Tag Archives: pentatonic scales guitar

Pentatonic Chords are Magic! Amazing New Way To Use The Scale!

This way of turning the pentatonic scale into chords is surprisingly easy and already built into the way we play the scale, so if you can find a pentatonic scale that fits a chord then you have a great way to create some beautiful chord runs with a lot of movement and some really nice colors.

Let me show you how it works, and then explain and expand on how you can start using this great sound:

This is a fill to fit a Cmaj7

and the pentatonic scale used is this Em pentatonic scale, I’ll go over choosing scales in a bit:

Here, I am turning the pentatonic scale into chords by playing 3 notes at a time. In the previous example, I used these 4 chords:

Why Does It Work?

So I am really just thinking of them as playing notes in the scale at the same time, I am not thinking 4 different chords. The combined sound of all of them is what works and they fit together perfectly because they are in the scale.

Of course, you can do this for the entire position, and you can also use the same chords but change how you play them:

The way this works is about moving around in one position, but as you will see, you can also add some nice melodic tricks and start moving along the neck as well.

Finding Pentatonic Scales For Cmaj7

But first, let’s look a bit at finding pentatonic scales for a maj7 chord, later I will also show you some other chords and a great pentatonic scale that fits on a m6 or mMaj7 chord. The construction is a bit weird, but it sounds amazing, actually, I am going against my own rules in the name of it.

When you are looking for pentatonic scales it is not super complicated.

A Cmaj7 chord is either the I chord or the IV chord in a major scale.

If Cmaj7 is the one chord in C major then you have 3 possible minor pentatonic scales:

C major: C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C

Am: A C D E G A

Dm: D F G A C D

Em: E G A B D E

In this case, the Dm pentatonic is not really going to sound like a Cmaj7 mainly because of the F. But both Am and Em work really well. If you look at the notes of Am pentatonic, that is really just a C6/9 chord: C E G A D,

but since this way of using the scales is about adding color then the Em pentatonic is a little bit better because you also have the B, the major 7th so it is a little richer, and we want it to be as rich as possible!

The same type of analysis works if Cmaj7 is the 4th degree, here the scale would be G major and the available pentatonic scales would be Em, Am and Bm. Em and Am I already talked about but in this case the Bm is interesting because it has the two important notes for the chord: E and B, 3rd and 7th and then you have the 9th, the 13th, and the #11.

So this is can also be a very useful scale for the chord giving you a sort of open floating lydian sound:

The Secret To This Approach

 

One thing that it is important that you realize with this approach is that playing these pentatonic chord runs is like arpeggiating a chord. If you arpeggiate a chord then you have to hear a few notes before you can hear what chord it is.

This works the same, so not all the 3-note pentatonic chords are complete versions of for example a Cmaj7, but the entire run will sound like a Cmaj7.

If you look at the 2nd chord it is A D and G so it lacks the E and the B but those notes are in the surrounding chords so the whole thing still works.

In fact, this is similar to how you use quartal voicings, where you move around a voicing and sometimes it is not a complete chord, like this II V I in C major where the chords on beat 2 and 3 are not really complete Dm7 or G7alt voicings, but the entire thing still works.

In the end, just come up with something that sounds cool and it will probably work. Let’s try it out on an m7 chord and explore moving out of positions which can make things a lot easier sometimes.

Pentatonic Chords for a m7 chord

If you look at the 3 pentatonic scales in C major and compare them to a Dm7 chord, then it makes sense that the scale that will work the best is the Dm pentatonic since that is the only one that has both a 3rd and the 7th, so F and C.

Instead of playing in position then you can also move along the neck, and turn that into some beautiful moving harmony that is often also easier to play.

The basic Dm pentatonic voicings could be this:

And you can easily turn that into a beautiful II V I  and notice how I use the Em pentatonic scale as a short extra fill on the Cmaj7. It doesn’t always have to be large runs all the time, it can also be a small detail.

