'B' Intervalic Pentatonic Lick

Check out this cool lick using the Zillio 5th interval trick!

Ultimate Guitar
I was reading an article that Tommaso Zillio posted about ways to spice up the pentatonic using 5th intervals. Initially I was skeptical… The usual "pentatonics are boring" and "screw it I'll just play some cool arpeggios" thoughts ran through my head…

But I persisted and the more I messed around with this concept, the less bland and ordinary the pentatonic sounded. I came up with this little lick in "B" minor. It keeps the pentatonic box shape familiar but has the added in 5th interval idea (see diagram below).

In the lick above there are a few some string skips to be wary of. Once you get used to it and incorporate it into your playing this simple idea can add an enormous amount of colour to your solo writing or improvisational palate. Keep in mind that when you hit the 4th note of the pentatonic (in B minor that's F#) the 5th interval from that is the minor 2nd (in B minor that's C#). Regardless of what key you're in that makes this lick is only useable in Aeolian/Natural minor and Dorian minor keys as the Phrygian minor has a flat 2nd which will clash with the natural minor 2nd in this lick.

Have fun with this one guys and happy shredding!

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By Chris Zoupa

13 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I *love* seeing people taking the concepts I teach and making cool music with it. Great article Chris!!
    Chris Zoupa
    Such a cool idea. I use it briefly on one of my solos on my latest EP! Thanks for inspiration and cool ideas Tommaso!
    Nice! This reminds me of the last bit of the solo of "The Air That I Breathe" by All That Remains.
    is it cool if i use this in some of my own solos? i mean in my band and stuff, or is that just blatant plagiarising haha
    Using chops and licks in your improvs is rarely considered plagiarism. You can't really trademark a scale, can you?
    I doubt anyone would care about you plagiarizing a lick. But of course it would be very uncreative and lazy of your part. He explained how this stuff works, why not take it and get it to a new level?
    "Aeolian/Natural minor and Dorian minor keys"? I don't see a leading tone for either E Dorian or B minor. So it's a nice lick in D major. Your misunderstanding of music theory is creating more misunderstanding amongst the other readers. Double check your articles in the Musician Talk forum. They can help you with that.
    NATURAL minor(aeolian) and dorian don't have leading tones. HARMONIC minor has a leading tone. He was talking about B dorian, not E dorian. It's only D major if D is the tonic. I don't think you will find many who will agree that the tonic note here is D. I understand that one could argue that this lick can be used over a vi chord in D major. But for all intents and purposes of this lesson, this lick is in B natural minor.