Dominant Pentatonic Scale

by Jerry Arcidiacono

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  • Difficulty: 6
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  • Hello GMC! In this lesson I will try to show you how the dominant pentatonic scale works. Like the name said, this scale has five notes: root, major 2nd, major 3rd, perfect 5th and minor 7th.

    This scale obviously sounds good over X7 chords.
    Just an example:
    E7 chord: E - G# - B - D
    E dominant pentatonic: E - F# - G# - B - D

    I'm going to show you an interesting side of this scale. The idea is to use the dominant pentatonic scale a whole step up the backing chord. So, over the E7 chord, we try to use F# dominant pentatonic scale. F# dominant pentatonic: F# - G# - A# - C# - E

    As you can see, there are some common notes: E - F# - G# The different ones on F# dominant pentatonic can add a kind of "outside" feel while they are played over an E7 chord.

    In this lesson I play a lick using the E dominant pentatonic scale, then I play the same lick using the F# dominant pentatonic scale. You can hear the different feel. This style can be useful in a jazz/fusion context.

    The main goal is to master this type of scale. So start to learn the lesson if you like it. Most important, try to improvise over the three backing tracks with your own licks. Also, you can find various techniques here: alternate picking, legato, string skipping and tapping.

    Time signature: 4/4
    Tempo: 140 bpm


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