Now you can cover a lot of ground already, so I guess it would be nice to find a nice scale for a m6 or a mMaj7 chord, so let’s try that.

The Minor Pentatonic b1-scale

I actually hate the name I gave this scale, but it is by far the easiest way to construct it, so that is why I am sticking with it, even if it annoys every pedantic theoretically correct principle in my brain!

The scale I want to use is a scale that fits over a minor chord with a maj 6th and a maj7th which is really the sound of melodic minor.

For Cmaj7 you have Em pentatonic: E G A B D (3 5 6 7 9) with all the nice colors and extensions.

If only we had a minor version of that… Oh wait:

Em Pentatonic b1 : Eb G A B D

So here I am essentially just taking the Em pentatonic scale and changing E to Eb, hence the b1 pentatonic scale.

A better name for this scale is G major b6 pentatonic, which I believe I took from Rick Beato, but I am not 100% sure.

If you want some pentatonic chord magic on an Am6 chord then you use the C#m pentatonic but change the C# to a C, which gives you E major b6 pentatonic.

And now you can create 3 note voicings like this:

And then you can create some nice chord runs for an Am6 or AmMaj7 chord, it is really an amazing sound, and after that, you probably know what I am going to do next.

Altered Dominants And Counter-Movement

Now that you have a great pentatonic scale for a melodic minor sound then the next thing to do is (of course?) to put that to use on an altered dominant!

This is going to be a few steps, but it is worthwhile!

Let’s take G7alt:

G altered is Ab melodic minor.

The Pentatonic scale for Ab melodic minor is Cm with the C turned into a B (or Cb)

So this scale:

(diagram)

And then you have these chords:

And now you can create an all-pentatonic chord run that works great as an intro but is maybe a bit busy for comping. You also want to notice the counter-movement in the  Dm7 voicings.

Get the PDF and GuitarPro on Patreon:

You can get the PDF and GuitarPro files on Patreon here:

https://www.patreon.com/posts/pentatonic-are-74118466

Get the PDF!

You can also download the PDF of my examples here:

Get a free E-book

If you want to download a Free E-book of 15 II Valt I licks then subscribe to my newsletter:

Sign up for my newsletter – Get the II V I Ebook

Jazz Guitar Insiders Facebook Group

Join 7500+ Other Jazz Guitarists 🎸Join us in the Facebook Jazz Guitar Group Community: http://bit.ly/InsidersFBGroup

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.

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.

The Great Thing About Pentatonic Scales For Jazz And How To Use Them

You can create fantastic Jazz licks using Pentatonic Scales! This lesson will give you some great examples and exercises for that!

Pentatonic scales can be great because usually, Jazz solos are about arpeggios and chromatic leading notes

But that is not always what you want to sound like, just focusing on spelling out the harmony

And this is where you can use Pentatonic scales, because they can give you a very different sound and you most likely already know how to play them.

So let’s look at how you can use Pentatonic scales to create shifting minor pentatonic tricks, lines for altered dominants and, one of my favourites which is a pentatonic scale for maj7 chords.

  • Shifting Pentatonics
  • Altered Pentatonics
  • Great Maj7 Pentatonic

It is not all Clapton licks with this scale…

Shifting Minor Pentatonic

One thing that works really well with these scales is to take melodies and shift them around on top of the chords.

An example could be to choose 3 pentatonic scales for the progression and then use the shifting nature in the melodies. For example, you can use Dm on Dm7, Fm pentatonic on G7, and Em pentatonic on Cmaj7.

Check out how that sounds, and how it is really just moving the melody around on the progression.

This is all really just using this pentatonic scale

 

And especially these melodies, but then I am changing things up because it gets a bit boring and predictable if you don’t watch out.

I’ll return to how much I hate later in the video with my least favorite pentatonic trick.

