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Thread: pentatonic

  1. #1
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    pentatonic

    thanks szulc for answering that question. now i have another.
    lets say that i want to improvise over a scale, for egsample the C major. now i know what the notes are for the C major pentatonic because they are in one of my theory books but i want to know how they are worked out to be those particular notes.is there a formula for the pentatonic? thanks again and hope you can reply

  2. #2
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    Hi Peter...

    Yes, there is a formula for that scale... just like there is a formula for every other scale

    Letīs compare it to the regular C Major Scale:

    C Major: C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C

    Now, if we take out the 4th and the 7th ( F and B ), we get the Cmajor pentatonic:

    C-D-E-G-A-C ( 1-2-3-5-6 )

    You can apply that to every key... if you i.e. take F# major,
    the major scale would be
    F#-G#-A#-B-C#-D#-F-F#
    therefore the pentatonic would be:
    F#-G#-A#-C#-D#-F#

    You could now take those notes and put them into patterns on your fretboard...

    Hope this answers your question
    Warm regards
    Eric

    NP: Attention Deficit- dto.

  3. #3
    Resident Curmudgeon szulc's Avatar
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    Another Method for constructing MAJOR Pentatonic

    Start with the root note and add the Fifth, then it's Fifth and so on until you have 5 notes.

    C G D A E

    Or to construct the Minor Pentatonic

    Start on root add it's fifth then add it's #5 then add it's 5th and it's fifth.

    A E C G D

    James

  4. #4
    Mode Rator Zatz's Avatar
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    Hi guys!

    Maybe you'll find my post interesting too.
    Szulc and EricV explained the pentatonic scale structure just greatly.
    As I play mostly the rhythm guitar I try to dwell rather upon comping and chord handling. So my contribution to this thread is the chord stuff about the pentatonic scale.
    Given the pentatonic pattern on your fretboard you can easily solo-roam over some chord progression and get folk or rock flavored sound (mostly but not exclusively). What I'm going to share with you (nothing new or inventive though) is how we can build chords using pentatonic scale and what kind of chords we can possibly obtain in this way.
    Let write the C major pentatonic scale again:

    C D E G A

    As it consists of fifths one tone above another you would play mostly power chords because that's the way how this scale is naturally built. Here's the complete list of em:

    1. C5 - c g
    2. D5 - d a
    3. G5 - g d
    4. A5 - a e

    I deliberately omitted the E-chord because here we have the interval of augmented fifth - e c which sounds rather disturbing and must be used with care.

    But still it's possible to expand our playing onto using 3-tone chords (well actually chord consists at least of 3 tones). So let's take a look at the chords we can get using pentatonic scale tones only:

    --- C group ---

    1. C
    2. Csus2

    --- D group ---

    1. Dsus2
    2. Dsus4

    --- E group ---

    1. Em#5 - an interesting chord with painful minor sound. I saw it being used by Metallica.

    --- G group ---

    1. Gsus2
    2. Gsus4

    --- A group ---

    1. Am
    2. Asus4

    Please correct me if anything is missing or wrong.

    We can go even further and try to come up with the complete list of 4 tone chords but I guess now you can do it by yourselves.
    I hope this helps.

    Sorry for bad english.

    Ultra mega best regards,
    Zatz

  5. #5
    Mode Rator Zatz's Avatar
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    I just want to add about Em#5 from my previous post. If we look better at the tones it contains we of course can see that it is the inversion of simple C major triad with E in bass:

    Em#5 - e g c
    C - c e g

    Maybe there is no sense to mark this chord out. A somewhat special sound only appears in progressions like:

    ... - Em - Em#5 - Em

    or anything like this when we emphasize the augmented fifth. Although Em chord is out of C major pentatonic scale we can use it here to produce the desired effect.

    I know it sounds weird but it's what I feel about it.

    Zatz.

  6. #6
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    pentatonic

    Hey Guys,

    I'm working on pentatonic scales right now, but to be honnest, I'm having troubles with connecting them. Let's say i wanna change from an A minor pentatonic into an E minor pentatonic scale, do you end at the root note of the A and then start of with the root note of the E?

    Another question.. lets say we have a 3 chord progression, if were based on the I, IV and V progression. then you can play the pentatonic based on the root (I) I guess..or.. can you play the pentatonic scale of the I, IV en V and link em together?

    Anyway... like you see... I just want to know where to use which scale

    Thanx..Essatic

  7. #7
    i Breathe ... Admin Guni's Avatar
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    Hi Essatic

    Am pent and Em pent are quite closely related in that they only differ in one note.

    Am: a c d e g
    Em: e g a b d
    common notes: a d e g
    difference: c / b

    Here's a little exercise how you can practice switching between those 2 (btw. you can apply this whenever you practice switching between improvisation tool, like scales, arps, triads, etc ...

    Play constant quarter notes up and down in all positions and switch between the 2 pentatonics. Start on different notes.

    Example: Position V starting on the note a.



    Interesting is when your underlying chord is just Am and you superimpose Em Pent. The note b will give you tension 9 which adds a nice 'colour'.

    About I IV V: You can do both, ie either stick to the original pent from the I chord or link 'em together.

    Personally, I would go for the first one and add certain important notes for the other chords if I want to.

    Guni

  8. #8
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    Hey Guni,

    Exactly what i wanted to know! Thanx!! You even did the effort to add a little example! great!

    I had the idea that you had to start with the root each time you change chords. For example; I see that your fifth note is a G, while I thought you had to start with an E no matter what.

    Anyway it gives me way more freedom in my improvising!
    Thanx... connecting guitar to amp right now! study time!!

    GReetz..Essatic

  9. #9
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    Hi Essatic...
    yeah, there are several different approaches you can take. Some players just go by the general key and stick to the respective minor- or major-scale.
    Others adjust to every chord in a progression, playing scales and arps exclusively over each single chord. ( which also can sound very clinical )
    Others merge those approaches.
    It takes a while to test all these approaches thoroughly. But itīs well worth the effort...
    Warm regards
    Eric

  10. #10
    i Breathe ... Admin Guni's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Essatic
    I had the idea that you had to start with the root each time you change chords. For example; I see that your fifth note is a G, while I thought you had to start with an E no matter what.
    Excactly - that's the point. The goal is to be able to smoothly change between pents which will make your improvisation fluid and sound natural.

    Important is that you "look and think ahead" in your playing. Try to focus on the change that will come up - maybe 1/2 a meassure before the actual change......

    Laterz,

    Guni

  11. #11
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    Important is that you "look and think ahead" in your playing
    I completely agree, and I would like to add a quote by the amazing Mick Goodrick, which fits to some of the other threads we had too...

    "The faster you play, the further you have to think ahead"...

    Warm regards
    Eric

  12. #12
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    Hey Guys,

    For now i use the same pentatonic patterns.. like Am pentatonic, root 5th fret E string ... and Em pentatonic... root 12th fret E string. Same fingerpattern.

    If i do this pattern at a time, it might work! I'll get to know my roots also better.

    And yes Guni, quarter notes! ;-)

    Thanks.. Essatic

  13. #13
    i Breathe ... Admin Guni's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Essatic
    And yes Guni, quarter notes! ;-)
    hehe

  14. #14
    Resident Curmudgeon szulc's Avatar
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    To change minor pentatonics through cycle 4, raise the 4th tone (P5) 1/2 step (m6). To back cycle (fifths) lower the second tone (m3) 1/2 step (M2). For major pentatonics raise the 3rd tone (M3) 1/2 step (P4) or to back cycle lower the root 1/2 step (M7).
    "Listen to the Spaces Between the sounds."
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