Minor Scales Over Major Chords? WTF?

By fearzero Guitar Lessons 7 Comments on Minor Scales Over Major Chords? WTF?

Hey everyone, thanks for checking in. Today I am going to discuss why seemingly minor scales work over major chords, and show you 3 licks that blur the lines between major and minor. Let’s jump right in.

Ever notice how the minor pentatonic scale seems to work over a major chord of the same name? ie Am pentatonic over A major chord?

Well, the reason that the minor scale works is because when you play that minor 3rd over a major triad or dominant 7th chord voicing of the same name, you are creating what is called a #9 against the chord. #9 happens to be a very useful tone over major chords, just make sure the chord you are playing over is either a major triad, dominant 7, sus2 or sus4. Major 7 chords need not apply as the dissonance created between the #9, major 3rd and the major 7th is something truly ugly lol!

So again, minor pentatonic scales or blues scales work over major or minor chords. Remember, the reverse is not true. You cannot play a major pentatonic of the same root name over a minor chord.

Anyway, here are a few licks to get you blending #9s and major 3rds. Tab and video below. Happy fretting!


Leave a comment