A lot of this is just about playing interesting rhythms:

Bebop Vs Pentatonics – what is the difference

I am sure you can hear how the pentatonic melodies sound different. The main difference is in what notes are used, when you only have 5 notes then you get this really pure sound which is very different from a line similar to what I played at the beginning of the video where I am using all scale notes AND some chromatic notes

Bebop lines are dense very directional melodies that move from one target note to the next are pretty different from pentatonic melodies that are more floating on top.

 

Another thing that you also want to notice is how the bebop lines rely heavily on arpeggios: Like Dm7, Fmaj7 and B diminished

Exercises to help create Pentatonic Melodies

In a pentatonic scale there are not that many arpeggios and you want to work on playing other structures, so it is really useful to explore exercises like this:

or this

Which will help you create more interesting melodies that really capture the sound and not just run up and down the scale. You want your melodies to have more this type of sound:

Altered Dominant

The next thing to figure out, before we get to the pentatonic hack that I have grown to hate, is how to use a pentatonic scale on a G7alt chord. The Fm pentatonic I used in the previous examples was sort of a hack, but you can do this in a different way:

G7 altered is Ab melodic minor:

Ab Bb B Db Eb F G Ab

And in this scale there is one minor pentatonic scale:

Bbm pentatonic:

Bb Db Eb F Ab

This is a great set of notes for a G7 since you have

Bb Db  Eb  F    Ab

#9 b5 b13 b7  b9

All the good notes!

So now you can use Dm7, Bbm7, and Em7 on the II V I, and this example I am using the basic box 1 Bbm pentatonic:

and you can hear how you get a more modern-sounding melody out of it:

Maj7 and Maj7(#11) pentatonic

And then we get to the hack that everybody is always trying to use and most of the time sound like this:

This is clearly moving up pentatonic scales in the most mechanical and predictable way possible, and it is really easy to avoid creativity with this, but you can do some nice things with it.

The scales are Am pentatonic on Dm7, Bbm on G7 alt and Bm pentatonic on Cmaj7

Bm pentatonic is a great scale for a Lydian sound:

B      D E  F#   A

maj7 9 3 #11 13

So really just all the rich sound notes in the chord.

Am pentatonic works fine but also is a little bland because we don’t have the F in there.

A C D E G

5 b7 1 9 11

Instead of just moving up the same very square melody you could use this in a line like this:

Get the PDF and GuitarPro on Patreon:

You can get the PDF and GuitarPro files on Patreon here:    

https://www.patreon.com/posts/great-thing-for-58489822

Get a free E-book

If you want to download a Free E-book of 15 II Valt I licks then subscribe to my newsletter:

Sign up for my newsletter – Get the II V I Ebook

Get the PDF!

You can also download the PDF of my examples here:

Jazz Guitar Insiders Facebook Group

Join 7500+ Other Jazz Guitarists 🎸Join us in the Facebook Jazz Guitar Group Community: http://bit.ly/InsidersFBGroup

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.

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.

Pentatonic Scale In Jazz – Exploring An Important Sound

These videos will show you how to develop Jazz lines and use them on Jazz Chords and Progressions so that you can start with material that you already know in Jazz.

When You Start Playing Jazz then using the Pentatonic Scale to really get the sound of different chords with alterations and extensions.

Check out the videos on YouTube

You can check out the videos as a playlist on YouTube here:

Pentatonic Scale in Jazz – Exploring an Important Sound

7 Pentatonic Tricks That Will Make You Play Better Jazz Solos

You might be getting Pentatonic scales wrong, and it is a really great and powerful Jazz sound even when you are using a very basic version of it. In this video, I am going to talk about how to come up with great pentatonic scale jazz licks and go over 7 ways to use pentatonic scales over chords I will start really simple and go pretty far out.

This pentatonic scales guitar lesson takes a look at how you can get some solid jazz licks using for the biggest part very basic pentatonic scale shapes and positions that you already know. For most guitar players the pentatonic scale is one of the first things we learn.

