Minor Pentatonic - Chord Tones

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons' started by db3266, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. db3266

    db3266 V.I.P. Member

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    I posted a thread a little while ago regarding the BB King Box position.

    http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/guitar-lessons/225255-bb-king-box.html

    It was well recieved by quite a lot of people so I thought I would do a follow-up (more for my benefit than anything else) on the Minor Pentatonic Box 1 shape and it's associated chord tones.

    I have continued with the same colour scheme that I used in the BB King thread (I find it very useful).

    I also find it easier for me to concentrate on the chord tones rather than the note names. I know this is may not be the right thing to do from a pure theory perspective, but it works for me and maybe it will help others who are in my position of trying to grasp the basics.

    I would welcome one of the forum teachers to double check my work, it may contain a few errors, but hopefully not :fingersx:

    These pictures denote the first position minor pentatonic box. I have indicated chord tones strictly in the box and then additional chord tones in and around the box shape. The additional chord tones are predominantly Major tones, hence, you can mix Minor and Major notes to form lots of different phrasing options (BB King and Peter Green being the absolute masters of doing this).

    I have done this relative to the basic blues I, IV, V progression. ie, within the same box position, I have indicated the chord tones relative the to I, IV or V chord. Hence, in theory, you can play a complete solo in this one position over the entire I, IV, V progression.

    I have tried to indicate notes to bend (lare arrow is a full bend, small arrow a half bend) and also tried to indicate the target note for the bend with a small coloured dot (I think my notation is reasonably logical :hmm:).

    Feel free to add comments and suggestions and also point out any errors!!

    If you find this useful, let me know. I plan on extending this to all the pentatonic positions.

    (I print these out and stick them on the wall and look at them whilst playing)

    Box 1

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    Box 2

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    Box 3

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    Box 4

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    Box 5

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    Stitch these together to get all 5 boxes for the I chord

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    Stitch these together to get all 5 boxes for the IV chord

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    Stitch these together to get all 5 boxes for the V chord

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  2. spitfire

    spitfire Senior Member

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    While I'm not a fan of box positions for myself, I'm a huge fan of learning chord tones. And if associating them with box patterns works for some, then good.

    Great job putting that all together. :applause:

    Since these diagrams show it so clearly, I would like to point out to people to look at any of the roots notes, and note where the other notes, like a 3rd, are relative to this root. You'll see that it's always in the same place. The exception being the one fret change between the B (2nd) and G (3rd) strings.

    So if you learn where the root notes of a chord are ANYWHERE on the fingerboard, you have a reference point for all other notes. This is my preferred way to look at it.

    But regardless of how you come at it, learning how to deliberately play chord tones is a a great way to break out of playing the same pentatonic patterns. Adding notes that are not in the typical pentatonic scale patterns, but fit right over a given chord will really expand things.

    It really is amazing how adding one note that is not in the minor pentatonic scale, will add a lot of flavor. For example, the maj 3rd note of the V chord. The trick is you have to apply it over the V chord, not just any time over any chord.

    Good stuff.
     
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  3. cosunrise

    cosunrise Senior Member

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    Great job putting this together. Like spitfire said, you'll want to learn and appreciate the changing relationships between a given note and how it plays over the chord changes. In the key of A, G# sounds good over the E (V) chord and its the maj 3, but G# usually doesn't work back on the A chord since its the major 7th.

    Of course, outside notes can also be used to create tension / intentionally create a playing outside feel too.
     
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  4. db3266

    db3266 V.I.P. Member

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    Exactly. That is why I have tried to show the chord tones relative to the I, IV and V.
    I plan on showing all these diagrams through the progression of box 3, 4 and 5. It's actually great homework for me :thumb:
     
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  5. chef

    chef Senior Member

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    Neat... I like the way you laid this all out.

    I know the Minor Pentatonic (and various other scales) , but I also spent time learning various arpeggios (e.g. chord tones).

    Obviously Dom7 Arpeggios and Minor Pentatonics are great for blues improvisation, sometimes I throw in some major pentatonics too for added flavor.

    I like major arpeggios (or maj7) and major pentatonics for reggae lead (assuming the song is some sort of a major progression)

    I'f I'm improvising, I always have some strong tones at my fingertips and can also use the scale tones. Really helps playing during chord changes and establishing a strong correlation between chord being played and a melody line.
     
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  6. LiveSimply

    LiveSimply Senior Member

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    Very thoughtful of you to make this for yourself and to share it with us.

    I will be printing this out as a reference.

    As for not being able to post, it may close out that ability after a certain amount of time has passed after posting.

    However, given the nature of the post, you may be able to get the admin (Alex) or one of the mods to help you edit.

    Thanks again.
     
  7. Kezman

    Kezman Senior Member

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    I'm scrollin scrollin scrollin along the ...........................
     
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  8. Sin Nombre

    Sin Nombre Senior Member

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    Thanks for posting those, I have bookmarked them. I believe there is a lot of info there that I am almost ready to use but that is still slightly out of reach.
    I play scales and chords but have not learned how to effectively integrate them.
     
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  9. Midnight Blues

    Midnight Blues Premium Member

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    GREAT stuff db, THANKS for sharing!!!!
     
