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daveinspain

Pentatonic vs Diatonic

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Guest Farnsbarns

That's me for sure.

 

Minor pent is the first scale I learned up and down the neck,, many years ago.

 

The major just never stuck for me either. And it was just to happy sounding for the stuff I was playing.

 

It was until recently after some lessons that I learned I was actually playing the minor pent.

(I always just thought it was the blues scale.)

And also how it fit inside the major,, less the 2 & 6 as Farns mentioned.

 

I am working on the modes and have used some of the backing tracks folks here have posted for practice.

Lots of fun actually.

 

The minor pentatonic is, and always will be most comfortable for me.

 

You do realise that playing the minor pent in the key 1 and a half tones down gives you major pent?

 

G b minor pent is also A major pent for example.

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Guest Farnsbarns

I never said the pentatonic was a mode... I was only asking why the pentatonic scale seems easier to get around and improvise on... Anyway makes for some good conversation and different views of the same thing and lots of food for though...

 

No, I didn't mean to say you did. I read the post as if it was asking about pentatonic, major and minor scales, as if they were different. I was just saying that a pentatonic scale can be major, minor, Dorian, Frygian or anything else. Didn't mean to offend.

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1368463292.jpg

 

All scales, even pentatonics, are based around the major scale. A minor scale (natural minor or relative minor), is the aeolian mode (6th degree) of a major scale (the ionian scale or the 1). It has the root (1), 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, and b7 using the same notes from the ionian scale. The most important notes in an arpeggio are the 1, (b)3, and 5, and you might also include the (b)7. In a minor pentatonic scale, you have the 1, b3, 4, 5, and b7- all the same notes, and especially the important ones, are in an aeolian scale. If you are playing a major pentatonic scale, you're playing the 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6, which are five of the same notes of a major (Ionian) scale/mode. So when you say you're more comfortable playing a pentatonic scale over a major or minor scale, you are actually playing the more important notes of both scales.

 

A blues scale is simply a minor pentatonic scale adding a b5 (aka #4) between the 4 and 5. This note is also called a "tritone" or the "devil's note (interval)." It falls exactly in the middle of the 12 tone scale.

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You do realise that playing the minor pent in the key 1 and a half tones down gives you major pent?

 

G b minor pent is also A major pent for example.

 

Yes. Gb/F# is the relative minor of A.

(actually 1 and a half tones down gives you the relative minor)

 

But the patterns(root) are different.

 

Minor Pentatonic

 

e|-|-O-|---|---|-o-|---|

B|-|-o-|---|---|-o-|---|

G|-|-o-|---|-o-|---|---|

D|-|-o-|---|-O-|---|---|

A|-|-o-|---|-o-|---|---|

E|-|-O-|---|---|-o-|---|

 

 

Major Pentatonic

 

e|-|---|-O-|---|-o-|---|

B|-|---|-o-|---|-o-|---|

G|-|-o-|---|-o-|---|---|

D|-|-o-|---|---|-O-|---|

A|-|-o-|---|---|-o-|---|

E|-|---|-O-|---|-o-|---|

 

 

At least that's how I have learned it.

Is that wrong?

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Not really quap. But the natural minor scale is actually the 6th degree of the major scale (the aeolian mode). If you start three frets up from the root of the minor scale, you get a major scale. The shape is the same, but the root is in a different spot in the same shape. What you have shown is simply a different shape in the five possible scale shapes for each ket. In the CAGED method, you have outlined the G and A shapes of the pentatonic scale.

 

Edit: the outlined pentatonic shapes are actually the G and E patterns in the CAGED system.

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Not really quap. But the relative minor scale is actually the 6th degree of the major scale (the aeolian mode). If you start three frets up from the root of the minor scale, you get a major scale. The shape is the same, but the root is in a different spot in the same shape. What you have shown is simply a different shape in the five possible scale shapes for each ket. In the CAGED method, you have outlined the G and A shapes of the pentatonic scale.

 

 

Ok,, but if I start with the minor pentatonic on open E can't I play through all the patterns up the neck and still be considered in minor

pentatonic? Or do I change modes when I move up the neck through all the patterns?

