Play in Major Keys with Pentatonics- Lead Guitar Lesson

You can access the jam track here: https://signalsmusicstudio.com/a-majo... Free online guitar lessons for beginners, intermediate, and advanced players. Located in Crystal Lake, Jake Lizzio provides free jam tracks and video lessons for guitar players, as well as music theory videos and other music education content.


Please note, this transcription was computer generated and has not been checked for errors. However, I do hope you find it helpful. Be sure to check out The Ultimate Modal Poster!

A lot of guitar players start off with the pentatonic minor scale and rightfully, so it's a very popular scale but a lot of times you're thrown something in a major key and playing pentatonic minor over something in a major key usually doesn't work out you usually get something that's annoyingly rock and roll ish. It's kind of like inappropriately rocking. You know what I mean? You need something happy and upbeat and bright and instead playing pentatonic minor will give you this like bluesy sound on top of it instead.

So what we have to do is we have to start learning how to use our pentatonic major. Gail instead of just our pentatonic minor scale and this is really simple you probably already know how to do this. If you study anything about pentatonic minor what we're going to do today is we're going to jam into a major and instead of being in the entire a major scale instead of playing my entire a major scale. I'm just going to play a pentatonic major to do that. But I'm going to do is I'm going to find the fifth fret on my low string so my six-string my fifth fret here is a and if I play my second pentatonic shape you may have seen this before it looks like this.

And second pentatonic shape is actually that's Atomic maybe starting right there with my route on a okay.

So I just want you to hear how this works out. I mean immediately if I play a pentatonic major over a track that is in the key of A. I'll just play up and down the notes and I want you to hear how well I'm perfect each one of these notes fits right into that track 2 3 4 that's very pleasing. Right?

So what I want to continue going on here is how can I make this sound interesting?

Well, this second shape has a lot of little parts of it that are very easy to use and I specifically want to talk about the top four notes of this second shape right here. So the 7th fret on the 5th fret the 7th fret and These four notes are ideal for a lot of different hammer-on and pull-off situations like this or a pull off where your and then coming down to the second string just like that.

So with those two moves a little hammer on here on the 2nd string and then a pic stroke on the first string or a pull off here on the first string to pick stroke on the second string between those little moves. I can get some really nice sounding licks over that same bead. Take a listen.

so I really want to point out, you know how useful it is when you're in a major key to first off find your Pentatonix shape your second pentatonic shape and then Isolate those top four nodes and really hang out on him all day and try right and with those four notes, you're going to get a lot of cool moves between these hammer-on and pull-off ideas. I would also recommend starting to slide, especially if you're doing solos on an acoustic guitar, like I am right now you want to avoid picking to you know, try and get away from that staccato sound all the time adding and slides and hammer-ons is an excellent way to get away from that very pointy sound picking everything.

Alright, so right there for notes of a lot of a lot of all ideas and I just want to point out that if you want to Adventure pass this shape, you can also go up right there slide an extra whole step and you'll have access to the major third of that scale. So it's out of my shape, but it's still a note that's in the scale and it's very very useful to kind of grab a hold of that know to when you're doing stuff like That major third is a nice note to have access to and it's not too far out of our shape. So I think it's a reasonable note to talk about here. Alright, so the next thing to learn here is that this is our second shape and it connects to our first shape, which I'm sure you've already seen before take a look at actually how it connects. We started right here on our fifth fret with our middle finger, right? But that's the second note of our first shape, which means that our first shape is actually back here on the second fret. All right, and basically what that means is you can play You're good old-fashioned pentatonic minor shape seen this a hundred times. You can play this and still be in a pentatonic major because you've started three Frets back or you started all three half steps back. Basically long story short F sharp minor is the relative minor to a major F sharp minor and a major are the same scale what that means for you is that you can play both of these shapes to play in a major. So essentially if I want to play in a pentatonic major I can either start on a with my middle finger and play the second shape or I can start with my pinky on a and I can play my first shape and its you can hear it's the exact same set of notes. All right, F sharp pentatonic minor and a pentatonic major are the exact same notes the shape that I'm playing and why would I go through all that work just to play the same notes in a different shape will take a look. Here's those 4 notes right up here that we were talking about earlier.