Check out the article here: 7 Pentatonic Tricks

9 Surprising Pentatonic Scale Secrets on a Blues

Pentatonic Scales and Modern Jazz go hand in hand just like a guitar and pentatonic scale do. In this video, I am going to try to bring the two together using a 12 bar blues and demonstrating 9 ways you can apply pentatonic scales to this chord progression. The ideas are not only going to be on which scale to use on which chord, but more about finding a series of pentatonic scales that you can use to create other movements on top of the jazz blues.

The blues is a great progression to explore reharmonizations and super-imposed pentatonic scales. There are a lot of very standard chord changes that can be approached in many interesting ways. Most of the examples are using several scales to demonstrate other ways to move through the changes, but there are also a few surprising scale choices for a chord here and there.

Each of the concepts is demonstrated on the 12 bar F blues and then the idea is analyzed and explained.

Check out the article here: 9 Pentatonic Scale Secrets on a Blues

The Things You Should Know In The Pentatonic Scale

The Pentatonic scale is one of the first things we learn on guitar, and it is also a great scale to use on top of Jazz Chords. But there are also a lot of really great melodies and arpeggios that most people don’t use. In fact, it is one of the best ways you can make really melodic sounding licks with large intervals.

In this video, I am going to show some of them and how you can use them in some really great sounding lines and not only try to play Eric Clapton’s licks on maj7 chords.

Check out the article here: Pentatonic Scales – You Should Know This

Pentatonic Scale vs Arpeggios – Focus on The Right Things

What to focus on when learning Jazz Guitar: The Pentatonic Scale that you know or the arpeggios that everybody keep talking about? It is difficult to make the right choice, but you also want to get it right so that you don’t practice something that won’t help you get what you want from playing Jazz!

Check out the article here: Pentatonics vs Arpeggios

5 Pentatonic Scales That Sound Great On A Maj7

A Pentatonic scale is a great resource to get some solid melodies and colorful extensions to shine on a maj7 chord. In this video, I am going to go over 5 options for pentatonic scales that are really great on a maj7 chord.

Some of them you know already, but I will also show you how to get them to sound a little more interesting.

A few others you probably don’t know and I actually had a hard time finding the right name for them.

I am going to go over the 5 scales but also give you some tips or hacks on how to make more interesting melodies with pentatonic scales because that is something that is very underestimated.

Check out the article and PDF here: 5 Pentatonic Scales for a Maj7

1 Pentatonic Scale over 8 Chords – Jazz Guitar Lesson

In this guitar lesson I will take one pentatonic scale and show you how it you can improvise over 8 different chords with it.

All the examples in this jazz guitar lesson are using the E minor pentatonic scale, and it is quite amazing the wide range of guitar chords you can use a simple pentatonic scale on.

Even if you already know how to play over chords, you should always be looking for new ways to come up with melodies and chances are that in this lesson you might find new inspiration to add some jazz scale sounds to your vocabulary that you don’t already use!

Check out the article and PDF here: 1 Pentatonic Scale on 8 Chords

Do you really know the pentatonic scale?

Most guitarists learn the pentatonic scale as one of the first things they ever learn on the guitar, and most of the time it is not a scale that we think too much about when we use it. It’s just the pentatonic scale and it’s something that is in our ears and fingers for years, even if we are already for the rest playing music with extended chords, altered dominants etc.

In this lesson I am going to take apart the pentatonic scale and look at some of the things that you can find in there since that might yield some new ways of using it by combining what you know of the pentatonic scale and what you know about improvising with chords and arpeggios

Check out the article and PDF here: Do you really know the pentatonic scale?

 

Pentatonic Scale vs Arpeggios – Focus on The Right Things

What to focus on when learning Jazz Guitar: The Pentatonic Scale, that you know or the arpeggios that everybody keeps talking about? It is difficult to make the right choice, but you also want to get it right so that you don’t practice something that won’t help you get what you want from playing Jazz!

This is a very common question in YouTube comments and my Facebook group.

Surprisingly the answer is not that simple, because it is really about what You think is important and what you want to achieve, but it is still important that you make the right choice.

