Tag Archives: altered scale guitar

Altered Scale – The Most Important Things to Know

The Altered scale is a difficult scale to get into your playing. At the same time, altered dominants are also a cornerstone sound in Jazz, and you need to learn how to solo over them.

This video is presenting 15 different things you can use on an altered dominant so you will have a huge vocabulary of triads, arpeggios, and pentatonics that you can work with in your solos.

The point of the scale is to sound dissonant and ask for resolution, so you need to keep that in mind when you practice using it.

Pentatonic Scales, Triads, and Arpeggios

It is important to have a big vocabulary of material that you can use when you are improvising. Having a set of things you can use as a flexible part of your playing is going to give you a lot more freedom when you are playing.

0:00 Intro

0:41 #1 Fø

1:04 #2 Db7

1:29 #3 AbmMaj7

1:55 #4 B augmented

2:17 #5 Bbm Pentatonic

2:43 #6 Bmaj7#5

3:06 #7 Quartal #9

3:30 #8 Db, B aug triad pair

3:53 #9 Bmaj7(b5)

4:15 #10 Quartal from Bb and B

4:39 #11 Absus4

5:04 #12 Eb7#5

5:28 #13 Eb,Db triad pair

5:52 #14 Ebsus4

6:14 #15 Abm, Bbm

6:37 Like The Video? Check out My Patreon Page!

Other lessons on Altered Scale Ideas

Altered Scale – 3 Great Pentatonic Solutions (Easy And Powerful)

Triad pairs in the altered scale

3 Altered Scale Arpeggios that you forgot to learn!

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How can that be an altered dominant? (The Best Hack)

The altered dominant can be difficult to deal with, but there are some really good hacks or tricks you can use to play the chords and add them to your vocabulary.

In this video I am going to go three of ideas and help add new altered dominant chords to your playing. Using other chords that you already know as altered chords.

Being able to see the same voicing as several different chords was a huge help in building my chord vocabulary and has opened up a lot of things in my comping and soloing.

The Altered Dominant Hack

Which is maybe a hack or is it actually a skill?  The idea is to use other chord voicings that we already know as altered dominant chords. The basic concept is really clear if you look at this example:

Here the G7 altered voicing is really an Fm7b5 or Fø voicing with a G in the bass.

The Fø agaings the G root is F(b7), Ab(b9), B(3) and Eb(b13) so the G7 is a G7(b9b13)

#1 The Fø

From example 1 You now know that You can then use all the Fø voicings and inversions as G7alt chords.

Here’s an example using the original Fø voicing:

And of course you can use the inversions as well:

But you can do a lot of interesting things by using other types of voicings than the Drop2 that was in the previous examples:

#2 Bmaj7(b5)

Another great candidate for a G7 altered voicing is a maj7b5 arpeggio.

A Bmaj7(b5) arpeggio against the G root is: B(3), Eb(b13), F(b7), Bb(#9) so a G7(b13#9)

An example of this that you probably already know would be:

And another great example using a basic root position maj7b5 voicing could be this:

And another good example using an inversion of the Bmaj7(b5) arpeggio:

#3 Using the Db7 or tri-tone substitution voicings

Another great example is to use the Db7 chord as a voicing.

In this first example I am using a basic Db7 voicing. 

Against a G root that would be: Db(b5) F(b7) Ab(b9) B(3) so a G7(b5b9)

And you can use variations of the Db7 chords as well.

Here are an example using a Db7(13) voicing which contains B(3) F(b7) Bb(#9) Db(b5) which is a G7(b5#9) 

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How can that be an altered dominant

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for topics then please let me know. Leave a comment on the video or  send me an e-mail. That is the best way for me to improve my lessons and make them fit what you are searching for.

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Altered Scale – 3 Great Pentatonic Solutions (Easy And Powerful)

Finding good ideas for using The altered scale can be difficult and often we end up just running the scale and not really making any interesting melodies.

In this video I will go over 3 pentatonic scales you can use when improvising over an altered dominant which is a great way to get some strong and interesting melodic ideas. Pentatonic scales are a great and easy to use resource on the guitar and as you will see you can do a lot with them.

The Sound of Pentatonic Scale in Modern Jazz

I really like to use pentatonic scales in my playing to get some more modern sounding ideas, which is also where the pentatonic scale is mostly used, but it is overall a very effective tool.

Connecting to the basic G Altered Scale

G7 altered is the same as Ab melodic minor:

Ab Bb B Db Eb F G Ab

We have one straight minor pentatonic scale:

Bbm – Bb Db Eb F Ab Bb

That’s what I am using here in this next example.

In example 2 I am first playing the scale as a 2nd position minor pentatonic.  I also use another way which is to play it in a 3-1 pattern.  This has 3 notes on one string , 1 note on the next etc. That is written in the 2nd 2 bars of example 2 here below.

Next lick another type of pentatonic scale that works really well for melodic minor sounds and especially the Altered scale. I will also go over some useful exercises to combine legato and picking for playing fast in the pentatonic scale.

