Welcome back to another scale study lesson! In this lesson we’re going to check out the 5 positions of the pentatonic scale and how they translate to the 7 string guitar! We’ll also look at some extended concepts for advanced pentatonic application. All these examples can be applied to 6 string as well but more players are looking to the extended range guitars to take their playing to the next level and expand their knowledge.
In this lesson we’ll not only learn the 5 positions of the Pentatonics for 7 String Guitar. We’ll also learn how they reference the corresponding modes of the major scale. If you have the ability to mix your pentatonic and modal playing this will massively help you visualise the neck. This will also help you create interesting melodies and new creative ideas. We’ll also include some advanced concepts that will help you break out of the standard ways of playing pentatonics.
Pentatonics for 7 String Guitar: The 5 Standard Positions in D minor
Notes: D – F – G – A – C
Intervals: R – b3 – 4 – 5 – b7
In order to learn the Pentatonics for 7 String Guitar we need to understand the 5 standard positions across the neck. Because this is a 5 note scale there will be 5 different shapes. Each note will yield a different ‘mode’ of the parent root position scale shown below.
Mode References & Blues Notes
For each position we have demonstrated two diagrams. One showing the standard Pentatonic shape for 7 string guitar (above) and one showing the the additional blues notes and full modal references. Each modal reference demonstrates the corresponding mode the pentatonics are derived from.
A Note on Blues Notes
Blues notes do not naturally belong in the key or the scale which is why they sound dissonant and jarring. Most commonly they are used as passing tones. However you can bend your listeners ear by playing creatively with these notes for dramatic effect.
Pentatonics for 7 String Guitar: Advanced Ideas Using Octaves
All standard and advanced concepts presented here are shown across all 5 positions in the scale & theory book for this lesson. Join the Strings of Rage Syndicate today for your all axe-cess pass.
Let’s check out some extended ideas to advance your pentatonic prowess. This first example uses octaves to navigate the neck in a linear fashion. You’ll quickly notice that because of the the pentatonic intervals you can cover a large distance on the guitar neck.
This concept works really well because it’s simply 2 notes on the low string and then 3 notes on the next. You can then repeat these using octaves across the neck. We’ve shown the root position here for reference. If you want to check out the other positions consider becoming a Strings of Rage™ Syndicate Patreon member to download this lesson Scale & Theory book.
When using linear pentatonics it’s always good to be able to visualise and reference the single positions as you navigate through these larger shapes. This will help maximise the notes available to you at any given time.CJ – Strings of Rage™
Pentatonics for 7 String Guitar: Advanced Ideas Using String Skipping
We’ve transposed this example into F# minor simply because there isn’t enough frets at root position. When you advance your pentatonics into 3nps forms they become a much wider stretch.
This concept uses three notes per string, which we abbreviate to 3nps, and skips a string each time. String skipping avoids a repeat note in comparison to playing three notes on every string. It also presents a nice wide intervalic sound because of the skips. Use this to your melodic advantage.
We’ve shown the root position here for reference. If you want to check out the other positions, consider becoming a Strings of Rage™ Syndicate Patreon member to download this lesson Scale & Theory book.
Extended Pentatonics Using Economy Picking
These pentatonic concepts using economy picking aren’t strictly pentatonic since they omit the 4th scale degree. However they are largely still pentatonic in sonic quality and if anything yield an even more intervallic sound. There’s multiple ways to play through these concepts so be sure to download the Scale Book for this lesson. We’ve provided tab for a few different ways to play these examples.
We’ve shown the root position here for reference. If you want to check out the other positions consider becoming a Strings of Rage™ Syndicate Patreon member to download this lesson Scale & Theory book.
Six Stringer Gunslingers!
If you don’t play a 7 string guitar don’t worry! You can still use these shapes, ideas and concepts on a six string by simply removing the low B string on these examples . However, make sure you pay attention to the root notes. Your root notes and positions will change. Check out this lesson to cross reference to the six string shapes.
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