 

Get the PDF on Patreon:

You can get the PDF and GuitarPro files on Patreon here: 

https://www.patreon.com/posts/pentatonic-scale-41014850

Content:

00:00 Intro

00:30 A Difficult But Important Choice

00:40 Pentatonic Scales – Start With What You Know

02:27 Chords That Don’t Fit With A Pentatonic Scale

02:54 What Do You Think?

03:23 A Jazz Lick with Pentatonic Scales vs A Bebop Jazz Line

04:46 How Most Jazz Musicians Think about Pentatonic Scales

05:55 Arpeggios – Directly Into The Jazz Vocabulary

06:24 Connecting To The Harmony

07:19 Jazz & Bebop Vocabulary

07:45 Which one is better?

08:25 Getting more out of Pentatonic Scales!

08:30 Like the video? Check out my Patreon page!

 

Get a free E-book

If you want to download a Free E-book of 15 II Valt I licks then subscribe to my newsletter:

Sign up for my newsletter – Get the II V I Ebook

 

Get the PDF!

The PDF for this lesson is available through Patreon in the Patreon FB group. By joining the Patreon Community you are in the company of 500 others supporting and helping shape the content on my YouTube channel.

Jazz Guitar Insiders Facebook Group

Join 6000+ Other Jazz Guitarists 🎸Join us in the Facebook Jazz Guitar Group Community: http://bit.ly/InsidersFBGroup

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.

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. 

5 Pentatonic Scales That Are Great On A Maj7

Pentatonic scales are a great resource to get some solid melodies and colorful extensions to shine on a maj7 chord. In this video, I am going to go over 5 options for pentatonic scales that are really great on a maj7 chord. Some of them you know already, but I will also show you how to get them to sound a little more interesting. A few others you probably don’t know and I actually had a hard time finding the right name for them.

I am going to go over the 5 scales but also give you some tips or hacks on how to make more interesting melodies with pentatonic scales because that is something that is very underestimated.

#1 Am Pentatonic (or C major)

The first one is sort of obvious: Am pentatonic is C major pentatonic so that works on this Cmaj7 chord. If you first try this then it probably sounds dull and lacks any interesting color, but that is a matter of the types of melodies you can make with a pentatonic scale as you will see in the example and  exercises If you look at the scale against a C then is sort of giving you the sound of an A C6/9 chord:

A C D E G 6 1  9 3 5

As you will see in this video I use the name of the pentatonic scales from the minor root because that is how most people first learned them. In the end it doesn’t matter too much what name it is as long as it is the same group of notes. In the line, I am using two open triads that are found in the scale, a 1st inversion Am and a root position C major. Using melodies like that can really change the sound a lot so that it does not have to sound like a Country solo when you use this scale. Another great exercise to check out on pentatonic scales is an exercise which is a bit like playing diatonic chords through the scale. An example of a line using this type of melody sounds like this: The scale I use here is another position which is this: and the exercise I use is coming from this pattern through the scale. ex 5

#2 Em Pentatonic

I have mentioned this one quite a few times before and it is a great sound on Maj7 chords: The minor pentatonic scale from the 3rd of the chord. This time I am also going to go over a little hack that I really like to get a different sound out of this scale. The scale could be played like this: Against the Cmaj7 it gives you these colors:

E G  A B D 3 5 13 7 9

and a lick using it sounds like this: Notice how I am again using the quartal arpeggios in the line to get a different sound.