  10. djlogan33

    djlogan33 Senior Member

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    When playing simple 12-bar blues in A-minor, the chord changes are fairly simple.
    Barre chords A-minor, D-minor & E-minor…

    / A7 /A7 /A7 /A7 / D7 / D7 /A7 / A7 / E7 / D7 / A7 / E7 /

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Kyle76

    Kyle76 Senior Member

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    I agree. I can tell there is some killer info here, but what might really help is a tabbed-out simple solo that refers to these charts and how the notes are used over the chords. Also, since so much of playing has to do with feeling, what notes do you emphasize, hold, add vibrato, etc., as opposed to those that you pass over quickly? I guess what would be nice would be a video of a solo that explains why different positions are played over different chords and why some notes in the box work well and some just don't fit in at all.
     
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  12. spitfire

    spitfire Senior Member

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    I think you may have missed the main point of the diagrams. It's not the boxes, it's the chord tones. That's why he color coded the notes. The notes that are used in the chords are always going to work well. The other notes of the scales will work okay, but not as well for spending as much time on.

    As to tabbing out an example solo and relating it to this. I suggest you do that yourself. That's a great exercise, you'll get much more out of it doing it yourself.

    As far has how to use these, I suppose you could analyze all sorts of solos, but there is no formula. If you learn to play the chords tones and where the other notes are relative to these, your ears will guide you.

    That's the whole point, patterns like these provide a good base to work with. Play the chord tones and you will fit right it. And that can sound very good. Even just playing chord tones does not have to result in a boring solo.

    The point is to use the concepts presented here of relating the notes of a scale to the chords you're playing over. If you get to a point that you can play over chords, knowing what notes of the chord you are playing at any given time, you won't need a formula to tell you what sounds right or not. That's what your ears are for.

    Put another way, you simply can't go wrong focusing on chord tones. Get to where you can play those over a progression, and those will provide a VERY strong base to branch out from.

    While the concept of playing chords tones is down right trivial, it is much, much harder to do in practice. That's why the OP created these diagrams. It's an aid to using chord tones, though it's just one way to approach it.

    While I am still very much climbing the learning curve myself, I suggest starting out playing over as simple a chord progression as you can get, that doesn't change chords too fast and has a slow tempo.

    I think a common 1,4,5 is very good for this. Do it without a quick 4, or fancy turn around. For example, if playing in C, you would play the following chords, one to a measure for a 12-bar blues:

    C7, C7, C7, C7
    F7, F7, C7, C7
    G7, G7, C7, C7

    Then try to play just the major triad notes over each chord. I.E., play the triad arpeggios (1, 3, 5 of each chord). If you've not done this, you will find this hard to do at first. Don't just finger the chord and play it. As the chord fingerings typically skip intervals etc. Actually learn which notes are the the root, 3rd and 5th of the chord so that you know which is which. Do this everywhere on the neck.

    Start by just trying to play the 1, 3, 5 of each chord. If you are playing 4/4. Play something like 1, 3, 5, 3 over each chord. Yes this is pretty lame. But doing it, knowing what you are doing over the chords, is hard at first. Once you can play these notes, then add any other notes of the chord, For example the 6th, 7th or 9th (2nd).

    Also, you will be surprised how musical this will sound. Even just using the 1,3 and 5 of each chord, You will quickly started mixing up the order of these and the rhythm and it will start to sound very musical very quickly. Remember you can do hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides into any of these notes.

    Once you can play the notes of the chords, then work in the other notes of the scales. Odds are pretty good by the time you get to this point you will have already started to add some of these notes.

    Getting this down is not something that comes super fast. For example to learn to play just the 1,3,5 of each chord over a simple 1,4,5 chord progression, anywhere on the neck, will likely take few weeks. Longer if you don't know the notes of the fingerboard.
     
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  13. Mookakian

    Mookakian Senior Member

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    Big thanks to the OP, this will help a lot of people :applause:
     
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  14. db3266

    db3266 V.I.P. Member

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    I'm still working on these diagrams. This image is the Minor Pentatonic for the I, IV and V chords without the additional chord tones.

    Print it out, stick it on your wall.......

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. db3266

    db3266 V.I.P. Member

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    Minor Pentatonic, I, IV, V chords with chord tones.
    This is a busy picture, but I think it now completes the set.

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. djlogan33

    djlogan33 Senior Member

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    Very impressive illustrations…but a little overwhelming to me.
    I still have a lot to learn...I guess...

    Maybe I have a simplistic understanding of the minor pentatonic scale and the chords that I play with it.
    I simply improvise and play bits and pieces of the 5-different boxes (mainly 1, 3 & 5) in both octaves and occasionally through in the extended (2-3) box…
    :jam::jam::jam:

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  17. Jimmi

    Jimmi Senior Member

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    I think this is a good start and i have not through of using penatonic scales as a way of organizing it. I think it is a very good way of getting your mind around the changes.

    I would add a couple of things. to me, the great break out for using chord tones is

    1) adding the 7th....it is the 3rd and 7th that define the chord. You can even leave off the root and often still "hear" the chord so I would play those instead of the 5th

    and

    2) plotting the tones for substitutions. (playing the chord tones off the 3rd and seventh instead of the root for example on the I measure).
     
  18. halfdriven

    halfdriven Senior Member

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    Great Stuff, thanks everyone!
     
  19. Who

    Who are you? Who who who who.... Premium Member

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    Thank you.
     
  20. db3266

    db3266 V.I.P. Member

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    this is a great lesson along the same theme

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKe5jX-5pII]Most Effective Way to Solo Over Blues Progressions - YouTube[/ame]
     
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