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How to memorize degrees in pentatonic scales

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(@rgalvez)
Prominent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 717
Topic starter  

This question is linked to the Minor Key thread, but I think it's more specific:
When we think about major pentatonic patterns (and major scales ones) we use the degrees of the major scales (pentatonic; 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6. major scales: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7) . The problem comes with the minor scales (and minor modes): I think theoretically I know that a minor scale is 1, b3, 4, 5 and b7 but when I want to memorize a pattern I still think like a major scale ( ie the first degree 1 is the 6 to me as an aeolian mode).So it's quite confusing to me rethinking the minor scales as degrees of minor scales. I will appreciate any insights folks!


   
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(@noteboat)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921
 

Ok, build on what you've got. You already know the major scale, and you already know the degrees. So build the minor scales in relation to the major - in other words, make tonic minor scales. Start with:

1-2-b3-4-5-6-7 (Ascending melodic minor)

Then add the others one by one...

1-2-b3-4-5-b6-7 (harmonic minor)
1-2-b3-4-5-6-b7 (Dorian mode)
1-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7 (Aeolian mode/natural minor/descending melodic minor)
1-b2-b3-4-5-b6-b7 (Phrygian mode)
1-2-b3-#4-5-b6-7 (Gypsy minor)

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(@rgalvez)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 717
Topic starter  

Thanks again noteboat!! excellent post!


   
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