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Blues Guitar Lessons • Pentatonic Soloing • Part 6 • Chords, Tab, Video Lessons

Peter Green


Peter Green Music


This lesson is a continuation of Blues Guitar Solo • Pentatonic Soloing • Part 5. This part deals with the Major Pentatonic scale. The structure of the Major Pentatonic scale is exactly the same as the minor Pentatonic scale. Every minor Pentatonic scale has a relative Major Pentatonic scale and vice versa. The relative minor is always the sixth degree of the Major scale. On the guitar fretboard, this always translates to the Major root being a minor third above the minor root (count up four frets, including the root note, to find the Major root). When you have learned the five box patterns of the minor Pentatonic scale, you have also learned the five box patterns for the Major Pentatonic scale! This also applies to the full major and minor scales (see Music Theory For Guitarists • Key Signatures).

Rhythm Guitar

The rhythm guitar part is mostly slash chords. The chord itself, is notated above the slash. The note below the slash, is to be voiced as the lowest note of the chord. These are fairly common shapes for blues rhythm guitar, and should be learned in various key signatures. The overall tonality is simply the one, four, five progression in the 'key of C': C7, F7, G7. Chord voicings and patterns like this add so much more interest to the overall sound. Please refer to Blues Guitar Rhythm Patterns • Part 1-5, for more info on this style of playing. With the exception of measure nine, all the chords are voiced on the second, third and fourth strings. I have performed the progression on the video with a fingerstyle approach known as 'grabbing' the chords. They can also be strummed, but you would have to avoid playing the other strings, or they would have to muted out. The fingerstyle or hybrid picking approach is the easiest. Try utilizing all the techniques. Strumming would give you more bite and percussiveness to the sound, but, as mentioned, would be a more difficult execution.

Rhythm Guitar


Major Pentatonic Solo #1 • Rhythm Guitar

The Solo

This solo is based in C Major Pentatonic and the C Major Blues scale.

  • Scale spelling for C Major Pentatonic is: C D E G A C. the relative minor scale is A minor Pentatonic (scale spelling: A C D E G A). There are no sharps or flats in C Major or A minor.
  • Scale spelling for the C Major Blues scale is: C D E♭ E G A C.

Playing across a three chord blues progression with the Major Pentatonic is trickier than the minor Pentatonic. Every note will fit when utilizing the minor Pentatonic. Not so with the Major Pentatonic. The big difference (and your ear should be able to hear this), is that, the four chord (in this case: F7), forces a minor third into the Major Pentatonic (in this case: E♭), forming the Blues Scale.

When playing across the four chord, the Major third must be replaced or simply, avoided, in order not to clash with the chord. The resulting sound would be extremely dissonant and unpleasing to the ear. Simply put, the F7 chord contains an E♭ and the C Major Pentatonic scale contains an E natural. I have noted the target notes in the transcription. These are the notes that will sound the strongest over the chords and are usually chord tones, themselves.

Target Notes

Target NoteChord Structure

E natural

C7: C E G B♭


F7: F A C E♭


G7: G B D F

Many players (this will be addressed in future lessons), use the Major Pentatonic over the one and five chords and move into the minor Pentatonic over the four chord. This is another solution, that works very well and adds another dimension to the overall sound.


Major Pentatonic Solo #1

It Hurts Me Too Solo

This solo was composed in the style of Peter Green. He recorded this song with master bluesman, John Mayall. The licks are easily defined, having a definite beginning and end, similar to speaking in sentences. This is a trademark of masterful phrasing and note placement. The licks move between the Major and minor Pentatonic scale, occasionally combining to form the Combination scale. The first lick (starting on the A on the tenth fret and ending on the bend from E to F♯ on the twelfth fret), is D Major Pentatonic. Licks two and three are from D minor Pentatonic. Lick four moves into the combination scale, ending on the half step bend on the first beat in measure five. Lick five moves back into the minor Pentatonic, six and seven are D Major Pentatonic, and the turnaround is the Combination scale.

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The chord structure outlines a common eight bar blues format: two measures of the 'one' chord, two of the 'four chord', one of the 'one', one of the 'five', then the two bar turnaround.

It Hurts Me Too Solo


It Hurts Me Too Solo

John Mayall and Peter Green

© 2013 Lorne Hemmerling


Lorne Hemmerling (author) from Prescott on January 09, 2015:

I have been getting some spam comments on my hubs. I hope this is not one. I have approved it. The guitar is a Charvel, but it has Seymour Duncans, and a fixed bridge. I am more of a jazz and blues player than a shred metal guy, but I do play out in a loud classic rock band where I get to wail. It's fun! Thanks for the comment!

Anastacia on January 09, 2015:

I like this dude's style quite a bit. I like how it doesn't go completely over envyroee's head with super-shred just because he has a Charvel with? floyd rose and EMGs and looks like a metal head. Very tasty licks that'd sound good between some speedier licks.

Lorne Hemmerling (author) from Prescott on December 25, 2014:

The Major and minor Pentatonic scales are exactly the same notes. You have to determine the relative minor to see the relationship. Best to start here: Also, I have a book out called 'Learning Blues Guitar'. It can be purchased at Thanks!

Sivanesvarn on December 24, 2014:

continuation,,, so do i look up licks in pos 2, licks in pos 3 etc.? or is this lesson just to get you doing the lick in the diff potosiin to put you in another part of the neck to set up licks in that register? like ive started fiddling with pos5 and pos2 cus i know my extensions well? and end up recreating licks i can do in box 1,,

Lorne Hemmerling (author) from Prescott on May 15, 2013:

Thank you, my friend! And fo the follow, I am following you too, look forward to reading your hubs.

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