Tech Tip:Using the Minor Pentatonic Scales in a Band Situation


Derek Bailey; Bayshore, Long Island, NY


*Q: I am working through the Rock House Method "Intermediate Learn Rock Guitar" DVD and have learned so much. I find this program very easy to follow and full of content!! Thanks for putting out such a cool program. I really like the sound of the Minor Pentatonic scales and I want to incorporate them in my playing to do lead guitar riffs and fills. I play in a band that has a Keyboardist, Drummer, Bassist, three Vocalists and I play Guitar.Do I have to change keys with the scales for every chord change in the songs or can I just use the tonic scale throughout the entire song?


A:* The Pentatonic scales are the most widely used scales for Rock, Blues, Pop, Country, and almost every other genre of music so having a good grasp of how to use these scales will be beneficial.


The most popular application of these scales is to use them in the tonic key for the entire rhythm. For example: If the song is in the key of "A" you would play all the scale positions in the key of "A," over the entire rhythm-- no matter if the rhythm is playing an "A", "D", "E," or any other chord in that key.


The more advanced application can be used at times when you follow the chord change with a different key scale for every chord in the progression; this is called "Chordal Soloing." This style of soloing can be effective but is much more complex and you should master soloing one scale key per rhythm first before you attempt this technique.


Hope this helps!



Yours in Music
John McCarthy
Rock House