Jam The Blues In Every Key

View the full lesson at Jam The Blues In Every Key | JustinGuitar

Hey Justin and team. Great course. Thanks for all the hard work. So I am confused about one thing : I thought the minor pentatonic scales had to be used with minor keys ? But in this last video Justin is just saying in the key of A, or E, or G or whatever. I have played over lots of backing tracks lately and sometimes it says a major key and my solos in minor penta sound weird. How about the Major pentatonic ? Also I had the vague recollection that to play a minor penta in a major key you had to go to the relative minor of that key (Am for C, F# for A etc). Thanks for enlightening me !

Hey Yoann1,

Playing the minor pentatonic scale over a major chord progression is specific to the blues style. In fact, it’s one of the things that gives the blues its particular feel. When I say “blues”, that could include songs in other forms, like country or rock, that have a bluesy feel to them. This is especially true when the chords are dominant 7 chords (as for most blues).

But, you’re right, if you take a generic song in a major key, the minor pentatonic scale is probably not going to sound good. The major pentatonic, or a full major scale, would be a better choice.

Your vague recollection is sort of correct. If you want to play A major pentatonic, say, the scale pattern is the same as F# minor pentatonic. However, you would not play the same licks and phrases that you typically play in the minor pentatonic. Your root note would be A (3rd string, 2nd fret) and not F# (4th string, 4th fret), in pattern 1.

Hope this helps.

Hi @Yoann1

No - minor pentatonic in a blues context especially, is good for minor and major key blues.

A major blues - A minor pentatonic.
A minor blues - A minor pentatonic.

The major pentatonic can be used in a blues context … with care. It is a different scale with different intervals, different sounds, you will use different sorts of licks. And you cannot, for example, play the A major pentatonic over all three chords in a typical 12-bar blues in the key of A. Some of the notes will sound wrong over some of the chords. Justin does have lessons on using the major pentatonic in the blues The Major Pentatonic In Blues | JustinGuitar.com and these are essential viewing when you want to move in hat direction.
Cheers :smiley:
| Richard_close2u | Community Moderator, Official Guide, JustinGuitar Approved Teacher

This amazing, thanks John !

Thanks so much Richard !

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