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Our next part of this improv series focuses on pitch bends using the major and minor scales. The previous blog centered on the essential bends of the pentatonic scales. Remember the pentatonic scales are simply 5 notes from the possible 7 available from the major/minor scales.
Depending on the type of chords being used and style of music, one type of scale may be more suitable. With the Major/Minor scales you have 2 semi-tone bends which can be great for adding variety.
In the picture below i’ve highlighted the most essential bends that you can play around with. Red dots are Tone bends (2 notes/2 Frets e.g. G to A) and Blue are Semi-Tone bends (1 fret/1note e.g. G# to A).
Click on the picture below for a larger version!
|Major scale shapes with bends|
So a great thing to do is practice each shape up and down but performing the bends as you go along. By doing this you’ll get used to the tension needed to perform each bend accurately and you’ll give yourself a wealth of possible pitch bends to use in each key.
Remember to practice in all 7 shapes in all 12 keys.
The tension of the strings varies up and down the neck (it’s the tightest near the nut) so it requires more strength at the start of the fretboard. Have fun!
Our next blog on the series will help to further integrate the scales by just going up and down the scales on one string at a time.
ROCK ‘N’ ROLL