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Modal Pentatonic Scales (Guitar Lesson)


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Chris Liepe

Modal Pentatonic Scales

This lesson demonstrates how to modify the old trusty 5th fret A minor pentatonic position to make it sound modal. Instructions for modifying any pentatonic position are included as well as demonstrations over backing tracks. The supplemental TAB provides modified modal pentatonic scales for all of the 5 basic positions learned in lesson 3 of this series.

Taught by Chris Liepe in Rock Guitar with Chris Liepe seriesLength: 10:30Difficulty: 3.5 of 5


Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

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gibstratgibstrat replied on August 29th, 2013

awesome stuff chris , i'm half way through the lesson set and cant wait for more, you are an excellent guitar teacher

lordgnomelordgnome replied on September 7th, 2012

Good stuff ! How come in Modal Pentatonics some scales have 5 notes and others 6 ? Dorian is A,C,D,E,F#,G,A and Locrian is A,C,D,Eb,G. No Bb ? Too dissonant ? Lydian ? No F# ? Is this to underline the mode color ?

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied on September 11th, 2012

the reason there are a different number of notes in some of the scales is this: Depending on the color you need to add, you will either change one of the existing notes, or add a note to the scale. For example, in the standard Pentatonic scale, there is no 6, so we need to add it to the basic Pent form which technically makes it a "Hexatonic" scale, but who cares :) Others, we can simply tweak one or two notes and get the sound we are going for.

bunkybunky replied on March 16th, 2012

I seem to find more on this where it is called a skate. If a skate is somthing else please let me know. Nice lesson.

bunkybunky replied on March 9th, 2012

Chris thanks for the great lessions. When I originally learned the mode scales I learned them in the 4 fret boxes ignoring the three note per scale forms. I played this way for years and can play melodies by ear and see the full fretboard. Now I feel like I am starting over by playing the three note perstrings scales. My hands want to revert to the old patterns; and my hands can't play what I hear anymore. The three note per string scales are also less comfortable to play (more stretching). Do you typically sta in the 3-notes per string patterns as you play, or do you drop back to the 4 fret patterns at times. How can I adapt better?

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied on March 9th, 2012

I go back and forth depending on the types of phrasing I'm going for. It's great to have both approaches. I learned the "4 fret" positions first as well and the key for me was just time and practice over real music. After awhile, you don't think about the patterns as patterns as much any more and it just becomes more about getting the sound you want when you want it. Keep at it!

creeglescreegles replied on October 9th, 2011

This is one of the best lessons I've seen on Jamplay. Fantastic job Chris.

caliban4caliban4 replied on May 18th, 2011

What chords would all these be played over? The same asfor Dorian, Phrygian, etc?

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied on May 23rd, 2011

i'm not sure i understand your question? could you rephrase it?

dearlpittsdearlpitts replied on May 14th, 2011

i/m sure its here and i/m retarded -but where are the backing tracs for this lesson?

thesnowdogthesnowdog replied on May 14th, 2011

They're in the Supplemental Content for Lesson 2 of this series.

dearlpittsdearlpitts replied on May 14th, 2011

really dig the lydian

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied on May 14th, 2011

You're welcome!

jlu52jlu52 replied on May 14th, 2011

Chris, you make learning easier and fun. I feel that you are an excellent teacher. Thanks!!! I'll go back to practice now...

Rock Guitar with Chris Liepe

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Instrumental Rock carries with it many creative aspects both in writing and playing. By the end of this series, Chris will have covered almost everything you will need to know to create and play your very own melodic instrumental rock piece, with emotion!



Lesson 1

Rock Essentials Introduction

Chris Liepe introduces his Phase 2 Rock Essentials lesson series. By highlighting specific instrumental rock styles and techniques, Chris will help you become a more melodically creative player.

Length: 3:57 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 2

3 on a String Scales

Chris Liepe starts off his Rock Essentials series with a lesson on 3 on a string scales. Utilizing 3, 4, and 6 note sequencing, Chris begins to dive into instrumental rock style phrasing and provides several...

Length: 37:00 Difficulty: 3.5 FREE
Lesson 3

Pentatonic Scales, Sequencing, and Lick Ideas

Chris introduces the pentatonic scales as well as some of their basic applications.

Length: 19:35 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 4

Chord Numbering

Chris Liepe takes some time to explain chord numbering. Understanding how chords are built will only help in your overall knowledge of the guitar.

Length: 16:25 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 5

The CAGED System

Chris breaks down the CAGED system and its chord chemistry. He covers both major and minor chord forms.

Length: 35:06 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 6

Sweep Picking

Chris digs into the sweep picking technique. He uses the C, A, and E forms introduced in the previous lesson to help with finger synchronization.

Length: 27:15 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 7

Introduction to Modes

Chris moves on to the subject of modes. He explains where modes come from, how they sound, and how they are used.

Length: 30:04 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 8

Modal Pentatonic Scales

This lesson demonstrates how to modify the old trusty 5th fret A minor pentatonic position to make it sound modal.

Length: 10:30 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 9

Modal Chord Progressions

How do you know which mode to use? There are giveaways with every chord progression, and Chris covers them in this lesson.

Length: 17:12 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 10

Complete Major / Minor Scale Using Penatonic Scales

Chris demonstrates how to complete the major and minor scale by using pentatonic positions based on the roots of the I, IV, and V chords.

Length: 14:52 Difficulty: 4.5 Members Only
Lesson 11

Melodic Development

Chris Liepe utilizes everything he has taught in the series so far to demonstrate how to create catchy lead lines over a backing track.

Length: 15:30 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 12

Implied Tonalities

Chris Liepe delves into the world of implied tonalities. This lesson details how a single arpeggio can be implied over various chordal sounds.

Length: 25:40 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 13

Series Introduction Solo Lesson (Composed Soloing)

Chris teaches the solo that was used in the introduction lesson for this series. He uses the solo as an example of how to effectively compose your own solos.

Length: 22:09 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 14

2 Hand Tapping

It's time to give the right hand hand some work with two hand tapping on the guitar neck.

Length: 31:26 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 15

Thoughts on Practice

With so much material out there, what should you focus on? How much time do you spend on a certain topic? How do you progress? How do you measure progress? Chris covers all of these topics in this lesson.

Length: 17:16 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 16

Get to Know Chris Liepe

Chris Liepe offers up some insight into his past. Hopefully this lesson will help you further your own goals as a guitarist.

Length: 11:42 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only

About Chris Liepe View Full Biography Chris Liepe was born on September 17th, 1981 in Portland OR. His first instrument was piano which he pursued until discovering his love for the electric guitar in high school. He became fans of such groups as Soundgarden, Collective Soul and U2 inspiring him to start singing, songwriting and helping others in their musical endeavors with teaching, co-writing and album production.

Having moved to Colorado with his family, he began gigging, recording and teaching in a number of music stores as well as out of his apartment until deciding to pursue music full time. He moved to Denver, CO to complete a Bachelors in Music Technology and was then hired on by Sweetwater Productions, a division of Sweetwater Sound and one of the largest, most successful recording studios in the Midwest.

Chris spent nearly 4 years at Sweetwater as a producer, recording engineer, studio musician and writer. During this time he had the privilege of working with many artists including Augustana, Landon Pigg, Jars of Clay, and Mercy Me. He also wrote for and played on numerous independent albums and hundreds of radio/TV commercials.

Wanting to get back to his favorite State in the world (Colorado) and feeling the urge to 'go freelance', Chris moved to Greeley, CO and opened his own recording and teaching studio. He continues to write and produce music for artists and agencies and is happy to be among the proud JamPlay.com instructors.

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