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Thread: Minor pentatonic/blues scale help

  1. #1
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    Smile Minor pentatonic/blues scale help

    Hey everyone! This is my first post here and I am hoping some one here could help me. I am wondering if some is able to provide a link to a tab or picture of the EXTENDED minor or blues scale in the key of C I have looked every where and I cannot find anything, if some one could perhaps tab me out the scale that would be tremendously appreciated. I am sort of stuck in playing the pentatonic and blues scales and all my riffs sound that same, I am meeting up with my old freind who is a really good singer so I want to come up with better sounding stuff, I am also wondering is it worth memorizing all the pentatonic shapes here's the link of the shapes http://www.freeguitarsource.com/Mino...nic_Scale.html. Again if anyone could help me I would really appreciate it thanks every one!

  2. #2
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    I don't know what you mean by the "extended" blues scale (so I'm not surprisd you can't find anything).
    I'd work from the normal C blues scale:
    http://www.freeguitarsource.com/Blue...ues_Scale.html
    - and combine that with chord tones.
    Working from chord tones is the way to break out of scale-pattern-based ruts. Don't just go looking for more scales (you'll end up in another rut); learn your chords better, and understand how every scale fits the chords. The blues scale has important clashes, but that's part of its appeal - you move from scale to chord or vice versa, or bend notes to fit.

  3. #3
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    Some of the following clashes with Jon's reply, because I wrote it yesterday before Jon's post but decided not to post it. Partly because I was not sure what you meant by “EXTENDED” minor scale, partly because I knew that I had not mentioned the alternative approach of learning to play from chord tones (as Jon suggests), and partly because I know that if I suggest buying your own books (and ditching the internet as a way of learning guitar) and practicing regularly from those, then that will not be the kind of instant “magic bullet“ solution that you want to quickly improve your playing, and consequently you will ignore all such advice lol. It's also pretty specific, suggesting you get one particular songbook, learn two or three particular songs from that book, study the licks to see what scales are being used in that playing, and then practice improvising your own licks by just changing the original licks using the same scales ... and again, I know that people will almost never take very specific advice like that (especially if it means paying for books lol).

    But anyway …. sticking with scales for the moment, my earlier draft reply said this -




    What do you mean by the “EXTENDED” minor scale?

    The full Natural Minor scale has 7 notes compared to 5 in the pentatonic scale. The two extra notes are the 2nd and the 6th (you need to know what intervals like 2nd and 6th are).

    Apart from the Natural Minor Scale, another very commonly used 7 note minor scale is the Dorian scale (a so-called “mode“).

    However, I get the impression that when you say “EXTENDED scale” you are not talking about either of those two common 7 note scales. I have the impression that you may be just asking about what is called the blues scale?

    The so-called blues scale is just the minor pentatonic scale with one extra note. The extra note, called the “blues note” is the flat-5th.

    If you try a Google search for any of those scales, ie blues scale, natural minor, Dorian, then I expect you will get millions of hits showing fretboard “dot” diagrams for the scales. However ….

    …. Do yourself a favour and instead of looking for the dot diagrams, learn what interval shapes look like compared to your root note, and then you will know where the flat-5th is in any scale pattern. IOW - be sure you know where a b5th is from the root, where the min-3rd is, where a maj-3rd would be, where the b7th is, where the octave root notes are, etc. It’s really super-useful to know where those interval notes are relative to the root note.

    Incidentally - if you are playing blues stuff, and particularly if you are trying to improvise blues licks, then the thing that I found most useful was that I used the songbook “Eric Clapton, Bluesman, Signature Licks, Hal Leonard” to learn several classic early Clapton songs, inc. Hideaway and Stepping Out. So what? OK, well what Clapton was doing on tracks like that in the mid 1960’s was to mix minor pentatonic and major pentatonic scale notes in the same licks. So, his licks often have notes which come from both those scales. A lot of the time those licks only use the maj-3rd from the major pentatonic scale, so it’s not necessarily a huge change, but that use of the maj-3rd is a classic blues sound when playing minor pentatonic licks.

