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Pentatonic Scale Archives

Vertical Soloing: Using Minor Pentatonic on Five Chord Types
Vertical Soloing

Vertical Soloing: Using Minor Pentatonic on Five Chord Types

In this lesson, Lorin Cohen illustrates how to use one minor pentatonic scale over five chord types. In this case, using the B minor pentatonic scale to play over a progression. This illustrates what Lorin calls a “vertical” approach to soloing, where we create lines that move swiftly up and across the fingerboard.

Talking Technique: Pull Off Pentatonics
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: Pull Off Pentatonics

Pentatonics using hammer-ons and pull-offs sounds great, but maybe you have noticed that if you stay within the same pentatonic pattern, you can only hammer on certain notes. In an effort to go beyond that, we are stringing two pentatonic patterns together so that we can pull off pull offs from every single note. I’ll show you two major pentatonic...

Talking Technique: Pedal to the Metal
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: Pedal to the Metal

Today’s lesson is all about building cool grooves using the pentatonic scale with pedal tones, a technique often found in heavy metal. We’ll use a G minor pentatonic scale in the first area of the bass (more on that in the video). To create the pedal effect, we’ll be playing the root of the scale in between each note. The...

Bass Lick Series: Fat & Dirty Synth Bass Groove
Bass Lick Series

Bass Lick Series: Fat & Dirty Synth Bass Groove

Here’s a fun lick you can use any time the music calls for a fat, dirty groove. This is in E?, built predominantly on a E? minor pentatonic fill (with a 9th added). To achieve this sound, you’ll need a couple of effects: an octaver and an overdrive. I’m using the MXR Bass Octave Deluxe, the MXR Bass Overdrive and...

Bass Lick Series: Funky Triplet Bass Groove
Bass Lick Series

Bass Lick Series: Funky Triplet Bass Groove

Here’s a new lick for you to try with a half-time 16th shuffle groove and a hip-hop vibe. This lick is based on a G minor pentatonic scale. In the video below, I play it full speed before playing it at reduced speeds. Follow along with the transcription (standard notation and tab), and have fun! For the gear heads: I’m...

Lesson: Funky Finger Funk with Pentatonic Fill
Bass Lessons

Lesson: Funky Finger Funk with Pentatonic Fill

Time to get funky. Here’s another quick bass lick lesson for you, centered around a pentatonic fill. Follow along with the video and this transcription (PDF download). If you want some background, there are a few lessons here covering pentatonic scales and patterns: Breaking Down the Pentatonic Scale: The Five Positions on Bass Improvising and Groove: Substituting Pentatonic Scales on...

Advanced Bass Fretboard Knowledge with the Pentatonic Scale
Bass Lessons

Advanced Bass Fretboard Knowledge with the Pentatonic Scale

Last time, we took a look at some basic exercises aimed at expanding fretboard knowledge through the use of the pentatonic scale. For this lesson, we’ll cover more advanced patterns and build on what we’ve started in the first part. Be sure to download the PDF for these exercises (standard notation and TAB included) so you can follow along and...

Expand Your Bass Fretboard Knowledge with the Pentatonic Scale
Bass Lessons

Expand Your Bass Fretboard Knowledge with the Pentatonic Scale

Here’s a great exercise aimed at expanding your fretboard knowledge. For this lesson, we’re going to use the five positions of the A minor / C Major pentatonic scale. The pentatonic scale contains five notes, of course, and you can play this from different positions. Learning these patterns will significantly increase your fretboard knowledge. Here’s how it breaks down, taking...

Funk Bass Line Lesson – James Brown’s “The Payback”
Bass Videos

Funk Bass Line Lesson – James Brown’s “The Payback”

Today’s featured video is as instructional as it is cool. Bassist/instructor Anthony Pell breaks down how to construct a funk line, using James Brown’s “The Payback” – a tune from Godfather of Soul’s 1973 album of the same name. Fred Thomas was the bassist on that album, by the way. Pell breaks down three approaches to note selection for the...

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

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...