Originally Posted by firu82
Pentatonic minor = chords minor
Pentatonic major = chords major and minor
Is that true ??
It all depends... for the most part that is true. There are several different types of blues progressions. There are 3 that are the most basic, utilizing no substitutions...
You have say a minor blues progression in say Amin that would consist of the following chords:
Over that, you can play Amin pentatonic and not go wrong over the whole thing. However, it can get kind of boring sometimes. Experiment with things like when you get to the Emin chord, start playing Emin Pentatonic, etc.
A blues progression in say AMaj would consist of:
Now, if you were playing country you would be playing A Major pentatonic throught, or possibly following the chords. However, in many cases A min will sound OK as well, just don't hit that min 3rd tone (the 2nd note of the scale) too often unless you are going for an "outside" kind of sound. It may sound a bit off. If you listen to a lot of classic rock
, they will play a blues progression such as the one above using simple major triads, but they will solo over them with a min pentatonic scale. Your safe playing Maj pentatonic, and you can get away with min pentatonic as long as you are careful not to hit often or sustain on the couple of notes that might not sound exactly right. If you are playing fast, the note will go by so quickly that it likely won't sound "bad" or "wrong" to your ears, but in a slow blues
you gotta be a little careful. Your ears will guide you and in time you will learn when to hit those notes and when not to.
The 3rd basic pentatonic/blues progression would be one using all Dominant 7 chords. The chrods in the progression would be:
Here you have some interesting options. These dominant chords have the major 3rd in them, so the same issue with playing a minor pentatonic over a major chord apply here (say Amin pentatonic over an A7 chord). However, there are some intersting options here. For example, B.B. King quite often in a progression such as this will play an Amin pentatonic over the A7 and D7 chords, but when that E7 comes around he will switch to A Maj pentatonic. It's a cool sound and spices up your playing a bit.
Although this mmay be a little too much to digest for you right now, the best way to look at it is the intervals in the scale and chords.
A pentatonic scale in the traditional sense that we are talking about here (technically pentatonic just means 5 notes, so any scale with only 5 notes is a pentatonic, but different pentatonic scales are usually given slightly more descriptive names to distinguish them from the pentatonic that we are discussing here, such as a Japanese Pentatonic scale, etc.) has the following tones or scale step in it:
1 (root), b3, 4, 5, b7.
Look at the 1st image posted by shuriken. It's A min pentatonic. On the 6th string (the one on the bottom), the note at the 5th fret is the A, which is the root note (or the note that the scale derives it's name from). The next note, which is on the 6th string, 8th fret, is the flat 3rd (b3). The note on the 5th string, 5th fret is the 4, 5th string 7th fret is the 5, 4th string 5th fret is the b7, and the next note in the scale is the octave of A, or the root note again.
Now a minor chord consists of the following intervals:
1, b3, 5
A min7 chord = 1, b3, 5, b7
See how those scale intervals match up perfectly with what is in the tones for the pentatonic scale?
A maj chord = 1, 3, 5
A maj7 = 1, 3, 5, 7
Notice that in both of these the 3 is a 3 as opposed to a b3. That is a note to watch out for (one of them is on the 6th string, 8th fret), as it may sound odd, or "bad" depending on what you are going for. The same thing goes for the 7. The pentatonic minor has a b7. The pentatonic Maj has a 3 (not b3) and a 7 (not a b7). This is why the maj pentatonic will often sound better over a major chord, but the major sound gives a "happy" sound when you might want something more mellow or sad sounding.
Now look at the Dom7 = 1, 3, 5, b7
Here, un like the maj chords, ONLY the 3 is different from whats in the min pentatonic scale (IOW the pentatonic scale and the Dom7 chord both have a b7 in them). So what does that mean? Well it's easier to play an A min pentatonic scale over an Adom7 (Adom7 = A7 - same thing) than over an A maj7 chord as there is only 1 "bad" note to worry about. It also means that an Adom7 has 1 off or bad note compared to the A pentatonic minor scale (the 3) and it also has only 1 off or bad note compared to the A pentatonic Major scale (it's the b7). So once you know what to avoid, or how to "strategically" play those notes, the dom7 progression can really open up the mixing of pentatonic major and minor scales within even the same lick!
You may get this right away, or you may have to really sit down and play with this, but this should be a realy good start on looking at how certain scales can fit over certain chords.
Hope this helps rather than confuses!