Blues basics 4 – pentatonics and approach notes

I have devided the pentatonic scale into small groups around the roots of the blues chords. These groups i will use to approach the roots in the blues, its simpler than it sounds :)

Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0001 the scale

I have devided the pentatonic scale into groups.
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0009 groups (2)

the groups are associated with the roots of the chords in the blues. The D, G and A.
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_1 the form

Ill apply the groups and use them to target the root of the next bar.
in the following example i play the root of the chord on beat one. In the bar before I approach the one with the group belonging to the coming root.
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_1
You can see that the root is on the one of each bar and leading to the root I use the notes in the group of the coming root. Leading towards bars with the root D I use F and C as approach notes, leading to a G bar i use A and F and leading to an A bar i use the approach notes C and G. All connected through the groups beloning to the root.

You see in the above example that I in the first bar leading to the second bar, on the four, apply F leading to the G of the second bar. Bar two to three i connect with the approach note C in the group of D. On the ninth bar i apply the G leading to the A. The rule would be that i look in the coming bar for the root and backwards i apply the group beloning to the coming bar.

In the next example i only use the approach note from above. The notes would be F to D, A to G and C to A.
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_2
Its clear that the notes are upper approach note in the groups.

This exercise is only applying the notes below the root.
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_3
C to D, F to G and G to A. Playing towards the target note which in this case is the root.

This way of practising playing towards a target note is quite simple and easy to get used to.
When soloing in jazz music its common practise that you always play towards a target note to get a clear melodic line.

I go on to the next exercise where i change the approach notes. I dont play only one direction anymore but pick the approach note freely, above or below.
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_4

The most important to understand in this lesson to do this a lot, to get this way of playing into your ears and fingers.

in the coming exercise i play the approach note as an eight note so, keeping the same rhythm in the whole exercise but changing which approach note i use, above or below.
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_5

You can always add more rhythm which the next exercise will illustrate.
Playing two eight notes approach and melodically choosing the above or the below lying note.
Blues - with a pentatonic scale_0006
The more notes and rhythm you add before the target note the more complicated it gets of course.

In my next video ill get into more more examples where i use more approach notes.

Let me know if you have questions about this.
I hope that these videos inspires you as much as they inspire me.
Enjoy and have fun playing :)

If you want to stay up-to-date with my videos:

subscribe to my newsletter (top left of my website)
and/or
subscribe to my youtube-channel.

You can also find me on twitter, instagram, facebook and google+ as sorenballegaard