Minor pentatonic scales and II-Valt-I sequence - 5 jazz guitar licks

5 II V I altered jazz guitar licks and minor pentatonicIn this lesson we will see how to use the minor pentatonic scale over a II-Valt-I sequence. The principle is simple, it consists to play three minor pentatonic scales spaced apart of 1 semitone one from the other. This way you will bring out interesting colors to your jazz lines.

  • II chord: Play the minor pentatonic starting on the 5th degree of the II chord. This way you will highlight the fifth (5), the minor seventh (b7), the root (R), the ninth (9) and the eleventh (11) of the minor II chord. (Exemple for Cm7 play G- pentatonic).
  • V chord : Play the minor pentatonic scale up a half step starting on the #9 of the V7alt chord (Ab-pentatonic over F7alt for example). Therefore, you will play the main altered tones of the V7alt namely #9, #11, b13, b7, b9.
  • I chord : Play the minor pentatonic up a half step again starting on the 7th of the I maj7#11 (Example with A minor penta for Bbmaj7#11). Thus giving the 7, 9, 3, #11 and the thirteenth of the I chord. 

Bb II-Valt-I sequence and pentatonic scales

Let's take a Bb major II-Valt-I sequence. We have two chords : Cm7 (II), F7 (V) and Bbmaj7(I).

  • We'll play a G minor pentatonic scale over Cm7 (II). G is the Vth degree of Cm7. As you can see in the chart below, playing Gm penta over Cm7 it will bring two interesting tones, the ninth (9) and the eleventh (11).
G-pentatonic formula G Bb C D F
Interval names against Cm7 5 b7 R 9 11

 

  • On the V chord (F7), we will play another minor pentatonic scale a semitone up the previous pentatonic (Gm). Then, we will play Abm penta for F7. It will bring tension because of the altered tones #9, #11, b13, b7, b9.
Ab-pentatonic formula Ab B Db Eb Gb
Interval names against F7 #9 #11 b13 b7 b9

 

  • On the I chord (Bbmaj7), we will play the third minor pentatonic scale which is a semitone up the previous (Ab) and logically two semitones up the first (Gm). So we will play Am pentatonic scale over Bbmaj7. We will get the 7, 9, 3, #11 and 13th of the I chord.  
A-pentatonic formula A C D E G
Interval names against Bbmaj7 7 9 3 #11 13

II-V-I sequence & minor pentatonic scale - Lick 1

II Valt I jazz guitar lick - Minor pentatonic and altered scale 1

II-V-I sequence & minor pentatonic scale - Lick 2

II Valt I jazz guitar line - Minor pentatonic and altered scale 2

II-V-I sequence & minor pentatonic scale - Lick 3

II Valt I jazz guitar lick - Minor pentatonic and altered scale 3

II-V-I sequence & minor pentatonic scale - Lick 4

II Valt I jazz guitar lick - Minor pentatonic and altered scale 4

II-V-I sequence & minor pentatonic scale - Lick 5

II Valt I jazz guitar lick - Minor pentatonic and altered scale 5

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Pentatonic scale II-V-I sequence lick altered lines jazz lines jazz guitar ideas

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