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Pentatonic Scale Diagrams

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(@jamienelson)
Posts: 7
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Topic starter
 

Hi Everyone,

EDIT - See Below Post For Revised Lesson

Here are the main Pentatonic Scale Patterns for you and how they connect together on the fretboard. The Blue dots represent the Major Tonics (Root notes) and the YellowBlack dots represent the Relative Minor Tonics. Just slide the patterns back and forth on the fretboard to match the Tonic notes up with the key notes you're playing in and you're ready to rock. Generally in rock music if you are playing a song in a major key, your solo will be in the relative minor key. So, if you look at the top pattern, if your song is in the Key of G (the blue dot) you would use the E Minor Pentatonic Scale to solo (the YellowBlack dot). Easy eh?

Here are a couple of Jam Tracks for you to practice with. G Jam Track 1 and G Jam Track 2







(BTW the fattest string is on the bottom in the diagram.)

Jamie
www.JamieNelson.Net

 
Posted : 12/10/2007 4:20 pm
(@ricochet)
Posts: 7833
Illustrious Member
 

Generally in rock music if you are playing a song in a major key, your solo will be in the relative minor key. So, if you look at the top pattern, if your song is in the Key of G (the blue dot) you would use the E Minor Pentatonic Scale to solo (the YellowBlack dot). Easy eh?
That means you're actually soloing in the G Major pentatonic. Popular in country music especially. Works fine in rock, but so does staying in the G minor pentatonic, which is more in the blues tradition rock sprang from. You can switch off between both scales, and you can combine the notes of both scales. Also you can throw in the b5 with the minor pentatonic to make the "blues scale" or "Minor Blues Scale," and the b3 with the major pentatonic to make the "Traditional Blues Scale" or "Major Blues Scale" especially common in gospel music and New Orleans jazz. Since all of the above can be played over a major I-IV-V accompaniment with no "clam" notes anywhere, you can mix them all up for what I think of as the "Super Blues Scale."
8)

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."

 
Posted : 12/10/2007 5:44 pm
(@jamienelson)
Posts: 7
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Topic starter
 

Exactly Ricochet,

The G Major Pentatonic Scale and E Minor Pentatonic Scale are the same thing. A lot of Bluegrass Pickin' is done in the first 2 patterns shown, since the majority of bluegrass tunes are played in the key of G Major.

All the scales can be based off these 5 patterns. You can just add the extra notes to them. That is why these patterns are so revered in the guitar world.

Another question that is seldom answered is “Do I have to change Scales when the song changes chords?” The answer is typically “No, you don't need to, because the notes in the chord progression should already be in the scale that you are already using.”

It may not be obvious to beginners and practicing scales don't sound like guitar solos, the main idea of a scale is to give you the notes and the patterns that should sound good with the chord progressions that the song is using. You wouldn't play a straight scale over a chord progression in a song, what you would want to do is use the other tricks of the trade such as hammer ons, pull offs, and slides, to make melodies with the notes that are in the scales.

I hope this helps to de-mystify scales for some people.

Jamie

 
Posted : 12/10/2007 8:14 pm
(@noteboat)
Posts: 4921
Illustrious Member
 

The G Major Pentatonic Scale and E Minor Pentatonic Scale are the same thing.

I hate to quibble, but that ain't exactly true. The G major pentatonic and the E minor pentatonic contain the same notes, but they are not the same thing - they have different tonal centers.

Songs that are in G aren't in E minor, and songs that are in E minor aren't in G. They share a key signature, they share tones and chords (if the minor song uses the natural minor they share ALL the tones and chords), but they don't sound anything like each other.

Tonal centers make all the difference.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL

 
Posted : 13/10/2007 2:52 am
(@jamienelson)
Posts: 7
Active Member
Topic starter
 

Good Points Guys,

I've revised the wording and tried to keep it simple without going into the whole tonal center aspect, I think that is another lesson in itself. I hope this answers some of the questions that I found hard to get when studying scales.

