Author Topic: A dumb question about the minor pentatonic  (Read 673 times)

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Offline Garfield

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A dumb question about the minor pentatonic
« on: August 10, 2018, 09:13:47 am »
Morning everyone

I'm just thinking about the minor pentatonic scale in relation to the major scale. I get that it's has the tricky notes removed - 2nd and 6th, and I understand that the 3rd is flat because that's what makes it minor but why is the 7th flat?

I've had a bit of a Google but can't find the answer. Can anyone school me up?

Thanks
G

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Offline DavidP

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Re: A dumb question about the minor pentatonic
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2018, 09:43:43 am »
Sounds like a good question, Gareth :)  Actually all questions are good questions  ;)

I can't offer an answer, but thinking about it have you compared the notes with the C maj pentatonic?  I understand that A is the related minor in the key/scale C maj.  Notes are the same, just different root note.  Maybe that might help to get more understanding?  Or maybe make it worse.  Sorry if the latter  ;D

Offline DarrellW

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Re: A dumb question about the minor pentatonic
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2018, 10:06:07 am »
It’s not quite like that, the removed notes are different also!
This will either explain it or get you more confused!
http://www.simplifyingtheory.com/pentatonic-scale/
My singing sucks so I’m learning Guitar and Ukulele, it’s fun 🌟

Offline DavidP

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Re: A dumb question about the minor pentatonic
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2018, 10:31:01 am »
It’s not quite like that, the removed notes are different also!
This will either explain it or get you more confused!
http://www.simplifyingtheory.com/pentatonic-scale/
I'm going to go with more curious rather than confused, Darrell.

If consider Am Pentatonic and C pentatonic then I see the notes are the same but the intervals are named differently.  I am looking at playing the scales over frets 5-8. Am being the relative of C maj I guess explains why the notes are the same. 

A next step for me could be to look into intervals and degrees and their naming.  I recall this is in the PMT book.  I have also started with the Music Theory lessons on the new website.  Completed Module 1, including the test.  Have done module 2 but not yet the test.  Then need to payup and do module 3.  Eventually the interval theory will be the next topic of study :)  Till then I shall not think further on this question.

Offline close2u

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Re: A dumb question about the minor pentatonic
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2018, 10:36:07 am »
The minor pentatonic cale [ 1, ♭3, 4, 5, ♭7 ] contains five notes that are a subset of the minor (aeolian) scale
which is [ 1, 2, ♭3, 4, 5, ♭6, ♭7 ].

The major pentatonic contains five notes that are a subset of the major (ionian) scale.

Offline DavidP

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Re: A dumb question about the minor pentatonic
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2018, 11:23:39 am »
The minor pentatonic cale [ 1, ♭3, 4, 5, ♭7 ] contains five notes that are a subset of the minor (aeolian) scale
which is [ 1, 2, ♭3, 4, 5, ♭6, ♭7 ].

The major pentatonic contains five notes that are a subset of the major (ionian) scale.
Thanks Richard

Would I be on the right track, saying that the b3 is flat on the minor scale because the step between the (skipped) 2 and 3 notes is a semi-tone?

Offline Garfield

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Re: A dumb question about the minor pentatonic
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2018, 04:48:19 pm »
Thanks guys i think i might have it. Many times I've heard the pentatonic described as the major scale with the tricky notes removed. That's why i wondered why the 7th was flat because its not flat in the major scale. But i take it that the minor pentatonic is not the major scale with the tricky notes removed its the minor scale with the tricky notes removed and the seventh degree of the minor scale is flat. I've not looked at the minor scale yet or the (major pentatonic).

Am I getting it?

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Offline close2u

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Re: A dumb question about the minor pentatonic
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2018, 04:56:17 pm »
Would I be on the right track, saying that the b3 is flat on the minor scale because the step between the (skipped) 2 and 3 notes is a semi-tone?

Yes
 :)

Thanks guys i think i might have it. Many times I've heard the pentatonic described as the major scale with the tricky notes removed.

That is an unfortunate slip many people speak out loud.

Justin teaches minor pent first as it is so accessible and easy to make a start with.
He then teaches Major scale as it is the fundamental of pretty much everything.

But - the minor pent derives from the minor scale which is a mode (aeolian) of the major scale.
The major pent could naturally follow from the major scale (or even before it) but it is not so instinctive to use and mess around with licks etc.

So long as you know why and what you're okay.

Offline Garfield

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Re: A dumb question about the minor pentatonic
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2018, 05:26:31 pm »
Yes
 :)

That is an unfortunate slip many people speak out loud.

Justin teaches minor pent first as it is so accessible and easy to make a start with.
He then teaches Major scale as it is the fundamental of pretty much everything.

But - the minor pent derives from the minor scale which is a mode (aeolian) of the major scale.
The major pent could naturally follow from the major scale (or even before it) but it is not so instinctive to use and mess around with licks etc.