    So the point of telling you all that (re Clapton 1966, interval shapes, and mixing maj and minor) is that if you first learn to play 2 or 3 songs like that (Crossroads is another good example), then work out which scales his notes are coming from (min pentatonic and/or maj pentatonic), then you can make a lot of progress just by improvising around the licks in those songs, ie altering his licks a bit using those two scales. If you practice that enough, then you will get pretty good and pretty convincing as a blues guitarist.

    So that’s what I’d do if I were you, ie (summary) - instead of just getting a dot diagram for patterns of the blues scale (just the pentatonic scale with flat-5th)

    1. Get your own copies of various classic blues songbooks
    2. Learn a few favourite songs note for note
    3. Work out which scales are being used in those songs
    4. Change the licks in those songs by improvising with any of those scale notes
    5. Practise improvising like that, using tracks like Hideaway, and mixing maj & min pentatonic scale notes.

    When you get comfortable with that, then you can start adding other ideas like using passing tones between the scale notes. For which (just as an example), have a look at the Deep Purple/ Riche Blackmore song Lazy, which has a lovely extended intro using mainly F-minor pentatonic with chromatic passing tones (very stylish!).

    But for all of that I think it’s essential to ditch the reliance on Tab and songs from the internet, and do it properly by buying your own copies of songbooks and scale books or DVD’s etc., and sitting down to practice with the books open on a music stand. I don’t think many people get anywhere at all using free bits and pieces from the net.

  4. #4
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    Incidentally, if you want to learn more about how to improvise with chord tones, then there are two excellent books on that (both books inc. full CD demos) -

    Jazz Improvisation for Guitar, a Melodic Approach (Garrison Fewell)

    An introduction To Jazz Guitar Soloing (Joe Elliot)


    Those two books are probably not for complete beginners, in fact I suspect they will mostly be used by guitarists who already have many years experience playing from scales, but who want to explore the more typical jazz approach of improvising from triads and arpeggio extensions (ie “chord tones”). However, there is nothing very complicated in either book, so they could be used by almost anyone.

    If you want to stick more with the idea of scales, then the best learning resources I know are -

    Jazz Rock Mastery (Scott Henderson), that’s a full length DVD

    The Frank Gambale Technique Book 1 (and book 2) (Frank Gambale)

    Those two, however, are definitely not for beginners (you need to be already familiar with the patterns for all the commonly known scales, modes, triads and arpeggios, intervals etc.

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    Hey guys thanks so much for the extensive response's, I know I should learn the theory behind the scales and learn intervals ect.. but I need to make up some new licks asap here's a tab of a extended minor pentatonic scale i found:


    ---------------------------8-10--------------------------------
    ----------------------8-10-------------------------------------
    ------------------7-9-----------------------------------------
    ------------5-7-9----------------------------------------------
    -----3-5-7-----------------------------------------------------
    -3-5----------------------------------------------------------

    I do not remember where I found this but have been using it for some time, I am wondering if any one could perhaps tab me out something similar to this but in the key c, notice how it starts at the third fret and ends on the tenth, any more help would be greatly appreciated, thanks guys!
    Last edited by Crossroads; 09-27-2013 at 08:50 AM.

  6. #6
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merksxo View Post
    Hey guys thanks so much for the extensive response's, I know I should learn the theory behind the scales and learn intervals ect.. but I need to make up some new licks asap here's a tab of a extended minor pentatonic scale i found:


    ---------------------------8-10--------------------------------
    ----------------------8-10-------------------------------------
    ------------------7-9-----------------------------------------
    ------------5-7-9----------------------------------------------
    -----3-5-7-----------------------------------------------------
    -3-5----------------------------------------------------------

    I do not remember where I found this but have been using it for some time, I am wondering if any one could perhaps tab me out something similar to this but in the key c, notice how it starts at the third fret and ends on the tenth, any more help would be greatly appreciated, thanks guys!
    That's an odd combination of G major pent and C major pent. Mostly C major pent, just with a B instead of a C on 4th string (fret 9).

    I don't personally see that as a useful scale pattern at all - even if it was one major pent all the way. If I wanted a pattern to move easily from that low G to the high D, I'd probably arrange it differently, and I'd probably combine two or three fixed positions anyway (moving between them a lot more freely than a pattern like that allows). And above all I'd be thinking about the chords I'm playing over. (I might well combine G and C major pents, but it would be according to how they fitted the chords.)

