Saturday, 16 November 2013

Confession #43 - Pentatonic Scales (Part 2)

In Confession #40 - Pentatonic Scales (Part 1) we looked at Pentatonic Pattern #1.  In this week's confession, we'll look at Pentatonic Pattern #2.

Major Pentatonic Pattern #2

Here is major pentatonic pattern #2 in the key of C.  I've coloured the root notes red for easy reference.  I've also shown pattern #1 in the diagram so you can see how the two patterns are connected.  The dashed notes on the left belong only to pattern #1.  The notes in the middle are common to both patterns. The notes on the right belong only to pattern #2.

Minor Pentatonic Pattern #2

Here is minor pentatonic pattern #2 in the key of A minor.  Again, I've coloured the root notes red for easy reference and I've also shown pattern #1 in the diagram so you can see how the two patterns are connected.

In Confession #35 - Repeat & Vary! (Improvisation 1) and Confession #40 - Pentatonic Scales (Part 1)  I talked about the pentatonic extended box.  Now you can see how those notes come from minor pentatonic pattern #2.  They are often used in conjunction with minor pentatonic pattern #1 as demonstrated in the TAB and video below.

I've also coloured two notes in blue.  I find that these two notes from the extended box are very powerful when played together.  You'll see/hear this in the TAB/video below.

I was trying to figure out why they are so powerful and here's what I came up with.  The E is the 5th in the key of A or Am.  We already know how powerful the 5th is from playing root-5 power chords.

The G is the flat 7th in the key of A or Am.  As discussed in last week's confession, the G is what turns an Am chord into an Am7 chord. It's also what turns a an A chord into an A7 chord.

Combined, the 5th and the flat 7th imply a minor 7th chord or a dominant 7th chord.  I suspect that is why they sound so good together.

See Confession #42 - 7th Chords Cheat Sheet! for more information on 7th chords.


Here is a little riff that moves between the extended box from pattern #2 and pattern #1.  In the last measure, execute a grace note slide into the E at the 9th fret of the third string and hold it while you play the G at the 8th fret of the second string.

Next Week's Confession - Pentatonic Scales (Part 3)

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