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Home : Theory and Patterns : More Approaches to Pentatonic Soloing
Approach 1:

For chord progressions starting with Major or 7th chords, play the Major or Minor pentatonic scale in the key of the chord progression.  Minor pentatonic sounds bluesy, major pentatonic sounds country.  Play in that single key for the whole progression - usually on the first/last chord in the progression.  Switch between major/minor to taste (to switch between bluesy and country sounds).

For minor progressions, play the minor pentatonic in the key of the progression.


Approach 2:

To play the first position pentatonic over each chord (changing positions for _each_ chord - i.e., don't stay in a single key for the whole song):

- Put your PINKY finger on the root note on the first string for MAJOR and 7th chords (go up 12 frets to the octave, if the pinky is below the 3rd fret).
- Put your POINTER finger on the root note on the first string for MINOR chords


Notes on the 1st string:

0  1  3  5  7  8  10  12  13 ...
E  F  G  A  B  C   D   E   F ...




Example Progression 1:   G  Bm  C  D   G  Am  C  G


Approach 1:  play either G major or G minor for the progression (switch between them by taste).

Approach 2:

G  -  pinky on 3rd fret
Bm -  pointer on 7th fret
C  -  pinky on 8th fret  
D  -  pinky on 10th fret
G  -  pinky on 3rd fret
Am -  pointer on 5th fret
C  -  pinky on 8th fret
G  -  pinky on 3rd fret



Example Progression 2:   Am  F  C  G   Am  Dm  E7  E7


Approach 1:  play A minor for the progression.

Approach 2:

Am -  pointer on 5th fret
F  -  pinky on 13th fret  
C  -  pinky on 8th fret
G  -  pinky on 3rd fret
Am -  pointer on 5th fret
Dm -  pointer on 10th fret
E7 -  pinky on the 12th fret




Example Progression 3:   Bb7  Eb7  Bb7  F7


Approach 1:  play A minor for the progression.

Approach 2:

Bb7 -  pinky on 6th fret
Eb7 -  pinky on 11th fret
Bb7 -  pinky on 6th fret
F7  -  pinky on 13th fret

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