The Blues Hack

A variation on this sound is to use the E blues scale on a Cmaj7. So this is the same scale but with an added Bb or A#. The added note does not fit with the Cmaj7 chord but does work well as a leading note for either the A or the B Using that could sound like this:

#3 Bm Pentatonic – Lydian sound

The final”normal” Pentatonic scale is using the minor pentatonic scale from the 7th of the chord. For Cmaj7 that is B minor pentatonic EX 10

With this scale we have:

B D E   F#  A 7 9 3 #11  13

So a lot of colors and especially the #11 that can be extra colorful if it is in a place that we expect to hear a tonic major chord. A line using the Bm pentatonic scale sounds like this:

#4 Hirajoshi Scale

This scale is actually a Cmaj7 chord with an added #11. From E it is E F# G B C but you could see it as Cmaj7:

C E G B plus F# 1 3 5 7        #11

The scale has a tritone which interval from C to F# and that really makes the melodies sound very different. You can play the scale like this: I am playing these scales with two notes per string because that means that I can easily translate my patterns from other pentatonic scales on to this, this means a few stretches but also makes it really easy to get a lot of vocabulary fast when you start using the scale. and if you use it in a line it sounds like this:

#5 Locrian Pentatonic

This scale I couldn’t find a name for, but I ended up calling it Locrian Pentatonic: F# A B C E. You could look at it as a F#minor pentatonic with a b5. if you have a better suggestion for a name  then feel free to let me know in the comments. This is also a scale giving you a #11 or Lydian sound on a maj7 chord. The scale I am using on the Cmaj7 is the F# Locrian Pentatonic: Against C that is

F#   A   B C E #11 13 7 1 3

You can play it like this: This scale also has the tritone between C and F# which I am using for some nice quartal arpeggios in the example like this: A great little exercise to get used to the sound of this scale is a variation of the chords exercise I went over in the beginning:

Get a free E-book

If you want to download a Free E-book of 15 II Valt I licks then subscribe to my newsletter: https://jenslarsen.nl/sign-up-for-my-newsletter/

Get the PDF!

You can also download the PDF of my examples here:

7 Pentatonic Tricks That Will Make You Play Better Jazz Solos

You might be getting Pentatonic scales wrong, and it is a really great and powerful Jazz sound even when you are using a very basic version of it. In this video, I am going to talk about how to come up with great pentatonic scale jazz licks and go over 7 ways to use pentatonic scales over chords  I will start really simple and go pretty far out.

Check out more posts on Pentatonics in Jazz

1 Pentatonic Scale over 8 Chords

Pentatonic Scale – How To Not Sound Like The Blues

9 Surprising Pentatonic scale secrets on a Blues

Get The PDF

You can get the PDF of the examples on Patreon:

https://www.patreon.com/posts/7-pentatonic-you-34711070

Content:

0:00 Intro – It is More Than Just an Easy Scale!

0:52 What is Pentatonic Sound?

1:10 #1 Minor Pentatonic   – Difference between bop sound and pentatonic melodies

2:02 Comparing Bop and Pentatonic melodies

3:05 #2 Minor Pentatonic 3rd of Maj7

4:06 #3 Lydian pentatonic

4:26 #4 Minor 6 pentratonic on Altered Dominant

6:40 #5 Minor 6 pentatonic on Dominant 

7:30 #6 Altered scale (maj b6 pentatonic)

9:30 #7 Lydian Augmented

9:53 Like the video? Check out my Patreon Page

Pentatonic Scale – How To Not Sound Like The Blues

The Pentatonic Scale can be great both as a way to get started playing jazz and also just some extra material that you can use as another sound if you are already playing jazz. But when you want to use The Pentatonic Scale in jazz you don’t always want to use blues licks. You want to play melodies that sound like jazz.

In this video, I am going to go over some exercises and show you how you can use them to get another sound out of pentatonic scales and create some modal and some II V I jazz lines. Pentatonic scales are a huge part of the vocabulary of people like Pat Metheny, Kurt Rosenwinkel and John Scofield.

Content:

0:00 Intro

0:15 Jazz Melodies with Pentatonic Scales

0:39 Who Uses Pentatonic Scales in Jazz

0:58 Example 1

1:02 The Basic Am Pentatonic Box

1:28 Analyzing the Example

2:14 Exercises  1

2:27 Making Variations on Exercise 1

3:23 Example 1 – slow

3:28 Using The Am Pentatonic Scale with other material

3:42 Example 2

4:02 Example 2 – slow

4:07 Example 3

4:10 What is really important about the exercises!

