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CVI1 Lesson 4: 11 videos

Lesson 4 will be all about pentatonic scales, probably the most important scale to master.
These scales are found in improvisation of ALL music styles, so master this and you will be all set to whatever style you choose.
We will still rely on the Blues in D, there is a special reason for that which I will explain in the lesson.

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1 Pentatonic Scales

Penta = 5, meaning there are 5 notes in the scale. In major pentatonic we skip the 4th and 7th note. (So we have 1-2-3-5-6) We use this scale a LOT in improvisation. The better you study them the easier improvising will get, especially when you get “stuck”. So give a LOT of attention to the next videos, study these well!

video

  • Am I playing too fast?
    Hover over the video, click on “1x” and choose your speed.
  • Do you want to repeat part of the video?
    Hover over the video, click on “AB” then set the beginning point with “i” and the end point with “o”.

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2 Exercise with pentatonic scales on our Blues in D.

Blues in D again? Hmm… yes, here’s why: I explain an easy formula to get you acquainted with the pentatonic scale: Starting from the open string you get 0-1-2–0-1-3. In the Blues in D you have 3 chords: D, G and A, and as you can see now, these are the 3 open strings we can apply the pentatonic formal to. So, Blues in D for just a short while, I promise it is worth it!

video

  • Am I playing too fast?
    Hover over the video, click on “1x” and choose your speed.
  • Do you want to repeat part of the video?
    Hover over the video, click on “AB” then set the beginning point with “i” and the end point with “o”.

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3 Pentatonic scales across the 1st position

We will practice the pentatonic scales in the 1st position, to all its reach.

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4 Exercise pentatonic scales throughout the 1st position

Now in practice, in the Blues in D….uhuh, one more time!

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5 Minor Pentatonic and Blue Notes

As with the major scales, the parallel minor scale lies 3 semitones (minor 3rd) UNDER the major scale. They both use the SAME notes. So if you play the major scale of D, but you would start with the note B (minor 3rd lower), you will have B-minor, with exactly the SAME notes. We call them Parallel scales. With Pentatonic scales it is exactly the same: D-major pentatonic        D-E-F#-A-B A-minor pentatonic   B-D-E-F#-A Do you see the similarity? Blue Notes are dissonant notes if we combine major with minor, like D major blues and D(!) minor pentatonic scale. (so not the parallel). In blues (and all other styles actually) we can force a minor scale to a major key. The dissonant notes (in D) would be F#-F and C#-C Let me explain this in this video.

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6 Exercise pentatonic minor to a major blues, creating the Blue Notes

Time to get the hands dirty again, play with me on this one and keep to 1 octave D minor pentatonic.

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7 Pentatonic minor 2 octaves

Same as previous tab, but now we will add an octave. Get used to the fingerings, try to omit open strings. This way you will have no trouble playing in other keys.

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8 The Blues Scale

We will add 1 note to the minor pentatonic scale and we get the basic Blues Scale!

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9 Practicing the Blues Scale

We will practice the Blues scale, first in 1 octave, the 2nd part we’ll add the 2nd octave too. Stick to just these notes of the scale.

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10 Minor Blues

Time to make a little change. Minor Blues also uses the minor pentatonic scale or Blues Scale. We are switching to the A-Minor Blues. We will play the A Blues Scale, (or A-minor pentatonic if you want).

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11 Practicing A-Minor Blues

Let’s put this to practice with the A-Minor Blues.

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