Vertical Soloing: Using Minor Pentatonic on Five Chord Types
In this lesson, I illustrate how to use one minor pentatonic scale over five chord types. In this case, using the B minor pentatonic scale to play over the following chords:
Cmaj7(#11,13), D13, Db+7#9b9 (Db7alt), Gb7susb9, and Bminor11.
The pentatonic scale works so well over these chords because it contains upper extensions/color tones for each chord, as shown here:
|B is the maj 7th||B is the 13th||B (Cb) is the 7th||B (Cb) is the 4th||E is the 11th|
|D is the 9th||E is the 9th||D is the b9||E is the 7th||D is the 7th|
|F# is the #11||E is the #9||*Other notes come from Gb Phrygian scale|
|A is the 13th||A is the #5|
The formula should be transposed into all keys. For example, the D minor pentatonic scale can be played over Ebmaj7(#11, 13), F13, E7alt., A7susb9, and D minor chords.
Here’s the exercise I’m using on the video, with fingerings:
This also illustrates what I call a “vertical” approach to soloing, where we create lines that move swiftly up and across the fingerboard. I chose fingerings that reflect this concept.
When executed well these type of lines sound especially good on the bass as if the line is exploding from low to high up the fingerboard.
Lorin Cohen is a New York City double bassist and bass guitarist. You can learn more about him, his music, and his availability for lessons in NYC and via Skype at lorincohen.com.