Jazz Pentatonic Workout: Soloing Over 7th Chords

A large number of the pentatonic scales in this collection are useful for soloing in a jazz or fusion setting as they give you options over pretty much any chord but especially 7th chords and all their alterations. The scales that work well over 7th chords are easy to spot because they contain the shape outlined below in red, which is a 7 chord with no 5th.

jazz pentatonic scales guitar

This is useful as you can play the chord and then fire off the scale to see what it sounds like. In the above example, apart from the chord tones, we have a 2 (9) and a b5 (#11), so this scale would work over a regular dominant 7 chord, a dominant 9, and a 7#11.

If you were playing over a 7b9, or wanted to emphasize the b9 sound over a 7th or 9th chord, or a 7b9, Scale 14 features a 2 (9) and a b2 (b9), which could be used as a pattern that moves across the fretboard like this:

jazz pentatonic scales guitar

I’ll leave the fingering up to you on this one as you may want to pick notes from the pattern as a whole as you move across the fretboard. You may have to fight with your fingers at first as they’re probably not used to this kind of movement.

More Jazz Scales
Here are a few more pentatonic scales that feature that dominant 7 shape for you to try out:

Scale 42 features the intervals: 1 b2 b3 3 b7.
Scale 69 features the intervals: 1 b2 3 4 b7.
Scale 74 features the intervals: 1 b2 3 b5 b7.
Scale 78 features the intervals: 1 b2 3 5 b7.
Scale 81 features the intervals: 1 b2 3 b6 b7 (also 83 and 85 on this page).

There are plenty more on the site, and with so many options you’ll probably find some you like more than others and these are the ones that are worth exploring.

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