#1
I was told that I could use an Eb minor pentatonic scale to improvise over an E major chord. I was given a crazy mode-related explanation that I could not understand. Can anyone help clarify? I can't understand why this would work.
#2
simply:
it is a sound that people in the rock, blues and jazz idioms have gotten used to, therefore it sounds good. this is the way all music theory as we know it is developed, people hear things, give them names and then create rules based on what they want to hear.
#3
if you played the Eb minor pent, over an E major chord, it would outline E lydian (major scale with a #4).
so it would give you an airy, pretty kind of sound.
one thing i like to do is play a major chord, say E major, and then solo over it with the minor pent a major third up.
so basically over E major, play the G# minor pent.
or over C major, play the E minor pent.
it outlines a major9 chord, so it gives you a really pretty sound.
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#4
Thank you so much! I knew it was something like that. I just didn't quite put it together in my head.

That's a useful technique. I'll definitely be experimenting with it.
#5
Alternatively, just learn the E lydian scale, because that's what you're actually playing, despite it sharing notes with other scales. Of course one could argue that you're not playing E lydian at all, but E major with a #4 (as you are in a major key).
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#6
Quote by illmatic2594
I was told that I could use an Eb minor pentatonic scale to improvise over an E major chord. I was given a crazy mode-related explanation that I could not understand. Can anyone help clarify? I can't understand why this would work.

Well what you're likely talking about is utilizing the minor pentatonic shape as the Major pentatonic scale. (by playing it in a different position).

Why does this work?

because the scales are related (share the same notes). Playing the minor pentatonic shape from C# gives us the notes of E Major pentatonic (and C#minor pentatonic). If your playing over something in E Major, those notes will be functioning in E Major and not C#minor.

Why do this?

Because if your fairly new to guitar and only know the minor pentatonic shape, you can play in Major keys without learning any new shapes.

Also if you play E minor pentatonic over an E major chord it can also work (depending on the context). The result is an E7#9 sound.
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Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 22, 2010,
#7
Quote by GuitarMunky
Well what you're likely talking about is utilizing the minor pentatonic shape as the Major pentatonic scale. (by playing it in a different position).


I wasn't wondering about the whole concept of relative majors/minors with pentatonic scales; I just couldn't understand why Ebm, specifically, would work in E major.
#8
Quote by illmatic2594
I wasn't wondering about the whole concept of relative majors/minors with pentatonic scales; I just couldn't understand why Ebm, specifically, would work in E major.


As outlined above, basically it's relative to E lydian (or E maj with a #4).
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#9
Quote by illmatic2594
I wasn't wondering about the whole concept of relative majors/minors with pentatonic scales; I just couldn't understand why Ebm, specifically, would work in E major.


Wow I totally missed the flat(b) part.

Well, it works because all the notes can be justified as chord tones.... Eb(7)-Gb(9)-Ab(3)-Bb(#11)-Db(13)


This is often done as a way to get the colors of the upper extensions. In this case it gives 9 #11 & 13. (The #11 is very recognizable as a "lydian" sound)


Try an F# Maj triad over E (another lydian sound).

a couple more........

Dmaj7b5 over E7 = E13
CMaj7 over Am = Am9
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 23, 2010,
#10
please ignore my post, i just realized it was completely wrong. as others said your outlining the E lydian scale. I didnt see the Eb so i thought you meant playing E minor pentatonic over an E Major chord.