Pentatonic Interchange for Jazz

In the previous lesson, we demonstrated how pentatonic interchange can be used in the blues. In this lesson we will explore how this technique can work over a Jazz II-V-I progression to further develop this concept.

Take the chord progression on the right. This is a basic II-V-I chord progression in C major whose chords are Dmin7, G7, Cmaj7. We will add the Fmaj7 to repeat the 4 bar progression for the first example.

While the progression itself is diatonic to C major, by using certain pentatonic scale fingerings, we would be effectively targeting the underlying chord tones. 

II-V-I Progression in C major

Changing in Position

We will use the D minor pentatonic over the Dmin7 chord and the G major pentatonic over the G7 chord. Over the Cmaj7, we will use the A minor pentatonic which is also the C major pentatonic scale. As mentioned, the progression itself is diatonic to the key of C major which means we can solo using the C major pentatonic throughout. However, by using different pentatonic shapes, we will be able to target the chord tones more effectively. It should be noted that we are not using pentatonic interchange here to change the key centre. On the contrary, here we are using pentatonic interchange to accent the target tones for chord tone soloing.  

Below are the pentatonic scale patterns that we will use in this example. In order distinguish the characteristic notes of the underlying chord, I have highlighted them in a lighter shade of beige. You should stress these notes when you are over the chord perhaps even land on them on the chord change. 

D minor pentatonic scale at the 5th fret. We will use this scale shape over Dmin7.

Also known as the Banshiki-Cho Scale*

*See Level 6 Hefni Pentatonic System

G major pentatonic scale at the 5th fret. We will use this shape over G7.

Also known as the Egyptian scale.*

A minor pentatonic scale at the 5th fret. Use this shape over Cmaj7.

The video below demonstrates how we can use pentatonic interchange over a standard II-V-I jazz progression.

In the next lesson, we will demonstrate how we can use the pentatonic interchange technique in a rock and pop context.