 

This has always confused me when I hear stuff like D Lydian... lol

 

Damn theory.

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Guest Farnsbarns

Ok,, but if I start with the minor pentatonic on open E can't I play through all the patterns up the neck and still be considered in minor

pentatonic? Or do I change modes when I move up the neck through all the patterns?

 

This has always confused me when I hear stuff like D Lydian... lol

 

Damn theory.

 

Yes, you have that right but what myself and Ziggy are saying is that the usual minor pentatonic shape, unaltered, is also the major pentatonic for a key 1.5 tones above. Put on a backing track in A major and play the G flat minor pentatonic over it, you'll notice it feels like home although someone has moved all the furniture about. Exact same shape.

 

You can't really say that a minor scale.is the aeolian mode of a major scale, although I know exactly what Ziggy is saying. The straight major scale is Ionian mode while the minor scale is aeolian mode. All the modes (when playing all seven notes) are all the same, you're playing WWHWWWH (whole step/half step) but placing the root in different places in that sequence so start with the first W for major (Ionian) or the second one for minor (aoelian) and so on up the modes.

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The shape is the same, but the root is in a different spot in the same shape.

 

 

Also, when you say shape do you mean the shape of the pattern? Or TTSTTTS?

 

Because in my mind if I play the major scale shape(Ionina)(pattern)on A(5th fret) and move it up 3 frets ,, it is now C major(Ionian)

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Yeah I never really did scales to a huge extent for many many years.. I worked out some of the pentatonic stuff myself just by trying stuff out...

 

And I think so many of us use it since its used so much in a lot of the music we like so sounds familiar and nice to our ears... And its just a very convenient scale to play from a skill level point of view.

 

But the last few years I have learned more about scales and it does help.. Im still crap at it, but it helped me understand the relationship between the notes on the fretboard..

 

More recently when I tried to learn that spanishy bit in the queen song Innuendo

 

This at 3:25

 

Now I learned to play it just by ear... and can now play it quite well (including the hammer ons and twiddles) and I can even sort of play that last long run... BUT in learning how to do that I looked in to what was going on (and someone on here told me) that the type of mode for this is Phrygian so I then looked this video up... which explains it quite well (assuming hes actually correct)

 

So sometimes going outside of what you normally play can push you in really new and unexpected directions.

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Yes, you have that right but what myself and Ziggy are saying is that the usual minor pentatonic shape, unaltered, is also the major pentatonic for a key 1.5 tones above. Put on a backing track in A major and play the G flat minor pentatonic over it, you'll notice it feels like home although someone has moved all the furniture about. Exact same shape.

 

You can't really say that a minor scale.is the aeolian mode of a major scale, although I know exactly what Ziggy is saying. The straight major scale is Ionian mode while the minor scale is aeolian mode. All the modes (when playing all seven notes) are all the same, you're playing WWHWWWH (whole step/half step) but placing the root in different places in that sequence so start with the first W for major (Ionian) or the second one for minor (aoelian) and so on up the modes.

 

 

ok,, so that's interesting.

So when you are soloing(improv or whatever) you still resolving on the root and not necessarily the first note of that pattern or mode?

 

Wouldn't it all just sound like the major scale all the way up the neck? Or is that the point?

 

Or is it both?

 

When playing D lydian for example,, do you use the D as the root and resolve on that?

Otherwise to me it would just sound like A major?

 

 

I said it once,, and I'll say it again..

 

Damn theory...

 

Lol...

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Guest Farnsbarns

Also, when you say shape do you mean the shape of the pattern? Or TTSTTTS?

 

Because in my mind if I play the major scale shape(Ionina)(pattern)on A(5th fret) and move it up 3 frets ,, it is now C major(Ionian)

 

Yes, but when you're playing that major scale in C you're also playing the minor scale in A, they are the same notes, just starting the run on a different note.

TTSTTTS
TSTTTST - 2nd mode
 STTTSTT - 3rd mode
  TTTSTTS - 4th mode
   TTSTTST - 5th mode    
    TSTTSTT - 6th mode
     STTSTTT - 7th mode

 

See how they all stack up. Same shape, different start point in the shape.