    Sorry I'm not answering your question, but IMO it wouldn't really help you to tab out something similar. (It's already in the key of C, btw, and the key of G too.)
    Learn your chords and learn your notes. Forget scale patterns. (Or if you want to stick with scale patterns, learn their structure, and you can tab out your own variations. You'll learn much better that way than from someone just tabbing you some numbers.)
    Last edited by JonR; 09-27-2013 at 07:25 AM.

  7. #7
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    Ah, OK ... I think I know what you mean now by "extended" scales.

    You are talking about patterns of notes which just rise up through parts of several different patterns of the same scale (I'll explain that below). However your TAB looks to me like plain old A-minor pentatonic (same as C-Major pentatonic, as Jon said), but with one of your notes in the wrong place. In the TAB below I just changed that one note (and I also added another note, ie at 12th fret top-E string, just to complete the pattern). Try playing the TAB below and listen to what that sounds like.


    ---------------------------8-10-12-------------------------------
    ----------------------8-10-------------------------------------
    -----------------5-7-9-----------------------------------------
    ------------5-7-----------------------------------------------
    -----3-5-7-----------------------------------------------------
    -3-5----------------------------------------------------------


    What that patterns is (ie the TAB above) is just A-minor pentatonic, but instead of being just pattern-1 in 5th position (the best known pattern), the TAB now shows the notes rising up through parts of three adjoining patterns of that scale. So, the lowest notes are from one pattern (part of pattern-5), the middle notes from the next adjoining pattern (from pattern-1), and the upper notes are from the next higher adjoining pattern (pattern-2) … it's just a way of joining parts of three neighbouring scale-patterns together in order to extended the range of the notes you are using … IOW it’s just bits of three patterns stuck together.

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    And to put it in C (C minor) you'd simply move everything up 3 frets.

    It would be really beneficial to the OP to understand why though!

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevel View Post
    And to put it in C (C minor) you'd simply move everything up 3 frets.

    It would be really beneficial to the OP to understand why though!

    Steve
    Thanks so much for the response Steve, so this would be an c minor pentatonic extended scale then? :
    ----------------------------11-13-15--------
    ----------------------11-13-----------------
    --------------8-10-12-----------------------
    ----------8-9-------------------------------
    ----6-8-9-----------------------------------
    6-8-----------------------------------------

    it really does not sound like a pentatonic scale
    Last edited by merksxo; 10-04-2013 at 11:39 PM.

  10. #10
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merksxo View Post
    Thanks so much for the response Steve, so this would be an c minor pentatonic extended scale then? :
    ----------------------------11-13-15--------
    ----------------------11-13-----------------
    --------------8-10-12-----------------------
    ----------8-9-------------------------------
    ----6-8-9-----------------------------------
    6-8-----------------------------------------

    it really does not sound like a pentatonic scale
    Check those figures... one or two are not quite 3 frets up...

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    Check those figures... one or two are not quite 3 frets up...
    haha opps.. some one else gave me this tab for an extended c minor pentatonic would this be correct? :

    -----------------------------------------11-13s15--
    ---------------------------------11-13--------------
    ----------------------8-10s12----------------------
    ---------------8-10---------------------------------
    ------6-8s10---------------------------------------
    -6-8------------------------------------------------

  12. #12
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Yes, it's a pattern for C minor pentatonic or Eb major pentatonic.
    As Ian said earlier, the idea of "extended" in this case simply means a way of extending the scale by moving through parts of different fixed-position patterns. Do you know the fixed-position patterns (boxes) involved?
    More importantly, do you know either (1) the notes in the pattern (at least which ones are C)? - or (2) how it relates to the C major (A minor) pentatonic pattern posted earlier? IOW, not just that it's the same shape 3 frets higher, but that it shares two notes out of 5?
    You can't really use these patterns intelligently (ie make music with them) without knowing at least some of the notes, how they might relate to any chords you might be playing over, and how you could move from this pattern to nearby ones using the same notes.

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