Why does it work? Well, the best way to figure that out is by comparing the chord to the scale. Let's see, the scale looks like this:
The pentatonic scales always intrigue me because by simply taking 2 notes away from the 7 note scale you get something that actually has more personality. Less is more sometimes.
Look, here is an E minor pentatonic scale:
And an A minor pentatonic scale:
And finally a B minor pentatonic scale:
Can you see that they are all inside the lydian scale?
We used our ears to make sure these scales work right? Next we used our eyes by looking inside the lydian scale and finding the three minor pentatonic scales.
Now we'll use our brain. You can see this one more way. Remembering that there is a major pentatonic scale for every minor pentatonic scale:
E minor = G major
A minor = C major and
B minor = D major.
Now look at the diatonic chords in the key of G major (G major is the same as C lydian):
G - Amin - Bmin - C - D - Emin- F#dim
Are you getting my point here? The three diatonic minor and the three diatonic major chords = the same three minor and major pentatonic scales that work over our C chord.
I've basically examined the minor pentatonic scales that work over major family chords. If you want to investigate more, go to the original lesson >>>