When I started to transcribe some solos by Wes Montgomery, I came across a scale that he often uses, which is not usually used by other guitarists of that time. It is a pentatonic scale – similar to the major pentatonic – just with a minor 3rd instead of a major third. The structure is: 1 2 b3 5 6.
We call that scale the “minor pentatonic scale”. It should not be mistaken for the rock minor pentatonic, which is actually the 4th inversion of the major pentatonic scale. This is a real pentatonic scale in the classical sense with the 4th and 7th omitted. Here is an example of how it sounds:
Here are the fingerings of the minor pentatonic scale in five positions.
You can play the G minor pentatonic over:
- Gm7 or Gm6
- C7 or C9 or C13
- F#7#9 or any F#7alt chord
You can find some examples by the “master” himself in the following solos: