Here’s a quick way to play the good sounding notes

Now you know the pentatonic scale and maybe played with it, it’s time to learn some more

Lets assume you want to improvise a blues solo. The standard blues progression looks like this

| A7    | D7     | A7     | A7     |
| D7    | D7     | A7     | A7     |
| E7    | D7     | A7     | E7     |

This is a major blues, but it could just as well be a minor blues. Just replace the Major chords with minor chords. A7 becomes Am7 for instance.

When you play the pentatonic scale soon you will notice some notes sound better than others. This depends on the chord that’s being played. Especially the E7 chord will prove to be a pain in the butt.

I’ll show you which notes sound good on each of these three chords. Each chord has it’s own good sounding notes.

Lets start with the A7 chord.

A-penta-note

The black notes will sound great. The gray notes will not sound that awesome.

D-penta-note

You can use a A minor Pentatonic scale on a D7 chord, but there are more notes to avoid.

E-penta-note

And this is why the E7 chord is so ‘nasty’ to play over using this scale. You can use just a few notes of the scale on it..

It’s not to say you can’t play the gray notes on that chord! Just don’t put too much attention on them. The black notes are the notes that sound good and you can let them ring out. You can still use the gray notes in your licks.

The most important thing is to use your ears. When it doesn’t sound right move up or down one note in the scale. Move up or down a scale position. But now you know exactly which notes will do the trick. These good sounding notes will get your improvsing, your solo’s up to the next level.

As an excercise you could record an A7, D7 or E7 chord and play this scale to get familiar with the notes you can use. A Looper look the Tc Electronic Ditto or the Boss RC3 comes in very handy at times like these.

Practise and have fun

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