Here's those exact same four notes an octave lower and there nestled right there easily conveniently in my first shape. All right. So what that means is that anything I played up here.

I can play in my first shape on my middle strings here and it's even a cool that idea for the middle of your lead. You can follow yourself off and octaves. You can play something and then do it again in the octave higher so You want to do all right, so it's just that simple as that. I play my lick up here on my four favorite notes and then I can just transport down and play my four favorite notes down there. So let's take a listen to what it sounds like if I use both shapes this time and what I'll try and do is I'll try and really highlight the fact that these four notes are the same as these four notes as I kind of work my way through both pentatonic shapes.

All right, so you kind of hear what's going on there, right?

I can I can just kind of seamlessly go back between those two shapes right there and you won't hear a difference in the notes that I'm playing because they're the exact same set of notes, but you will hear a difference in the the options available to me when it comes to hammer-ons and pull-offs and slides and things like that. The last thing I want to talk about is how we're actually going to transition between those two shapes. It can be kind of tricky to just go all of a sudden from one shape into the other but there's one specific. Cific little transition that we have to talk about because it's so useful and you're going to hear it. So many times when people are working with Pentatonix and connecting these shapes together and that specifically here if I'm on the second fret and if I'm playing F sharp pentatonic minor in my first shape, let's go up to the note on the third string right here and that's my ring finger.

Okay. Now if I slide that note up a whole-step it all of a sudden takes me into the two nodes of my pentatonic major shape or my second shame. All right. So again here I I was playing the second fret on the 4th fret but if I slide to the 6th fret then magically I am now ready to complete my second shape over here.

Alright, and in the reverse what if I'm in my second shape and I'm coming down my scale. All right, and then all of a sudden I play that fourth fret I can slide it down and now I'm back into so I really like that that no right there as an opportunity to slide back in between and if you use just that slide on its own and isolate it It sounds beautiful on its own and if you come back down with the slide, so it's like a multi-purpose thing not only are going to use it as a transitional device something that helps you get from point A or shape one to shape to but it's a great lick that you're going to be using as an actual technique or a lick on its own that little slide move right there. All right, and you can follow it up a million ways. You can do that slide and you can go up to a note and then keep going through the scale.

You can go up and then back down.

Back down the first shade.

All right. So basically what I'll do here is kind of wrap it all together. And I mean, it won't be too much too different from what I showed you earlier, but I'll be using the first the first shape down here, which is basically you can think of it as F sharp pentatonic minor, but I'm still thinking of it as a pentatonic major because we're in the key of a major here. I'm just playing I'm playing it with by putting my pinky on a and playing my first name. I'll be playing on my second pentatonic shape and I'll be bridging that gap between these two shapes.

Without little slide movies often as I can.

Alright All right.

So, I mean you hear what's going on right there. It's a lot more interesting than a pentatonic minor. ER and I want you to just really briefly here how bad of a decision it is to play a pentatonic minor over something that's clearly written in the key of a major to me. This is just like the definition of bad guitar playing is to play something like this on top of a track like this. Take a listen.

One two three.

It's a little that's way. Nobody wants to hear that. So I know that when I started a pentatonic major was a source of a lot of confusion for me and I really didn't quite understand how to apply it but hopefully this gives you a little insight into it and really quickly just to kind of recap if you're in a A jerky, all you have to do is find the root on your six string somewhere and then play the second pentatonic shape.

The other option is to find the route somewhere on your six string and put your pinky there and play the first pentatonic shape and you'll basically playing the exact same set of notes. You're still in a pentatonic major or in any pentatonic major, but you're doing it two different ways.

Obviously if you're more advanced player and if you studied more there's five pentatonic shapes, you can use all of those shapes to jam in any of these keys, of course and you can Bridge them all together, but right now it's a good idea to just kind of learn the minor shape and the Your shape, if you're new to this connect those to practice using both of them and major keys and then start adding on the third shape the fourth shape and V shape as time goes on. So I hope this helps. Thanks for watching.


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