4:37 Exercise 2 – Construction

5:10 Exercise 2 – Demonstration

5:16 Analysis of Example 3

5:43 Example 3 – Slow

5:53 Example 4 – Using it in a II V I

6:11 Example 4 – Slow

6:36 Example 5

6:40 Flexibility in Practicing

7:04 Designing Exercises with Good Phrasing

7:18 Analysing Example 5

7:56 Exercise 3

8:38 Example 5 – Slow8:41 Like the video? Check out my Patreon Page

Get a free E-book

If you want to download a Free E-book of 15 II Valt I licks then subscribe to my newsletter:

Get the PDF!

The PDF with examples for this video is available through Patreon. You can check out my Patreon Page here: https://www.patreon.com/jenslarsen

Jazz Guitar Insiders Facebook Group

Join 1500+ Other Jazz Guitarists 🎸Join us in the Facebook Jazz Guitar Group Community: http://bit.ly/InsidersFBGroup

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.

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

Easy Jazz Licks – How To Use The Pentatonic Scale

A big part of what makes Jazz difficult in the beginning is that you have to play solos that really follow the chords and when you listen to people playing you hear different sounds flying by.
In this video, I am going to show you how you can pentatonic scale jazz licks. I will go over some jazz licks, and in that way help you get started playing solos where you really follow the harmony.

If you are already familiar with playing over changes then using pentatonic scales is something that can add another sound to your solos and in that way increase your vocabulary so you may find that useful as well.

II V I jazz licks with Pentatonic Scales

The examples in this lesson are all on a II V I in C major, as shown here below.

For each chord I am going to use a different minor pentatonic scale.

Dm7 – Dm Pentatonic

G7alt – Bbm Pentatonic

Cmaj7 – Em Pentatonic

I am going to be using one position of each scale and keep it simple to use . The scales are shown here below first as sheet music and tabs, and then Scale diagrams:

Dm Pentatonic:

Bbm Pentatonic:

Em Pentatonic:

II V I lick #1

The first example is using a fairly simple lick using mostly scale runs within the pentatonic scales.

Notice how I transition from chord to chord using a stepwise motion. D to Db going from Dm7 to G7 and Eb to E when moving from G7 to C.

Never Ending Scale Exercise

A great way to practice moving smoothly from one scale to the next is to play an exercise like this. Here I am moving up Dm pentatonic for 1 bar and then continuing to the closest note in Bbm pentatonic when the chord changes to G7. On the G7alt the scale turns back at the top note and goes to the B in Em pentatonic when the chord changes to Cmaj7.

II V I lick #2

Pentatonic scale positions are two notes per string, and that makes them great candidates for using legato. This example demonstrates that.

It is also an example of how you can make pentatonic licks that skips around and does not move only in a stepwise manner.

To practice playing some basic melodic skips you can do this exercise which is essential playing a pentatonic scale in diatonic 3rds.

II V I lick #3

Using rhythmical patterns and adding more movement to the lick. I am again using some legato to play the lick.

The pattern on the G7 is moving around a 3 note pattern in the scale. This breaks up the rhythm in a nice way, and shifting rhythms like these are an important part of jazz phrasing.

You can practice the pattern through the pentatonic scale to get more used to playing this. It also really builds your general flexibility with the scales.

Taking Pentatonics to Jazz and getting started Soloing

A great jazz song to check out using pentatonic scales on is Blue Bossa. If you want to dig into a lesson on Blue Bossa then you can check out this lesson:

Get a free E-book

If you want to download a Free E-book of 15 II Valt I licks then subscribe to my newsletter:

Get the PDF!

You can also download the PDF of my examples here:

Jazz Guitar Insiders Facebook Group

Join 600+ Other Jazz Guitarists 🎸Join us in the Facebook Jazz Guitar Group Community: http://bit.ly/InsidersFBGroup

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.

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.