About the Guitar Lesson

Welcome to video three in the series, How to Play Over a Dominant Seventh Chord. In this free lesson, you take a look at using the minor pentatonic, and one of its common variations, the minor blues scale.

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Normally, the minor pentatonic is applied to a minor chord. But one exception is the blues. Blues-based music, including rock, country, and jazz, often applies a minor 3rd over a chord with a major 3rd, specifically, a dominant seventh chord like A7. The minor pentatonic is a five-tone scale that includes the degrees 1-b3-4-5-b7. That’s like a minor scale, minus the 2nd and 6th. In the key of A the minor pentatonic scale is A-C-D-E-G.

The minor pentatonic scale makes the very same patterns as the major pentatonic scale, only in a different position. When you play the minor pentatonic, it begins three frets higher than its parallel major pentatonic.

Players often add in a chromatic passing tone to the minor pentatonic, between the 4th and 5th scale degrees. You can do this in each register and position. This added tone is a flat 5th. It allows you to create some chromatic movement, and also adds a bit of tension, which is an important part of the blues sound.

Two bends that work well in the minor pentatonic are bending the 4th to the 5th on the 3rd string, and bending the b7th to the tonic on the 2nd string. Bending the 4th to the 5th is also done on the 1st string in the next register and position.

About the Educator & Series

desi-sernaDesi Serna is the author of Fretboard Theory and Guitar Theory For Dummies. Visit his website at: http://Guitar-Music-Theory.com

In this series of four, free guitar lessons, you see how to play over a dominant seventh chord. The scales and scale combinations featured here are used in music styles such as pop, rock, blues, country, folk, and jazz. This information is suitable for intermediate level players and up, who are already familiar with pentatonic and major scale patterns. Be sure to follow along using the free guitar tab that corresponds to the examples. You can play on any type of acoustic or electric, six string guitar in standard tuning.