Lead Guitar

Here are some Hybrid scale examples that you can explore with the Guitar Analyzer Software. These scales can created by adding notes or moving notes to the Minor Pentatonic Scale. I’ll start with the adding note scale examples. The first Blues Scale example is a very common scale used in Blues and Rock, the A Blues Scales. This scale is from adding a Passing Tone b5 (Diminished 5th) note to the Minor Pentatonic Scale. The passing tone is the note not related to the notes of the Major Scale Key. Usually passing tones sound a little off when you play them but with this particular scale it has a great sound in most soloing situations were you would be using the Minor Pentatonic Scale.

The next Hybrid Blues Scale is the Blues Chromatic Scale that is created by adding two notes Minor Pentatonic Scale. It not only has the diminished 5th added but also the Major 3rd which is not always a passing tone. The unnatural thing about this scale it has four chromatic half steps in a row. A lot of country style guitar players use this scale and they apply a lot of unique chromatic lick variation to these half step notes in their solos.

The next hybrid blues scale is created by moving instead of adding notes by moving the Minor 3rd of the Minor Pentatonic scale up half step to the Major 3rd Interval. This gives a little bit of a Middle Eastern or Gothic sound. The scale relationship of this scales relates to the Mixolydian Mode the fifth degree of the Major Scale and the Phrygian Major Mode fifth degree of the Harmonic Minor Scale. This scale is used in solos by some Rock and Metal Guitar Players Kirk Hammett, George Lynch and Neal Schon, .

The last hybrid blues scale shown is also another scale from moving a note . This scale is is called the Major 6 Pentatonic Scale created by moving the Minor 7th of the Minor Pentatonic Scale down a half step to the Major 6th. The scale relationship of this scale relates to the Dorian Mode the second Degree of the Major Scale. This scale is used by some jazz and jazz fusion guitar players by artists like Allen Holdsworth, Robin Ford and Frank Gambale.

All the diagrams below can easily be explored in much greater depth within the Guitar Analyzer Software.

                         A Blues Scale - Intervals A Blues ChromIc - Intervals ajor 3 Pentatonic - Intervals A Major 6 Pentatonic - Interval


                         A Phrygian Major (HM5) / Maj.3 Pentatonic A Dorian / Major 6 PentIonic A Dorian/Minor Pentatonic Intervals

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Guitar Scale Interval Theory Application

All chromatic guitar scale intervals spaced fret by fret on the guitar have 12 half steps. These are finite parts that make up all scales. Music intervals are like a measurement ruler to measure the distance between notes. We measure the distance between notes in half steps instead of inches like a ruler (Ex.1).

Ex.1) 12 inch Ruler

Instead of 1-12 it’s 1-7 and we have 5 accidental numbers b2, b3, b5, b6, b7 none between 3&4, 7&1 (Ex.2).

Ex.2) Chromatic Interval Ruler

In music scale theory numbers are used for intervals as an easier way to measure the distance of steps between notes in a music scale or chord. If we count higher than 7 we go into the next octave and 1 starts over again as the 1 in the square of this chromatic scale on the guitar scale fret board (Ex.1). This applies to music scale theory and playing scales on guitar. In chord theory harmony we use interval numbers higher than (7) called compound intervals this will be explained later in future lesson.

Every music scale has scale formula (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 is the Major Scale Ex.4), (1, b3, 4, b6, b7 is the Minor 6 Pentatonic Scale Ex. 5) the bordered numbers. The notes in music are taken from the first 7 letters of the alphabet A-G with 5 accidentals that each have with 2 names (increment A to A# sharps & decrement B to Bb flats) C#-Db, D#-Eb, F#-Gb, G#-Ab. There is no accidental notes between B-C, and E-F (Ex.3). This can be a challenge to learn from our old mental habits of how we use letters in the alphabet also as numbers in counting.

The Guitar Analyzer Diagrams below display visually how to understand intervals. Showing dynamically how the scale formula bordered notes overlay the  measuring distance between the notes. This creates an easy way visualize guitar scale shapes to aid guitar players who play by ear.

  Ex.1 A Chromatic Guitar Scale Intervals Ex.3 A Chromatic Guitar Scale Interval Notes Ex.4 A Chromatic / Major - Guitar Scale intervals Ex.5 A Chromatic / Min6 Pentatonic - Guitar Scale Intervals

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The most used blues and rock scales are the Minor Pentatonic Scale  and the Major Pentatonic Scale. The Minor Pentatonic Scale contains the root, flattened third, fourth, fifth and flattened seventh (1, b3, 4,5,b7). The major pentatonic scale has five notes – the root note, the second note, the third, fifth and sixth (1, 2, 3, 5, 6 ). In the key of C the minor pentatonic scale is C Eb F G Bb  and the major pentatonic scale is C D E G A.

The Major Pentatonic Scale is commonly more commonly used to solo in blues and rock solos. To start learning to master soloing using the Minor Pentatonic Scale. We are going to learn to how to play solos over major, minor and dominant chords.

Let’s take a common blues chord progression using the root, fourth and fifth notes of the scale (I, IV, V).  If we are playing a song in the key of C major, the chords are C, F and G major. The minor Pentatonic scales resolves or feels like your playing the right notes, the major pentatonic does not resolve or feel as comfortable until your playing over the V chord G major.

                                                           A Minor Pentatonic Fingers C Major Pentatonic Fingers

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