Major Pentatonic In The Blues

View the full lesson at Major Pentatonic In The Blues | JustinGuitar

Dear Justin, I really like these videos. In the comment can it be that a small mistake is mentioned? Am I correct by stating that on a D chord you can use the Bmin pentatonic scales. But in the comment it is mentioned a Am pent.
The comment mentions:
““So over the D7 you should play D Major Pentatonic - D E F# A B (or you can switch to the A Minor Pentatonic, but we’ll explore that later!)””

Theory question here: what is it in particular that makes the C# note of the A major pentatonic scale clash with the C note of the D7 chord? The fact that they are 1 semi-tone apart?

Thanks in advance!

(Disclaimer: I don’t play at this level (I’m going through Blues Lead 1), but I watch the videos and try to follow the ideas.)

Anyway, I don’t think it’s a mistake. Justin is saying if you want to break out of the usual A min pent scale, you can play A major pent over the A7 chord, but when the D7 comes along you either have to switch to D major pent or you can revert to the usual A min pent.


Kudos for analysing and diving deep.
However, there is no error.
The text and statements are correct.

Note that D major pentatonic and B minor pentatonic share the same notes.
Hope that helps.

Cheers :smiley:

| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Moderator, Official Guide & Approved Teacher


Way above my playing Grade but can perhaps simpify the theory.

Having watched and listened, when Justin mentions a minor pentatonic he is only referring to the shape of position 1 of the minor scale not the scale itself. B minor is the relative minor scale to D Major. Hence for D Major you can use position 1 of the Major Pentatonic scale and another useful position would be using shape 1 of the B minor pentatonic but starting on the 10th fret of the 6th string rather than the 7th fret. In CAGED terms it is based on a G Major chord shape but looks the same as the “classic” minor shape. The notes are the same but the note function dramtically changes. He does his best to explain the clashes of using the same licks using that shape but maybe his script needs to be rewritten.

As we progress I think we need to learn to be able to read between the lines of certain terminology


Actually Justin is talking About the A minor pentatonic not the
Shape. The chord progression in A7 D7 E7 and the A minor
pentatonic will fit over all 3 chords. But this lesson is on the
Major Pentatonic.
But the A Major pentatonic will clash with the D7 so one option
is to switch to the A minor pentatonic.


Dear Richard,
Thank you very much for you help.
Kind regards

Hello Dave,
Thank you very much for your help.
All is getting clearer now.
Kind regards

Because C# is the 7 major of D which doesn’t fit in the D7 chord.
It’s not the same as the 3rd minor which sound more bluesy

Hi, is there any chance that somebody could either upload a progression in just A to practice with or point me in the direction of where I can find one with just the A chord as mentioned in the video ?

Hi Gary , @Uninvitedguest
With a good chance that I don’t understand your question, I come up with this idea… Enter the chords you want to hear in YouTube. E.g.: A7-D7-E7 Backing-track…
Hope this helps,

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Go to Youtube.
Type in ‘A7 vamp’, or ‘A7 drone’ track. ( or whatever chord you want)
This will generally give you one chord to play over.

Cheers, Shane

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Thank you :slight_smile:
Justin said in the video to just use a track that uses the A chord rather than a chord progression so that you can practice with the major and minor pentatonic scales.
All I kept coming up with was chord progressions in the key of A.
With the chord progressions the Major scale has to be played in the key of the chord being played. (If I got that correct lol)
This is slow work for my aging brain lol

Yes Gary, Justin is a wise man :nerd_face:. Playing over a one chord vamp, be it with the major or pentatonic scales is super beneficial. Essential practice I reckon.
It removes the extra layer of ‘chasing’ chords while you learn the scale. Great for hearing/ locating the chord tones, and promotes phrasing.
Surprising how melodic you can get over just one chord.
All the best.

Cheers, Shane

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I have progressed quite well with the minor pentatonic scale and improvising with it in all positions (the scale not me), and so am now looking at learning more scales to broaden my improvisation playing.
gradually learning the position of notes on the fretboard has been most helpful and I pretty much have the major scale in 1 position down as well.
One thing I have noticed is that learning the notes on the fretboard helps with scales and learning scales also helps with learning the notes on the fretboard. Win/Win

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Oh, come on. I expect you to be playing in a headstand position at the very least. :laughing:

Don’t forget the scale is the alphabet. Once you are getting comfortable with that you should be looking at learning words (aka licks).

Got it, I got a few under my belt.
Watched a great show on Sky arts the other night, 3 episodes starting with Nancy Wilson. “Greatest Guitar Riffs”
Tony Iommi and Andy Summers are the other 2 episodes.

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Hi Gary, @Uninvitedguest
The reason I gave my answer the way I did is because your question was asked here in Advanced - Grade 7, and your question indicates that you did not skip a few lessons but entire modules :grimacing: … If this is the way for you is that you continue to play the guitar and enjoy it and do not bump into bigger walls, that is of course fine, but most people learn this easier if they build up a bit slowly, but again if this is the way for you and you are 100% satisfied I’m happy too…

This is absolutely no finger pointing, I started with the Arpeggio lesson`s and the Jimi Hendrix Rhythm Licks after watching the captain’s lessons with Justin via you-tube before I came here to the site… now I know that was the wrong order for myself (and also goes against all advice given here on the site)
)… it actually cost me more time and unnecessary pain in my fingers …And a tiny bit of frustration :roll_eyes:

Keep the fun :sunglasses:

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Thank you for the advice, Roger. Makes total sense, I always try to triple jump before I can crawl. lol

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