#1
I am very confused how to do this. I learned my minor pentatonic and blues scales but not sure how to use them over a I IV V progression.

I tried soloing over A7 D7 E7 using the Am pentatonic but it only really sounded good over the A7 chord. I tried to emphasize the Root note (A) over all 3 chords but when you get to the D7 chord it doesn't sound so good.
What am I doing wrong?
#2
with A7, you should use A major pentatonic, not minor

EDIT: wait i actually might be wrong :P ignore me
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Last edited by BornToRun at Sep 5, 2008,
#3
There are a few things you can do: (Depending on the feel you want)

You can play A minor pentatonic over the A7 chord, D minor pentatonic over the D and E minor pentatonic over the E chord. That transition DOES work and is done by a lot of blues guitar players as well as players like Hendrix.

You can also play A minor pentatonic over the whole progression but as you get up to the D and E chords, climb up your scale and emphasize those notes rather than the A note. Bring the solo home to the A notes when you go back to the A chord.
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#4
Quote by BornToRun
with A7, you should use A major pentatonic, not minor

EDIT: wait i actually might be wrong :P ignore me

You can use either because it's a dominant chord.


Try to emphasize the root note of the chord you are playing over. Like, over the IV chord, emphasize the D, and over the V chord, emphasize the E.

Another good thing to try is to emphasize the blue third of the chord you are on. So on the I chord, emphasize that 1/4 bent C, the 1/4 bent F on the IV, and the 1/4 bent G on the V.
#5
Quote by vg_strat
I am very confused how to do this. I learned my minor pentatonic and blues scales but not sure how to use them over a I IV V progression.

I tried soloing over A7 D7 E7 using the Am pentatonic but it only really sounded good over the A7 chord. I tried to emphasize the Root note (A) over all 3 chords but when you get to the D7 chord it doesn't sound so good.
What am I doing wrong?


many players will use Am pentatonic over a blues progression using those chords... it'll sound alright, but since those notes have been heard thousands of times since time began you'd better have wonderful phrasing to make something interesting sounding

the main problem with Am blues over D7 is that the whole area from the chord's major 2nd (E) up to the major 3rd (F#) isn't covered at all... and that's the big 'bendy expressive blues area'... so try adding some of those notes into the equation when you change chords to D7.... you can start bending the Am blues scale's 5th (E) up, which is usually a big no-no everywhere else (unless you bend it pretty far)
out of here
#6
These are some great tips. Thank you.

So there seems to be two approaches.

1. Keep the scale the same but emphasize the chord tones as the chord changes. Looks like I will have to reach out of the pentatonic scale to get some chord tones from the D7 and E7 though. Is this what you should do?

2. change the scale to match the chord. This make allot of sense but sounds tricky.

How does blues players like Clapton and BB King do it. The 1st way or the second way?
#7
Quote by vg_strat
These are some great tips. Thank you.

So there seems to be two approaches.

1. Keep the scale the same but emphasize the chord tones as the chord changes. Looks like I will have to reach out of the pentatonic scale to get some chord tones from the D7 and E7 though. Is this what you should do?

2. change the scale to match the chord. This make allot of sense but sounds tricky.

How does blues players like Clapton and BB King do it. The 1st way or the second way?

Both. BB also plays the notes in the chords sometimes.


My advice: Listen to Jazz. Specifically hard bop, like later Sonny Rollins, Art Blakey, later Monk, and Charles Mingus. Try to work out some of those phrasings. T-Bone Walker used to try to emulate horn licks on his guitar, and T-Bone influenced BB, Buddy Guy and pretty much all the big city blues guys.
#8
Quote by imgooley
My advice: Listen to Jazz. Specifically hard bop, like later Sonny Rollins, Art Blakey, later Monk, and Charles Mingus.
Because jazz=blues and blues=jazz?
#9
Am pentatonic/blues scale will work over the entire progression. That's really the
basis for the traditional blues type of sound (jazz blues is really a much looser
interpretation and not exactly the same). HOWEVER, you should really think of
the scale as defining the overall structure of your solo, and NOT as an exclusive
choice of notes to play.

The minor pent scale will provide the "blue notes" over the I7 chord which are
the b3 and b7 (also 5b with the blues form of pent minor). As you've discovered,
while the notes sound fairly pleasing in general, you can still hit some potential
clams over any of the I7, IV7 or V7 chords.

It IS possible to JUST use the pent scale if you both know what you're doing and
are selective. What that boils down to is being AWARE of the changes. It's probably
more important in blues than just about anything else. Since the blues format is
so repetitive, you really need to pay attention to the chord changes to avoid
sounding either lame and/or stale.

On the flip side, that's what makes blues great to learn to improv over -- it's nearly
always the same progression - I-IV-V. That's only 3 changes to be aware of. Once
you get the hang of those 3 changes, you can play pretty much any blues.
#10
You can also play the Mixolydian mode of whichever chord you're on. So, say you're in A. Then your chord progression is this:

A7 D7 E7
I IV V

Because they're all seventh chords, it's like you're moving into the Mixolydian mode of that chord. So start on A Mixolydian, or D major. Then D Mixolydian, or G major (also A Dorian, if you like staying in the same position) over the IV. Then E Mixolydian, which is A major, over the V.
#11
Quote by riffer_raffer

You can also play A minor pentatonic over the whole progression but as you get up to the D and E chords, climb up your scale and emphasize those notes rather than the A note.


riffer_raffer]

Reading this again Im not sure what you mean. Adding in the other chord tones that are not in the pentatonic scale?
#12
Quote by vg_strat
I am very confused how to do this. I learned my minor pentatonic and blues scales but not sure how to use them over a I IV V progression.

I tried soloing over A7 D7 E7 using the Am pentatonic but it only really sounded good over the A7 chord. I tried to emphasize the Root note (A) over all 3 chords but when you get to the D7 chord it doesn't sound so good.
What am I doing wrong?


Just play what sounds good dawg.