The Dominant Pentatonic Scale - Guitar Lesson with Diagrams and Charts

What is The Dominant Pentatonic Scale?

The Dominant pentatonic scale also known as Mixolydian pentatonic, contains the four notes of a dominant 7 chord (1-3-5-b7) with a supplementary note, the second (2) which is actually the ninth (9). The formula is : tonic (1), second/ninth (2/9), third (3), fifth (5) and minor seventh (b7), making this scale a dominant 9th arpeggio (1-3-5-b7-9). 

G dominant pentatonic scale G A B D F
Formula 1 2 3 5 b7

Comparison With The Mixolydian Mode

The dominant pentatonic scale is a modal pentatonic scale created by removing two notes from the Mixolydian mode. The two notes removed are the fourth (4) and the sixth (6). This scale is an interesting choice for improvising over a dominant chord when you want to highlight the 9.

Mixolydian mode 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7
Dominant pentatonic scale 1 2 3 X 5 X b7
Dominant pentatonic versus mixolydian

Comparison With The Major Pentatonic Scale

It is important not to confuse the dominant pentatonic scale with the major pentatonic scale which has a major sixth (6) instead of a minor seventh (b7), that is therefore used to be play over major chords.

Major pentatonic scale 1 2 3 5 6
Dominant pentatonic scale 1 2 3 5 b7
Dominant pentatonic versus major pentatonic

Dominant Pentatonic Scale Guitar Positions - One Octave Shapes

This how the dominant pentatonic scale look like on the guitar neck. You can see four shapes with notes within the space of one octave.

Mixolydian pentatonic scale guitar

Dominant Pentatonic Scale Guitar Positions - Two Octave Shapes

The following guitar diagrams show how to play the dominant pentatonic scale within the space of two octaves.

Dominant pentatonic scale shapes guitar

Dominant Pentatonic Scale Guitar Positions - Five Positions

This chart show how to play the five positions of the dominant pentatonic scale in order to cover the whole guitar neck.

 

Dominant pentatonic scale guitar shapes

Dominant Pentatonic Scale as Tritone Susbtitution

An interesting way to use the dominant pentatonic scale is to play it starting from the b5 of a dominant chord. In other words, on the V7 you can play the dominant 7th pentatonic scale a tritone (three whole tones) away. This is what we call the tritone substitution. For example, for G7 use Db7 pentatonic (Db-Eb-F-Ab-B). This way you will highlight some altered notes as the #11 (b5), b13 and b9.

Db7 dominant pentatonic against the G7 chord

Db7 dominant pentonic scale Db Eb F Ab B
G7 chord #11 b13 b7 b9 3

 

 

This lick is taken from the PDF eBook 25 Pentatonic Jazz Guitar Licks.

  • Guitar Chord Dictionary

    This PDF eBook provides over 550 guitar chord shapes. This is the perfect reference guide to understand how chords are built and how to play them on guitar.
  • 172 Arpeggio Shapes For Guitar

    This printable PDF is a method dedicated to guitarists of all styles who want to learn the most important types of arpeggios.
  • 126 Triad Chord Shapes

    This handbook for guitar players is intended both for teachers and students. It includes 126 guitar shapes for mastering triads.
  • II V I Bundle - 170 Exercises

    This bundle contains 4 PDF methods for a total of 170 exercises with tabs & audio files for practicing scales, licks & chords over the famous 2-5-1 progression.
  • Diatonic Licks Bundle

    This package contains 120 jazz guitar lines based on diatonic modes as Mixolydian, Dorian and Ionian. PDF format with tabs, audio files and analysis.
  • 30 Smooth Jazz Guitar Licks

    In this package you'll get a printable PDF Method with tabs, notation, analysis, scale shapes and audio files related to 30 smooth jazz guitar licks.
  • 40 II V I Jazz Guitar Licks

    This pdf method for guitar contains fourteen 2 5 1 jazz guitar lines with tab, standard notation, analysis, scale charts and audio files.
  • 50 II-V-I voicings

    This guitar method is a printable PDF eBook containing 50 exercises with audio files, analysis, tab & standard notation.
  • 40 Minor 2 5 1 Chord Voicings

    This PDF method contains 40 exercices with tabs, scores and audio files for practicing jazz guitar chords over the minor 2 5 1 progression.
  • 40 Minor II V I Licks

    This guitar method is a printable PDF with tabs, diagrams, theory and audio files providing 40 minor 2 5 1 jazz patterns.
  • 40 Mixolydian Jazz Guitar Lick

    PDF guitar method with tabs, audio files and theory providing 40 dominant jazz guitar lines for teachers and students.
  • 40 Minor Jazz Guitar Licks

    This printable guitar method in PDF format contains 40 easy minor jazz guitar lines based on the Dorian mode.
  • 40 Major Jazz Guitar Licks

    Printable PDF eBook method containing 40 major jazz guitar licks with tab, standard notation and audio files for beginners and intermediates.
  • Guitar Walking Bass Lines

    This jazz guitar method about walking bass lines and chords is available as a PDF files containing 35 exercises with tabs, analysis and audio files
  • 101 Dominant Arpeggio Patterns

    This printable PDF method provides 101 dominant arpeggio exercises with tab, theory and standard notation for the jazz, blues and rock guitarist.
  • 49 Essential Jazz Lines

    This printable eBook method in PDF format provides 49 jazz solo transcriptions of the greatest jazz musicians. Tab, standard notation, audio files & analysis.
  • 11 Jazz Blues Studies

    This PDF method contains 11 guitar lessons with chord studies, tabs, standard notation, analysis & audio files about the main blues progressions used in jazz music.
  • 25 Altered Jazz Guitar Lines

    This PDF eBook method contains 25 altered jazz guitar licks with tabs, patterns, scale charts and audio files to master, apply and develop the altered scale.
  • 40 Blues Dominant patterns

    This printable method is available as a PDF file containing 40 easy dominant jazz-blues guitar lines with tabs, standard notation, analysis, audio files and scale charts.
  • Mastering Pentatonic Scales

    This jazz guitar method is an eBook available as a PDF with standard notation, guitar tabs, diagrams, analysis, audio files and backing tracks. You will find in this booklet 25 easy jazz guitar lines with theory using common and rare pentatonic scales.
  • 25 Soul Jazz Guitar Licks

    You will find here an eBook available in PDF containing 25 soul jazz and hard bop guitar licks in the style of Grant Green, Melvin Sparks, George Benson. These jazz lines come with tabs, standard notation, guitar neck diagrams, backing track for practice and 25 audio files for each riff.
  • 25 Diminished Patterns

    This eBook PDF with audio files contains 25 dominant diminished jazz guitar patterns using the half-whole diminished scale and diminished 7th arpeggios.
  • 6 Tritone substitution licks

    This Printable PDF eBook available for free download contains 6 easy jazz guitar licks with tabs/notation, youtube video link and analysis about the tritone substitution.

Last edited: 2021-05-17

Comments

  • Marquis
    • 1. Marquis On 2021-10-13
    Hello. I see other sites mention dom pentatonic as 1 3 4 5 b7 where as here it is listed as 1 2 3 5 b7? Can u explain please?
    • Stef Ramin
      • Stef RaminOn 2021-10-14
      Hello, There are two versions of dominant pentatonic scale, one with the 2 (9) and one with the 4 (11). You can also see it as a 7th arpeggio (1 - 3 - 5 - b7) with an added 2(9) or 4 (11).

Add a comment