Harmonic Pentatonic Minor

author: anubisjj20 date: 10/14/2011 category: guitar techniques
rating: 9.7 / votes: 7 
In order to comprehend and apply this lesson an understanding of basic scales and theory will be necessary. The harmonic minor scale (in relation to Aeolian) is defined by a raised 7th degree. Harmonic pentatonic minor is the same concept as pentatonic minor but also with the raised 7th degree. Lesson will be in key of G minor.
                      Pentatonic                        
|----------------------3-6                              
|------------------3-6----
|--------------3-5--------
|----------3-5------------
|------3-5----------------
|--3-6--------------------
 
                          is to 
                        Aeolian
 
|------------------------------3-5-6
|------------------------3-4-6------
|--------------------3-5------------
|--------------3-5-7----------------
|--------3-5-6----------------------
|--3-5-6----------------------------
 
            as Harmonic Pentatonic
 
|----------------------3-6
|------------------3-7----
|--------------3-5--------
|----------4-5------------
|------3-5----------------
|--3-6--------------------
 
                         is to
         Aeolian #7 (harmonic minor)
           also known as Ionian b3, b6
 
|------------------------------3-5-6
|------------------------3-4-7------
|--------------------3-5------------
|--------------4-5-7----------------
|--------3-5-6----------------------
|--3-5-6----------------------------
Harmonic pentatonic minor is 1, b3, 4, 5, #7 (omitting the 2nd and 6th degree). In any situation that harmonic minor applies so would the pentatonic version. Harmonic pentatonic minor gives a more open and spacial feel due to the major 3rd interval between the 5th degree and the 7th degree that is usually not utilized when playing straight harmonic minor. 5 shapes (I like to play) of Harmonic Pentatonic in order
1)
 
|----------------------3-6
|------------------3-7----
|--------------3-5--------
|----------4-5------------
|------3-5----------------
|--3-6--------------------
 
2)
 
|----------------------6-8
|------------------7-8----
|--------------5-7--------
|----------5-8------------
|------5-9----------------
|--6-8--------------------
 
3) 
 
|---------------------------8-10
|----------------------8-11-----
|-----------------7-11----------
|------------8-10---------------
|-------9-10--------------------
|--8-10-------------------------
 
4)
 
|--------------------------------10-14
|--------------------------11-13------
|--------------------11-12------------
|--------------10-12------------------
|--------10-13------------------------
|--10-14------------------------------
 
5)
 
|--------------------------------14-15        
|-----------------------------15------
|-----------------------15-17---------
|-----------------16-17---------------
|-----------15-17---------------------
|--14-15-18---------------------------
*similar pattern to #1 but designed with a sweep on the bottom I have heard people discuss harmonic pentatonic but never seen a lesson on it or the patterns written out. Several guitarists I have heard use it are George Lynch, Alex Skolnick, John Petrucci, and Marty Friedman. LICKS FROM HARMONIC PENTATONIC
1) from 4th shape
 
|--14-10------------------------------------------------------------------
|--------13-11-------------------------------------------------------13---
|--------------12-11-12-11-------11----------12----------11---------------
|--------------------------12-10----12-10-12----12-10-12----12-10-12----12
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
2) from 1st shape
 
|--6-3---3-----------3
|------7---7-3---3-7--
|--------------5------
|---------------------
|---------------------
|---------------------
 
3) from 1st shape
 
|------3-----6-3------------------
|----3---7-3-----7-3--------------
|--5-----------------5-3-----3----
|------------------------5-4---4-5
|---------------------------------
|---------------------------------
 
4) from 3rd shape
 
|----------------------------------
|---------------------------------8
|---------------7-11-7-------7-11--
|---------8---8--------8---8-------
|-------9---9------------9---------
|--8-10----------------------------
USE OF HARMONIC PENTATONIC IN 12 BAR BLUES In a 12 bar blues using dominant chords the pentatonic scale is popularly used for leads. Harmonic pentatonic minor can not be used over the I7 or IV7 of the progression but will work over the V7 during the turn around. G7 (g, b, d, f) = G pentatonic minor C7 (c, e, g, Bb) = G pentatonic minor D7 (d, F#, a, c) = G Harmonic pentatonic minor Though it is only a short window playing over the one measure of the V7, fitting in a harmonic pentatonic lick will sound unique and change the feel of your lead. It works due to the F# being the raised 7th of the E harmonic pentatonic lead which is also the major 3rd of the D7 chord. The F# is also the flat 5 (#4 enharmonic) of the C7 chord and is used in blues along with the #7 of the G7. However because these notes are outside the pentatonic scale they are most often approached chromatically and exit as a passing or neighboring tone. Only over the V7 can the F# be played in space and in conjunction with any note of the scale without limiting you to chromatic approach. This practice does not work in a minor blues when there is a Vm7 due to the minor 3rd instead of major 3rd. Feel free to contact me for any guitar questions or conversaton. Josh Johnson www.thejohnsonage.com josh@thejohnsonage.com http://www.youtube.com/user/anubisjj20?ob=5 http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Johnson-Age/112633208817050
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