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The Power of Altered Pentatonics

Jazzed Magazine • Focus SessionOctober 2008 • October 21, 2008

Last time we covered a few different ways to utilize major and minor pentatonics to create a more structurally focused intervallic approach to our lines. This time, we’ll expand upon those concepts by taking a look at altered pentatonics and their uses in various harmonic situations.

Altered Pentatonic Scales
While many players are familiar with the major and minor pentatonic scales, very few seem to have a solid grasp of altered pentatonics and their uses. This raises the question; What is an altered pentatonic? In a nutshell, an altered pentatonic is any scale with five notes per octave that is not a major or minor pentatonic. Unfortunately, this leaves us with 322 different scales, many of which are not very useful. Hence, I’ve chosen to cover three of the more common altered pentatonic scales and their uses. This includes the #153;

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