 

Try my suggestion. Find a backing track in A major and play G flat minor pentatonic over it.

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Yes, but when you're playing that major scale in C you're also playing the minor scale in A, they are the same notes, just starting the run on a different note.

TTSTTTS
TSTTTST

 

 

Thanks,, my head just blew up...

 

But damn,, that actually makes sense.

 

My problem is that my brain is more mechanically wired and I have never done as well with the intangible stuff.

I think that's why I relate to the pattern so much easier.

 

Good stuff though.

I'll take this over any top xx list thread.. lol

 

 

Now I need a nap.

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Guest Farnsbarns

ok,, so that's interesting.

So when you are soloing(improv or whatever) you still resolving on the root and not necessarily the first note of that pattern or mode?

 

Wouldn't it all just sound like the major scale all the way up the neck? Or is that the point?

 

Or is it both?

 

When playing D lydian for example,, do you use the D as the root and resolve on that?

Otherwise to me it would just sound like A major?

 

 

I said it once,, and I'll say it again..

 

Damn theory...

 

Lol...

 

Bingo, yes, without context the A major and G flat minor scales sound the same. As you rightly identified, it's about the tonal centre.

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Try my suggestion. Find a backing track in A major and play G flat minor pentatonic over it.

 

 

I will for sure.

I'm at work now but I will definitely give that a go later tonight.

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Bingo, yes, without context the A major and G flat minor scales sound the same. As you rightly identified, it's about the tonal centre.

 

 

Ok, cool.

 

So D lydian(4th degree of A major) I resolve on the D note.

 

 

If I were playing in A major and I was up in the lydian mode, I would resolve on the A.

Yes?

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Guest Farnsbarns

Ok, cool.

 

So D lydian(4th degree of A major) I resolve on the D note.

 

 

If I were playing in A major and I was up in the lydian mode, I would resolve on the A.

Yes?

 

Well, yes, I suppose. When you say resolve, personally I try hard not to end phrases on the root all the time. Depends exactly what you mean by resolve but yes, you've got it.

 

Edit: if any of my people were doing this during work time I'd be marching them in to an office for a "chat". Do some work! ;)

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Well, yes, I suppose. When you say resolve, personally I try hard not to end phrases on the root all the time. Depends exactly what you mean by resolve but yes, you've got it.

 

Edit: if any of my people were doing this during work time I'd be marching them in to an office for a "chat". Do some work! ;)

 

 

I lol'd,

 

 

And yes, I hear you about not ending on the root all the time. Agreed.

 

 

Back to work now.

;)

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Also I find the 3 note per string scales pretty good.. It makes playing faster a bit easier when the amount of notes per string are the same (I think anyway)

 

 

Also as noted on this video.. I find alternate picking really works when trying to play faster

 

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I'm not sure the basis for this conversation actually makes sense.

 

Pentatonic isn't really a mode. Pentatonic scales can be major or minor and in any mode. They simply have the 2nd and 6th notes removed.

 

I teach pentatonic first, then add the 2nd and 6ths, then tech the modal approach to scales. Then there are the genre where none of it holds true. I always say the blues lives somewhere between major and minor scales, regularly mixing major and minor 3rds and 6ths within the same melody, the same phrase even.

 

I also wholly agree with this...

 

Peter Green was a classic study in combining or phasing in and out of minors and majors in not only the same runs, but often in the same phrase... Quite often in back to back phrases to add conflict in the conversational nature of Blues phrasing... He was one of the best studies of BB King in this regard.

 

I'm learning better and better when I'm major and when I'm minor mostly by the notes that don't fit in my minor pentatonic shackles that I like so much... I thrive in the bondage of pentatonics and find new ways to mix them up and keep them lively and fresh continually... Not by staying minor completely but by straying outside the boundaries of the structure of the minor pentatonics to find the notes that fit the lick or phrase for the sound I'm looking for... Usually within the context of the progression or melody of the song I'm playing within...

 

I also try to hit a mixture of chord shapes and arpeggios that may or may not be within the confines of the scale, especially within the more pronounced or emphasized measures of the progression...

