a G major chord. I’ve shown the chords as G and G7 mainly because of the hammer-on at the end that hammers the m3 into the M3.

But, if you drop off the ending M3 hammer this lick will then fit a G, G7, OR Gm, Gm7.

Those type of half-step passing tones into the chord notes are commonly found in the Bebop style. They just add a “creepy-crawly” sound to your licks or anticipation to the chord notes.

And, all of these notes are found in the G Super-Imposed scale.


Audio for Lesson 21



Advanced Pentatonic Lesson 22


Let's look at some other things that are buried in the Super-Imposed scale.

To this point we can see the Major Pentatonic, Minor Pentatonic, and the Blues Scale that make up the Super-Imposed scale.

With this combination of tones, or intervals, we can also find the Dorian and the Mixolydian scales/modes contained inside the Super-Imposed scale.

And, the cool thing is that both of these two scales/modes will again give us two completely different sounds that we can intermingle with each other, and the other scales we've seen so far.

The Dorian is a Minor mode and the Mixolydian is a Major mode. So, we basically have and "extension" of the Major and Minor Pentaonic scales. In other words, it gives us the notes of the Major and Minor Pentatonics, respectively, AND more notes to color the Major and Minor Pentatonic solos/licks/riffs/phrases with.

Let's again breakdown the scales we've seen so far, add the two new scales/modes, and look at all the intervals:

Major Pent - R 2 M3 5 6 R

Minor Pent - R b3 4 5 b7 R

Blues Scale - R b3 4 b5 5 b7 R

Dorian Mode - R 2 b3 4 5 6 b7 R

Mixolydian Mode - R 2 M3 4 5 6 b7 R


Super-Imposed Scale - R 2 b3 M3 4 b5 5 6 b7 R


If you compare any of the scales/modes listed above you can find each interval of each scale/mode "buried" within the Super-Imposed scale, plus any chord/arpeggio created using the scales/modes listed above.

Let's take the Blues Scale one step further. 95% of the time you see the intervals of the Blues Scale listed as they are above. But, sometimes you will see it listed as including the M7 interval also. Many people favor looking at the scale with this extra step, this is mainly because of the "sound" it produces against the dominant chords, and minor too, but primarily the dominant chords. So it would look like this:

Blues Scale - R b3 4 b5 5 b7 M7 R

And, the Super-Imposed scale would now look like this:

Super-Imposed Scale - R 2 b3 M3 4 b5 5 6 b7 M7 R


Now don't let this throw you for a loop because we've actually used the M7 in some of the previous examples, the one with the chromatic chord movement (G to F# to F, which is a chromatic movement from the root to the b7), it was used in the example of In The Mood, and it was used elsewhere in a couple of other examples.

At this point I think of the Super-Imposed scale as basically a Chromatic scale minus the b2 and the b6. In the G Super-Imposed scale, these two notes are G#/Ab and D#/Eb. But, again these two notes will work sometimes, it depends what "sounds" right. We'll mess with these two notes at a later lesson.

The image represents each of the scales listed above individually along with the Super-Imposed scale on fretboard diagrams so you can visualize what I'm talking about. I’ve lined up the roots so you can just look straight down the scales to the Super-Imposed scale.

I’ve also included the M7 we added in the Blues Scale. I’ve kept the Major Pentatonic and Mixolydian together since they represent the Major “sounding” scales. The Minor Pentatonic, Dorian, and Blues Scale are together since they are the Minor “sounding” scales.

There you go, now you can look at this one scale, the Super-Imposed scale, as containing five very common scales. You should also see that there are a number of common notes between these scales. As I continue through the lessons I’ll show ideas based on the individual scales but mainly continue showing ways to combine them. So, learn these across the fretboard and in different keys since we know how the area of the fretboard can affect your options once you incorporate open strings into the mix.


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Advanced Pentatonic Lesson 23


For this lesson I’d like to look at a familiar pattern that most guitarists learn at an early stage, a common Minor Pentatonic “run”.

When a guitarist learns the Minor Pentatonic the pattern they learn is usually termed as “the first position of the Minor Pentatonic Scale”. As time goes on, if the guitarist is one to pursue knowledge, they learn the other four positions of the scale. Now they have the Five Positions of the Minor Pentatonic scale.

At that point they start looking at connecting one position to the other positions to create licks/runs across the fretboard horizontally as opposed to vertically in each individual position.

One of the first, and easiest, forms of this is the tab labeled G Minor Pentatonic. It just lays on the fretboard kind of symmetrically over the four lowest strings and then with a one fret bump you can continue on to the two highest strings.

The one good thing about this type of run is, it can be thought of one lick being played in three different octaves. Learning a lick and moving it in octaves is a great way to memorize, and give yourself references when learning, the notes on the fretboard.

This run/pattern is very easy to play, very easy to memorize, and at an early stage can push your ego to new heights ;)

Well, all of this is pretty common stuff and can be discovered by almost anyone, even without someone else showing it to you.

I’d like to look at all of the scales contained in the Super-Imposed scale individually using the same concept. So now you can use the Minor Pentatonic, Major Pentatonic, Blues Scale, Dorain Mode, and Mixolydian in the same manner.

Then I conclude with the Super-Imposed scale which contains all of the other scale’s notes.

Each of the scales can be thought of as a scale you can play from one end to the other if you wish. Although, do not think of the Super-Imposed Scale in this manner. At first the Super-Imposed Scale can make you drool thinking you now have this huge scale you can play. But, as I’ve mentioned before, if you play the Super-Imposed Scale from one end to the other as sequential notes, or as a “pattern”, it doesn’t sound very good most of the time and is basically useless. But, it will be useful to know for the next few lessons.

The way you group the notes together is what makes the Super-Imposed scale special.

Use this image as a reference for the next five or so lessons. I’m going to try and burn this into your brain as I’ll show you variations of our common Minor Pentatonic run using the Super-Imposed scale which will combine a few different sounds together for us.


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Advanced Pentatonic Lesson 24


This lesson is based on the patterns/runs in lesson 23.

We are taking the Blues scale and the Mixolydian mode in combination to create this lick.

Even though there are some common notes between the Blues scale and the Mixolydian mode, these two scales are quite different from each other.

As good practice: on a piece of paper, write down the notes used in the G Blues scale and the notes used in the G Mixolydian mode. Then find the common notes between the two scales. Then look at the lesson again and visualize what notes are from what scales and what notes are common.

For great practice: on a piece of paper, write down the notes of all the scales that are combined in the Super-Imposed scale and compare each scale with each other. You’ll see that there are a lot, I mean a lot, of common notes between these scales, not common to ALL the scales but you’ll see things like common notes between even the G Dorian and the G Mixolydian…and believe me that’s only scrapping the surface.

The time you spend writing things down either as notes, interval names, fretboard patterns, and tab will only benefit you in the long run to make this stuff usable on the fly and let’s say “become one” with it. The possibilities are endless.


Audio for Lesson 24



Advanced Pentatonic Lesson 25


This lesson is based on the patterns/runs in Lesson 23.

We are taking the Blues scale (including the M7 mentioned a couple of lessons ago) and the addition of the M3 note in combination to create this lick.

It’s very similar to Lesson 24, but with a one note difference. So, hopefully you hear the difference when played side by side with Lesson 24.


Audio for Lesson 25