Below are diagrams of the 5 Pentatonic Scale Patterns and how they connect together on the fretboard. Notice that the top pattern and the bottom pattern are the same. The patterns begin to repeat themselves at the 12th fret. The Blue dots represent the Major Tonics (Root notes) and the YellowBlack dots represent the Relative Minor Tonics. Just slide the patterns back and forth on the fretboard to match the Tonic notes up with the key notes of the song you're playing in and you're ready to go.

Generally in rock music if you are playing a song in a major key your solo will be in the relative minor key. So, if you look at the top pattern, if your song is in the Key of G (the blue dot) you would use the E Minor Pentatonic Scale to solo (the YellowBlack dot).

The G Major Pentatonic Scale and E Minor Pentatonic Scale contain the same notes. A lot of Bluegrass Pickin' is done in the first 2 patterns shown, since a lot of bluegrass tunes are played in the key of G Major and use the G Major Pentatonic Scale for the melodies.

Major Keys tend to give off a happier over all vibe to your sound and Minor Keys tend to have a sad or darker mood attached to them.

All the scales and modes can be based off these 5 patterns. You can just add or subtract the extra notes to them. That is why these patterns are a good place to start and are so revered in the guitar world.

Another question that is seldom answered is “Do I have to change Scales when the song changes chords?” The answer is typically “No, you don't need to, because the notes in the chord progression should already be in the scale that you are already using.”

It may not be obvious to beginners and practicing scales don't sound like guitar solos, the main idea of a scale is to give you the notes and the patterns that should sound good with the chord progressions that the song is using. You wouldn't play a straight scale over a chord progression in a song, what you would want to do is use the other tricks of the trade such as hammer ons, pull offs, and slides, to make melodies with the notes that are in the scales.

I hope this helps to de-mystify scales for some people.

Here are a few of Jam Tracks for you to practice with. G Bluegrassy Jam 1
G Rock Jam Track 1 and G Rock Jam Track 2







(BTW the fattest string is on the bottom in the diagram.)

Jamie
Check out some of my original tunes at www.JamieNelson.Net
If you have a My Space page send me a freind request www.myspace.com/jamienelsonmusic

 
Posted : 13/10/2007 2:34 pm
(@fretsource)
Posts: 973
Prominent Member
 

Generally in rock music if you are playing a song in a major key your solo will be in the relative minor key.

A further revision on the above sentence might be in order too, Jamie.
The solo is in the SAME key as the rest of the song. Unless you're going for some weird polytonal effects, there's only one tonal centre at any given time. If the song is in G and you play the notes of the E minor pentatonic scale over it, it will be heard as G major pentatonic, because it will relate to the song's tonal centre, G, not E.

 
Posted : 13/10/2007 3:58 pm
(@jamienelson)
Posts: 7
Active Member
Topic starter
 

Perhaps a better statement would be?

“Typically in rock music if the section of the song you are soloing over is in a major key, you would use the relative minor key scale to get the notes for your solo.” AC/DC is a real good example of this.

Since a lot of songs change keys from verse to chorus.

 
Posted : 13/10/2007 4:21 pm
(@fretsource)
Posts: 973
Prominent Member
 

Perhaps a better statement would be?

“Typically in rock music if the section of the song you are soloing over is in a major key, you would use the relative minor key scale to get the notes for your solo.”

Yes, that would be better as it reflects a common approach to soloing among many rock guitarists. Your word "typically" was a good choice.
What I've never understood, though, is what's the advantage of thinking of those 5 notes as E minor pentatonic, rather than the more obvious (and tonally correct) G major pentatonic? Is it purely to take advantage of memorised fingering patterns associated with that scale?
Love your diagrams, by the way.

 
Posted : 13/10/2007 5:01 pm
(@diatonick)
Posts: 17
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Nice work.

-diatonick

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http://www.bestguitarsoftware.com

 
Posted : 19/10/2007 11:01 am
(@corbind)
Posts: 1735
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Good thread. Good discussion.

"Nothing...can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."

 
Posted : 09/01/2008 2:50 am