5 February 2008

Blues Licks Over The IV Chord Part 3

This post continues the series of blues guitar licks on the IV chord. It shows you how the major pentatonic scale of the IV chord can be used to build licks.

Let's take an example to make that clearer. The I chord in a blues in the key of A is the A and the IV chord is a D. This post will show you how you can create licks using the D major pentatonic scale.

Root, 3rd, 5th

If you've been following this series then you've already learned that the secret to sounding good on the D (IV) chord is to end your licks on notes of that chord. This helps to support the D chord sound of the harmony and brings your sound to life by giving it movement.

The best notes to aim for are the root, major 3rd and 5th of the D chord. They support most strongly the sound of the D chord.

Maj pentatonic 1st position

To play the major pentatonic of the IV chord the 1st scale position, shown below, is very handy. The R, 3 and 5 indicate the root, 3rd and 5th notes of the major chord.

|-X-|---|---|-R-|
|-3-|---|---|-5-|
|-R-|---|-X-|---|
|-5-|---|-X-|---|
|-X-|---|-3-|---|
|-X-|---|---|-R-|

The D major pentatonic in this position starts at the 7th fret. That puts it just two frets above the A (I) minor pentatonic position and the A major bar chord. It's quite easy to move up two frets when the progression moves to the IV chord; you just have to remember where the root, 3rd and 5th are within this major scale position.

Using this position you can build licks over the IV chord, here's an example over the D chord in the key of A. This lick plays around the root and 3rd of the scale and the D chord.

e---------------------------
B-6h7--------------7--------
G-----7--6s7---9p7---7~~~~--
D---------------------------
A---------------------------
E---------------------------

That wraps up this post, now it's time for you to go and get in some practice using the major pentatonic to build your own licks.

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