Page 50 - lead-level-2

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Lead Level 2
Bandwagon Mus i c Studi os
So far we have worked with the minor
pentatonic scale. Now let’s have a look at
the major pentatonic scale. This scale has a
different sound to the minor pentatonic
scale. The major pentatonic scale is mostly
associated with country music - though it is
used by all guitarists. It can still be a tough
sounding scale as shown by its constant use
by Angus Young from AC/DC.
The major pentatonic scale and the minor
pentatonic scale are highly related. In fact
any minor pentatonic scale for one chord is
also the major pentatonic scale for another
chord. That's right! Exactly the same notes
can be used for two different chords and
two different sounds.
For example what we were playing for A
minor pentatonic scale is also the C major
pentatonic scale. Because of this theoretical
reason you can use the same practical work
for minor and major soloing i.e. scale 1 and
its boxes for the E shape bar chord, and
scale 4 and its boxes for the A shape bar
To find the major pentatonic scales and
boxes for the same chord you put your
little finger on the tonic note.
So we can have minor and major pentatonic
sounds for the same chord e.g. A minor
pentatonic and A major pentatonic. Use the
scales and boxes as normal for minor which
means you have your pointer finger on the
tonic note, but for major pentatonic have
your little finger on the tonic note.
To highlight the sound of the minor
pentatonic scale we aimed at the tonic note
of the scale or box. To get the sound of the
major pentatonic scale you must aim at its
tonic note. The major tonic note is the next
highest note in the scale after the minor
tonic note.
Because the scales are the same patterns
you can use the same licks, ONLY for the
major pentatonic scale you should emphasize
the correct tonic.
When playing lead most solos will be either
minor pentatonic or major pentatonic. Some
solos though you can mix them up. Generally
you will use minor for dirty sounding blues
and rock, or minor based ballads. And use
major for sweet sounding blues and rock.
Check this table - remember it is a very
broad generalization.
MINOR is mainly used for –
Dirty blues/rock.
Minor ballads.
MAJOR is mainly used for -
Sweet blues/rock.
Major ballads.
Most blues/rock is minor while most ballads
are major.