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C Major Scale         C       D       E       F       G       A       B       C    Ionian Mode , 1st Mode of Major Scale
Interval              1       2       3       4       5       6       7       1
Steps                    W       W       H       W       W       W       H         W= Whole Step, H= Half Step
Fret Distance         0       2       4       5       7       9       11      12

                     C       D       E       F       G       A       B       C      
D Dorian Scale                                                                            2nd Mode of Major Scale
Interval              b7      1       2       b3      4       5       6      b7
Steps                      W      W      H       W       W       W       H       
Fret Distance         -2      0       2        3      5       7       9      10

                     C       D       E        F       G       A       B       C
E Phrygian Scale                                                                          3rd Mode of Major Scale
Interval             b6      b7       1       b2       b3      4       5      b6
Steps                    W        W       H        W       W       W       H
Fret Distance         8      -2       0        1       3       5       7       8

                     C        D       E       F       G       A       B       C
F Lydian Scale                                                                             4th Mode of Major Scale
Interval              5        6       7       1       2       3      #4       5
Steps                     W       W       H       W        W       W       H
Fret Distance         7       -3      -1       0       2       4       6       7

                     C        D       E       F       G       A       B       C
G Mixolydian                                                                               5th Mode of Major Scale
Interval              4        5       6       b7      1       2       3       4       
A Aeolian                                                                                  6th Mode of Major Scale
Interval              b3       4       5       b6      b7      1       2       b3
B Locrian                                                                                  7th Mode of Major Scale 
Interval              b2      b3       4       b5      b6      b7      1       b2

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Guest Farnsbarns

Theory is terribly difficult to explain in a forum like this because it is easy to make assumptions about how much is already known. For this stuff to make sense to everyone, the instructor must start at the very beginning. The fact is that, though it seems very complicated at first, once you get it, it seems very simple. And it is so much easier to see if you're sitting in front of a piano. Where I had, and still have, problems seeing things is due to the two half steps that occur between B & C and E & F. Plus, the whole system makes more sense to me seen as numerical intervals and fret distances instead of note names. And on guitar, I have to visualize the fretboard when visualizing a keyboard would be so much easier.

 

Let me take a stab at explaining modes on paper.

 

C Major Scale C D E F G A B C

Ionian Mode , 1st Degree of Major Scale

Interval 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1

Steps W W H W W W H W= Whole Step, H= Half Step

Fret Distance 0 2 4 5 7 9 11 12

 

C D E F G A B C

D Dorian Scale 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2nd Degree of Major Scale

Interval b7 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7

Steps W W H W W W H

Fret Distance -2 0 2 3 5 7 9 10

 

C D E F G A B C

E Phrygian Scale 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 3rd Degree of Major Scale

Interval b6 b7 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6

Steps W W H W W W H

Fret Distance -4 -2 0 1 3 5 7 8

 

C D E F G A B C

F Lydian Scale 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 4th Degree of Major Scale

Interval 5 6 7 1 2 3 #4 5

Steps W W H W W W H

Fret Distance 7 -3 -1 0 2 4 6 7

 

CDEFGABC

G Mixolydian 5th Degree of Major Scale

Interval 4 5 6 b7 1 2 3 4

A Aeolian 6th Degree of Major Scale

Interval b3 4 5 b6 b7 1 2 b3

B Locrian 7th Degree of Major Scale Interval

Interval b2 b3 4 b5 b6 b7 1 b2

 

It actually starts to make more sense when you actually play these notes on guitar and see the intervals. Hope this helps.

 

Dang, these things never transpose in the right format. Prolly should have set it up on a spread sheet and copied that. Oh well, if you're interested, try to make sense of it.

 

If you use the code tags - little icon like <> up there or [c0de] text here [/c0de], swapping zeros for the letter o, it puts the text in a unispaced font and keeps multiple spaces.

 

Like this...

 

C Major Scale         C D E F G A B C   Ionian Mode , 1st Degree of Major Scale
Interval               1 2 3 4  5 6 7 1
Steps                    W W H W W W H        W= Whole Step, H= Half Step
Fret Distance          0 2 4 5  7 9 11 12

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