Modal Pentatonics

"If I hear another cover band play 'Kryptonite' by 3 Doors Down, I think I'll go postal!" - Tom Lounges, editor of 'The Midwest Beat' magazine.

I certainly agree with Tom on that. That song has somehow become the one thing that every teenager in America magically learns after a month of guitar lessons. I imagine that music store employees would prefer to listen to the sound of fingernails raking a chalkboard than have to listen to anyone play that song, again. For that reason I've decided to have some fun with it. Here's 'Kryptonite' Chops From Hell style!!

What I've done is take the chorus chord progression (Bm - G - A - Bm - Em - F#m) and play the corresponding modal pentatonic scale over each. I took the formula for the minor pentatonic (1,3,4,5,7) and applied it over the appropriate mode for each root note. In the key of B minor those end up being: B minor, G lydian, A mixolydian, E dorian, and F# phrygian. It's interesting to note that the three 'minor' mode types yield the same pentatonic scale while the three 'major' mode types are each different. Likewise, if you follow the major pentatonic formula (1,2,3,5,6) the three 'major' types are identical and the three 'minor' types differ.

The first of the two examples is a legato sextuplet pattern. It's easy to see the basic scale shapes in this one.

The second example adds some tapping into the mix. The tapped notes and the first finger notes overlap giving it a neat repeated note sound.

Have fun with those guys and I'll catch you later.

the following bio material provided by Aaron Harris

Aaron Harris is one of Chicago's top guitar instructors and head of the guitar department at O'Day Music Studios. He has a degree in guitar performance from the University of Evansville where he studied with Renato Butturi who also taught guitar virtuoso Andy Timmons and concert classical guitarist Joseph Fratiani.

In 2000 Aaron's first instrumental LP 'In Essence' made waves in the online guitar community. He is sponsored by Dean Markley Strings and is a contributing columnist for Chops From Hell as well as New Music Edge ( Aaron is hard at work recording both a new instrumental album and a band album. Aaron can be found online at: