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Learn Guitar Secret #8 - Major Pentatonic Scale System B Major

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After a few feeble attempts at lead guitar many guitarists throw their hands up in the air in despair, muttering something like "I knew I couldn't do it...
I knew I was tone deaf!" Are they really tone deaf or is it a case of "those who know how to do it" can do it and "those who don't know how to do it" can't do it? The answer is...
they have not simply learnt 'how' to play lead guitar; it has nothing to do with being naturally talented or having a good ear for music.
It only takes a few wrong notes (one actually) to convince everyone (particularly the guitarist) that they should give it away and stick to playing chords.
A solid understanding of basic theory especially chord/scale relationships can help the guitarist overcome the "tone deaf" situation and once your confidence increases you can try more and more adventurous scale options.
But where to start? Pentatonic scales of course! Should you learn the minor pentatonic or the major pentatonic scale...
I'd learn both scales and most importantly I'd learn how to use them.
Today our focus is on the B major pentatonic scale, if you are interested in the B minor pentatonic scale you might like to check out my article on that scale.
B major pentatonic scale: The notes in the B major pentatonic scale are...
B - C# - D# - F# - G# - [B] Keynotes indicated as [ ] B Major pentatonic scale pattern - - - -[9]-- -9-11-- -[7]--9-11-- The same scale one octave higher could be played like this: - -[12]-- --11-13-- --[9]-11-13-- - - Major pentatonic scales will work over major chords and their suspensions e.
g.
, sus 2 and sus 4 chords.
Application: Here is a typical major pentatonic type chord progression using straight major chords B ///| B ///| B ///| B ///| E ///| E ///| B ///| B ///| F#///| E ///| B ///| B ///|| Here's the same progression sprinkled with some suspended 4th chords, the B major pentatonic will work over all these chords.
B ///| Bsus4 ///| B ///| Bsus4 ///| E ///| Esus4 ///| B ///| Bsus4 ///| F#///| Esus4 ///| B ///| Bsus4 ///|| This progression could also be written like this...
B ///| Bsus ///| B ///| Bsus ///| E ///| Esus ///| B ///| Bsus ///| F#///| Esus ///| B ///| Bsus ///|| It's the exact same chord progression written differently; suspended fourth chords can be abbreviated to sus which automatically implies a suspended fourth; whereas the suspended second chord has to be identified as follows...
B2 ///| B2 ///| B2 ///| B2 ///| E2 ///| E2 ///| B2 ///| B2 ///| F#2///| E2 ///| B2 ///| B2 ///|| or Bsus2 ///| Bsus2 ///| Bsus2 ///| Bsus2 ///| Esus2 ///| Esus2 ///| Bsus2 ///| Bsus2 ///| F#sus2///| Esus2 ///| Bsus2 ///| Bsus2 ///|| One move set of chords that works well is the major triad (chord) with the addition of an added second which produces the following progression.
B(add2)///| B(add2)///| B(add2)///| B(add2)///| E(add2)///| E(add2)///| B(add2)///| B(add2)///| F#(add2)///| E(add2)///| B(add2)///| B(add2)///|| Remember the B major pentatonic will work over all these examples ideally you should experiment with the different chord textures and make up your own chord progressions, record the progressions and try the B major pentatonic scale over the pre-record chord progressions next time you play the guitar.
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