The altered lick using Bbm pentatonic

Here below is the lick using the Bbm pentatonic scale. The first part is just runing up the basic scale position. in the 2nd bar I use 2 different 3 note per string patterns and then resolve to the G on Cmaj7. The line is closed with a small fragment from an Em pentatonic.

Abm6 Pentatonic

Abm6 pentatonic is a very good choice for a pentatonic scale in the altered scale. In fact it is great fro most chords you come across in melodic minor.

Abm6 pentatonic: Ab B Db Eb F Ab 

You can play that like this:

Connecting it to the tritone substitute

You can also look at it the scale as a Db7(9): Db F Ab B Eb which is how I am using it here.

Ab B Db Eb F re-ordered is Db F Ab B Eb

which is a Db7(9) arpeggio.

The example here below starts with a Db7 arpeggio and ending on the 9th in the 2nd bar two octaves higher. From here it resolves to the 9th on Cmaj7 and ends with a short lick on the Cmaj7.

Mixing legato and picking

This lick relies on mixing legato and picking. I find that those two are really cornerstones in my playing and it makes sense to have exercises where you mix them so that you can solve problems for your right hand with legato.

Here below I included an example of an exercise like this using the Abm6  pentatonic.

Let’s have a look at a more exotic but also effective pentatonic scale for altered dominants, some economy picking and how an E7sus4 chord works great on a Cmaj7.

The Eb major b6 pentatonic

This is the Eb major (b6) pentatonic scale: Eb F G Bb B Eb

It is  a great scale to spell out the sound of  melodic minor because it has the augmented triad from B included.

Constructing the scale

Since we are using the scale over a G7 altered it makes sense to connect it to a Cm pentatonic scale. You can construct the scale by taking a Cm pentatonic replace the C with a B. That makes it easier to find fingerings:

Major b6 pentatonic scale example with economy picking

The example using this scale is making use of an economy picking pattern in the first bar. I am using the economy picking to play the 3 note patterns in bar one branching into bar 2.  From there it starts with a small scale pattern resolving to the 3rd(E) of Cmaj7.

The arpeggio on the Cmaj7 is an E7sus4 which works great for that sound. It is also a part of the Em pentatonic scale I am using on that chrord.

Using pentatonic scales in Jazz

The way I work with pentatonics is mostly to get a different sound than the standard blues phrasing, they work great for some open sounds and different melodies. How do you work with pentatonics? Leave a comment and be sure to also check out the ideas that are discussed in the comments because often there is a lot of interesting information being shared.

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Altered Scale – 3 pentatonic scales

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for topics then please let me know. Leave a comment on the video or  send me an e-mail. That is the best way for me to improve my lessons and make them fit what you are searching for.

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My secret arpeggio and 3 places I use it!

Sometimes it is great to look beyond the diatonic arpeggios for some rich or more colorful sounding arpeggios.

This video is about one of these arpeggios that I really use a lot for melodic minor, altered or Lydian dominant sounds.

Finding the arpeggios

Usually we find arpeggios by stacking 3rds in a scale, but in some cases we can get some really great sounds by building chords in other ways.

The arpeggio I want to talk about in this lesson is the dom7th(#5) arpeggio. The A7(#5) is shown here below:

Where does the dom7th(#5) chord belong?

There are a few places where you can construct this arpeggio.

It is of course found in the whole tone scale, and a can be constructed in both harmonic major and minor.

In this lesson I will focus on it in the context of melodic minor. Purely because that is where I use it the most.

The dom7th(#5) can be found in two places in the melodic minor scale.

If we take the A7(#5) as an example then it can be found on the 5th degree of D melodic minor:

And also on the 7th degree of Bb melodic minor:

Using the arpeggio

If we look at the A7(#5): A C# F G  then it is worth noticing that it is in fact an A augmented triad and an A.

The fac that the augmented triad is a part of the arpeggio is probably one of the reasons why it is so useful for a lot of different chords in melodic minor. The augmented triad sound is a big part of the melodic minor sound. Just think of an DmMaj7 where the upper part of the chord is an augmented triad.

The Altered dominant

When using the arpeggio on an altered dominant we have two options.

The altered dominant in this case is a Db7alt. The two dom7(#5) arpeggios we have available are then A7(#5) and C#7(#5) (or Db)

In this example I am using the A7(#5). If we relate the A7 arpeggio to a Db root we get: A(b13) C#(root) F(3rd) G(b5). So there is a lot of color in the arpeggio.

The Abm7 line is a descending Bmaj7 sweep arpeggio followed by a small turn with a leading note on before the root.

On the Db7alt the line is really just the A7(#5) arpeggio adding a B to resolve to the 3rd of Gbmaj7 in bar 3.

Tonic minor

In the second example I am using the line on a tonic minor chord. The A7(#5) related to D would be: A(5), C#(Maj7), F(3rd), G(11).

