Aug 07 2015

Sixth Sense

By: Scott Gilliam

Posted in: Blues Guitar Lessons


When confronting the changes of a blues tune, the first scale the majority of players lean towards is the minor pentatonic. This generates some wonderful sounds but by itself it doesn’t provide all the chord tones in a typical I-IV-V. A few other options include the blues scale, major pentatonic, the Mixolydian mode or any combination of all of the above ! In an effort to simplify that and create some new ideas for improvisation this lesson shows us how to replace the b7 in the minor pentatonic scale and replace it with a major 6th. Since we are only changing one note, it is easy to apply and players like Robben Ford and B.B. King make it sound hip. The accompanying solo is a 12 bar blues in E., the E minor pentatonic scale would be E-G-A-B-D. We are going to replace the b7 D with the maj 6th which is C#. Another benefit of the maj 6th is that it is the 3rd of the IV chord, in this case A7. Since this is only one chorus I avoided the first pos “box” at the 12th fret so that intensity can be built if the solo was to continue. I used some other devices, b5’s, chord accents , etc… I tried to target the major 6th to really showcase it’s appeal. If you are unsure of the scale degrees or the notes as they relate to the chords it would be something valuable to learn. It’s easy on guitar to get trapped in the visuals of scales and chords but without knowing their function it’s difficult to play over changes or in a melodic fashion. 

Check out the accompanying video on this lesson: Sixth Sense

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