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Improvising and Groove: Substituting Pentatonic Scales on a Minor 7 Progression

My most recent lessons have focused on the use of the pentatonic scales as it relates to improvising and learning the fretboard (see my lessons on improvising over a minor key progression and breaking down the pentatonic scale for more background).

Today we’ll continue this topic with the exploration of improvising over a D minor 7 chord using the pentatonic scales of C Major, and the modes we can derive from it. This includes:

  • C major ionian and/or C major pentatonic
  • Dm dorian and/or D minor pentatonic
  • Em phrygian and/or E minor pentatonic
  • F major lydian and/or F major pentatonic
  • G mixolydian and/or G major pentatonic
  • Am aolian and/or A minor pentatonic
  • Bm locrian

Of course, all of these contain the same notes, but you’ll target them differently by training your brain to see new patterns, and expanding your improvisation vocabulary along the way.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Thomas Risell, otherwise known as “MarloweDK”, is a bassist and music educator from Denmark. For more great bass lessons from MarloweDK, visit PlayBassNow.com.

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