The first bar is really just a simple Dm line with a leading note under the root. The 2nd bar is coming from the A7(#5) arpeggio that finally resolves to the 9th(E) of Dm6 (or DmMAj7)

Lydian Dominant

The Lydian dominant example is using a IV IVm progression in F major. In this case it is in fact II bVII I that is being used, but the main idea is of course subdominant, subdominant minor to tonic.

The line on the Gm7 is first encircling the root of the chord and then ascending a Gm7 arpeggio with an added A. 

The Eb7 bar is first the A7(#5) arpeggio followed by Bb and C to resolve to the 3rd(A) of Fmaj7. The ending is tagget with a small pentatonic turn.

Make you own lines with these arpeggios

The examples I went over here are of course only a glimpse at a quite vast amount of options available with this arpeggio.

The best way to get this arpeggio in to your playing is to use it in different situations in songs that you already know so that you can explore the sound of the arpeggio. 

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Get the PDF!

You can also download the PDF of my examples here:

My secret arpeggio and 3 places i use it!

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for topics or how I can make the lessons better then please let me know. Leave a comment on the video or  send me an e-mail. That is the best way for me to improve my lessons and make them fit what you are searching for.

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Pentatonic Scale for Altered Chords – Modern Melodic Minor Secrets

The Pentatonic scale is one of the first things we learn. And since it is something we are very familiar with and we can use this to change it a bit and use it for other chord sounds like Altered Dominants or other melodic minor sounds. In this lesson I am going to show you a simple way to make a great pentatonic scale for altered chords and demonstrate how to learn and how to use it.

Creating the Pentatonic scale

I came up with this scale by playing a C minor pentatonic scale and then changing the C to a B. This is shown in example 1, first the C minor and then the B Lydian Augmented pentatonic scale.

As you can see in this example we can easily use that we already know 5 positions of pentatonic scales and that it is easy to “alter” the root so that we make them into or new pentatonic scale.

The Melodic Minor Connection

It is important to also notice that this scale, or 5 note set of notes. Is also a subset of the Ab melodic minor scale:

Melodic minor:       Ab Bb B Db Eb F G Ab Ab Bb

Altered pentatonic:          B        Eb F G            Bb B

This tells us that it is a part of the Ab melodic minor/ G Altered scale and we can also see that it is a good fit for the G7 with an F and a B in there.

Learning The Altered Dom7th Pentatonic Scale

Since the scale is layed out in 2 notes per string patterns across the neck, just like our normal pentatonic scales we can use some of the same exercises to get used to playing the scale

Here are a few excerpts:

The pentatonic scale in groups of 3 notes

The scale in groups of 4 notes:

Finding the chords in the scale

It is important to also have some of the structures under control in the scale. The place you probably want to start is to create some diatonic chords. In Example 5 I have stacked diatonic “3rds” which as you may know yields a lot of quartal harmony.

This exercise is shown here below:

The chords that we get from this are:

  • G7alt Quartal Voicing
  • Eb augmented triad
  • F Quartal Voicing
  • G7 Shell voicing
  • Eb Maj triad (2nd inv)

All of them are quite useful as upper-structures on a G7 altered.

Using the scale as a melody

To demonstrate the way this pentatonic scale works in the context of a II V I I have made three examples.

The first example starts with a pattern of an Fmaj7 (the arpeggio from the 3rd of Dm7). The arepggio is played in a 1 5 3 7 pattern. The line continues with a descending scale run.

On the G7alt the line is simply an ascending run up the scale that is then finally resolved to the 9th(D).

The fact that the pentatonic scale is a bit unusual in the construction makes it possible to get away with using it as a melody in the most basic form as a sort of enriched arpeggio.  

Putting some diatonic chords to use

The 2nd example starts with a Dm7 descending arpeggio. From here it continues with a short scale run. 

On the G7alt the melody is first the G7(#9) quartal voicing and then a Eb augmented triad in inversion.

The line resolves to the 3rd(E) of Cmaj7.

The upper-structure triad

This example makes use of the Eb major triad as an upper structure on the G7alt.

The opening on the Dm7 line is constructed first from an F major triad followed by an Am pentatonic scale fragment. On the G7alt the line is an embellishment of an Eb root position triad followed by a small scale run that resolves to the 3rd of Cmaj7.

Working with these altered or modified pentatonic scales

When you work on using this pentatonic scale it is useful to try to tap into some of all the things you already have in your system with normal pentatonics. There is a lot of tips and ideas already explored on guitar in several styles using pentatonic scales after all. 

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Get the PDF!

You can also download the PDF of my examples here:

Pentatonic Scales – Melodic Minor – Altered Scale

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for topics or how I can make the lessons better then please let me know. Leave a comment on the video or  send me an e-mail. That is the best way for me to improve my lessons and make them fit what you are searching for.

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and feel free to connect with me via Instagram,Twitter Google+ or Facebook to keep up to date with new lessons, concerts and releases.