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Minor 6th Pentatonics - Which to play?

Tom Quayle 164 lessons

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So now you've learned the scale we need to know how to apply it. In other words, which minor 6th pentatonic to play over each chord in a progression.

Well in actual fact, it's pretty simple. If you're chord is built from a major scale (as opposed to a melodic minor) then simply work out which key you're in first of all. The minor 6th pentatonic is built from the 2nd degree of a major key so you'd use the minor 6th pentatonic built from that 2nd degree. Lets look at an example.

Our chord chart says Fmaj7#11. Well, that chord is the IV chord of the key of C major. Step one done! Next we work out that the second degree of a C major scale is D so we play a Dm6 pentatonic over the Fmaj7#11 chord! Try it - it sounds great.

As a quick side note - don't use this scale over a I chord. It'll sound horrible - take my word for it. But for all other major scale constructed chords it'll sound awesome!

Now, if your chord is built from a melodic minor scale as opposed to a major then it's even simpler. Work out which melodic minor scale your chord comes from and then play the m6 pentatonic built from the 1st degree of that melodic minor scale.

Example - Our chord chart says Bb7#11. Well, this chord is the IV chord of F melodic minor (refer to the melodic minor tutorials on this site if that doesn't make sense). Therefore, we play an Fm6 pentatonic over this chord.

Try working out which m6 pentatonic scales to play over these chords,

Gmaj7#11 (Chord IV of major scale)

D7alt (Chord VII of melodic minor scale)

Fm11 (Chord II of major scale

Bb7sus4 (Chord V of major scale)

Amaj7#5 (Chord III of melodic minor scale)

If you can work these out then you're ready to move on.

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