Pentatonic Superimposition

Let us analyse a modal harmony, such as someone playing the G lydian chord:

G - A - B - C# - D - E - F#

1 - 2 - 3 - #4 - 5 - 6 - 7


If you have a G lydian chord, you can play the G major pentatonic to emphasize the 1, 3 and 5 chord tones and "play it safe". However you can also play the A major pentatonic as it has the #4 chord tone of the G lydian:


G major pentatonic scale: G A B D E        (G lydian degrees: 1 - 2 - 3  - 5 - 6)

A major pentatonic scale: A B C# E F#  (G lydian degrees: 2 - 3 - #4 - 6 - 7


This is known as pentatonic superimposition. If you have lydian mode, this is always going to work - i.e. just play the major pentatonic a whole step above.


What about D major pentatonic?


D major pentatonic scale: D E F# A B   (G lydian degrees: 5 - 6 - 7 - 2 - 3)

This would work too, but be aware that you might not get the sound of the Lydian (#4)!


Experiment with the other modes and you will find that the docile pentatonic scale can be a very potent tool even for Jazz and Fusion genres...