Minor pentatonics and arpeggios

I’m new to the community and just wanted to to share this lightbulb moment. Thanks to Justin I learned about Minor Pentatonic scales and also Arpeggios. I’ve got them under my fingers and I’m trying to make use of them over a blues progression, experimenting with the different caged shapes for both the scales and the arpeggios. In trying to combine the scales with the arpeggios, I realized that the Minor Pentatonic scales - being minor after all - have a very minor flavour, whereas Dominant Seventh arpeggios sound very Major. Right now, using both over a blues progression is sounding not quite right, although I’m sensing if I do it more, using arpeggios with scales might be a way of making solos sound more varied than just using Minor Pentatonic scales to solo.


Welcome Hugh,

sounds like you’re having fun!

Yeah, try everything and what you like will stick, the rest will just fall away.

There are many different ways of using both.

Arpeggios sound great over the corresponding chord, so they’re good to add embellishments or play lead lines over chords, but you have to be aware of the chords and change with them. An arpeggio/chord mismatch may sound dissonant.

Minor Pentatonic sounds great over a minor or major key, so as long as you know the key you can solo in the corresponding minor pentatonic and it’ll sound good because the pentatonic removes the notes that are most likely to cause dissonance.

You can combine the two by playing the minor pentatonic but highlighting the notes in each chord. For example, if the background chord is C, you could play the Am pentatonic while focusing on the C, E, and G notes of the minor pentatonic scale that make up the C arpeggio. When it switches to say F (standard I, IV, V progression - C, F, G) you stay on the Am pentatonic but focus on the A and C notes. For G you can focus on the G and D notes. This makes it sound like you’re playing with purpose rather than just playing pentatonic notes at random.

And that’s just one example. :slight_smile:


Welcome to the Community, Hugh. Sounds like you are making progress, learning, and having fun.

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Hey mate,

One technique to get more of that bluesy sound is to slide into the Major 3rd from the minor 3rd. Can alsu use this on the b5>5 and the 6>b7 of the arpeggio.

Cheers, Shane

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Thank you for sharing that information Tim, that’s very helpful.

Thanks for the tip Shane. I was already mucking about with the Minor to Major 3rd. but I hadn’t yet stumbled on b5>5 and 6>b7.