So long as you know why and what you're okay.
Perfect. Thank you for clarifying I don't know what a mode is either and I don't need to right now. I was just confused as to why that seventh was flat. Now I know it's because the seventh in the minor scale is flat.

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Online Majik

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Re: A dumb question about the minor pentatonic
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2018, 09:56:03 pm »
You're on the right lines, but the minor
 pentatonic scale should really be considered "the *minor* scale, with the tricky notes removed".

If you are looking at the major scale, you should compare it to the major pentatonic scale.

Cheers,

Keith

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Offline Zapped

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Re: A dumb question about the minor pentatonic
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2018, 06:39:53 pm »
I'm just thinking about the minor pentatonic scale in relation to the major scale. I get that it's has the tricky notes removed - 2nd and 6th, and I understand that the 3rd is flat because that's what makes it minor but why is the 7th flat?

Sorry to resurrect an older thread, but I haven't visited the forum in a while & the phrase "tricky notes" piqued my interest. Several folk replying implied they've heard the 2nd & 6th described that way before, but if you search for "tricky notes" in these forums, this is the only General Questions post where it's mentioned.

The 2nd & 6th are removed from the pentatonic minor because to include them strongly "colors" a scale as one of the four minor modes - Dorian, Phrygian, Aeolian (aka Natural), or Locrian Minor. Using any flavor of both the 2nd & 6th scale degree (i.e. M2 and M6, M2 and m6, m2 and M6, m2 and m6) would make the scale explicitly one of the four minor modes. The 5-note pentatonic scale is a SUBSET of four 7-note minor-mode diatonic scales and allows for some ambiguity since it doesn't commit itself specifically to one of the four minor modes.

Justin shows all the diatonic modes based on the same root note here: https://www.justinguitar.com/guitar-lessons/comparing-modes-sc-508

When you solo over a major-mode song but use the Pentatonic scale built on the same root note as the major-mode song, you're borrowing a blues tradition to intentionally play the m3 (aka b3 or flat-3rd) and the m7 (aka b7 or flat-7th) even though the major-mode song may use the M3 (aka 3 or natural-3rd) and the M7 (aka 7 or natural-7th) in its chords. Soloing the b3 against a 3 from a backing chord and the b7 against a 7 creates a half-step dissonance or tension that your audience enjoys because their ears have been trained to enjoy it from years of listening to rock & blues.

If you're going to toss in the 2nd or 6th, adding in a major 6th is consonant (pleasing) with the underlying major-mode song structure, as is the major 2nd. At that point you're playing a 7-note Dorian scale, not "just" a pentatonic. Trying to jam in a flat-2nd or flat-6th against a major-mode song structure is not a dissonance many audiences would find pleasing, so stay away from those notes while you're learning about modes. Maybe that makes 'em tricky ;)
- Jim
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Offline close2u

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Re: A dumb question about the minor pentatonic
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2018, 07:19:06 pm »
Good to see you back posting Zapped.
Always wisdom and good stuff.
:)

Offline Garfield

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Re: A dumb question about the minor pentatonic
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2018, 07:32:04 pm »
Thsnks for the reply but most of that is way above my head, I'm only a newbie and havent tackled modes. Justin described the pentatonic as the major scale with the tricky notes removed in an episode of rutbusters. That's where I'd lifted it from. I thought they were tricky because they didn't fit over all the chords in a scale.

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Offline stitch101

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Re: A dumb question about the minor pentatonic
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2018, 10:50:31 pm »
Morning everyone

I'm just thinking about the minor pentatonic scale in relation to the major scale. I get that it's has the tricky notes removed - 2nd and 6th, and I understand that the 3rd is flat because that's what makes it minor but why is the 7th flat?


Garfield don't confuse the penatonic scale with the minor pentatonic scale.
Sometimes people refer to the Major pentatonic scale to the pentatonic scale.
The Major pentatonic scale is the Major scale with the tricky notes removed.
The 2nd and 6th. The minor pent has the 2 and b6 removed from the minor
scale.  The formula for the minor scale is T S T T S T T this is why the 3rd
6th and 7th intervals are flatted compared to the Major scale. When you
remove the 2nd and b6 to make the minor pentatonic you areleft with the b3
and b7.

Offline Zapped

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Re: A dumb question about the minor pentatonic
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2018, 11:36:53 pm »
The Major pentatonic scale is the Major scale with the tricky notes removed. The 2nd and 6th.

This is incorrect. The major pentatonic scale is the same as the corresponding major scale with the 4th and 7th removed. For example, the C major scale is C D E F G A B  and the C major pentatonic is C D E G A.

As you may have noticed, @Garfield, the C major pentatonic is constructed from the same notes as the A minor pentatonic - only the perceived root note is different.
- Jim
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