Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Don’t You Notice How the Wheel Goes ‘Round?

Speaking of minor and major pentatonic, there’s this guy by the name of Eric Clapton who is an absolute master at switching back and forth seamlessly between the two, creating a beautiful eight note scale that perfectly suits just about any blues or rock song you could think of.

Have a listen to his solo in Badge, probably the best example of this tasty integration, and possibly his best solo ever.  He alternates minor and major pentatonic phrases so smoothly that you don’t even know it’s happening.  What you do notice is melodic tension and harmonic brilliance that makes the solo a powerful emotional trip.

Clapton isn’t the only guitar god to integrate the two pentatonic scales.  B.B. King, for example, comes to mind as another master.  Clapton has many other attributes which help set him apart, but his constant bi-play between the two scales is perhaps his most distinguishing characteristic.

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