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E maj pentatonic.

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by tomkatzz, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. tomkatzz

    tomkatzz Member

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    I'm a newbe to guitar. Been playing for about a year.

    I have a question for the experienced players.

    If I want to play a pentatonic scale in E major, I have one of two options. a. Start with open string 'e.' b. Start at the 12th fret on the 'e' / 6th string.

    Then I could play that against a 12 bar progression in E maj?
     
  2. sampleinajar

    sampleinajar Member

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    Hi there,

    Well, the answer is a bit more complicated than I would have time to comprehensively explain. You can play the E-maj pentatonic at any position along the neck - provided you are playing the correct notes. Your description is also vague, but I am inferring from your response that the positions you are referring to are the standard "blues box" that most people learn fairly early on. That is a minor blues shape, that would start at the 12th fret. This may work over a major progression, and often does with well chosen passing notes, etc; however, a true E-maj pentatonic would take that same shape and drop it three frets (9th fret, C#). If you play that from E to E, then you have E maj pentatonic.

    Confused? If so, I would suggest getting a teacher and working through these in a one-on-one situation.

    Best of luck, and have fun!

    Steve
     
  3. cameron

    cameron Member

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    Well, (1) you don't have to start on the 6th string and (2) you don't have start with an E - there are four other notes in that scale and you could start on any of them.

    So you have a lot more than two options.

    As for the suitability of the Emaj pent over "a 12 bar progression in Emaj", well that would depend on the progression.
     
  4. gainiac

    gainiac Senior Member

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    In short, the answer is yes.

    Can you record your chords and play with them?
     
  5. MGT

    MGT Member

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    Hi "Tom"....my suggestion would be to find out the notes in the E major pentatonic scale. There are just 5 of them (penta). Next, draw out the fretboard on graph paper and mark where those notes are...from there, you can make patterns wherever you like, including the "standard" boxes that many players use. I find that doing it that way (no matter what the scale) burns really helps the learning process.

    Good luck!
     
  6. MGT

    MGT Member

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    oops.....the "burns" was a typo, not an indication that I have some sort of rash.
     
  7. JonR

    JonR Member

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    Just to clarify: In a blues in E major, the pentatonic scale usually chosen is the E minor pentatonic. I'm assuming that's what tomkatzz means. (as sampleinajar says.)

    However, the others are all correct that that scale can be played anywhere. It's only the most common pattern for the scale that occurs in open position and at 12th fret.

    But yes - you can use that scale to jam on a blues in E! (No need to get much more complicated yet...;) )
     
  8. gennation

    gennation Member

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    Not sure it was noted that the E Major Pent scale consists of E F# G# B C#

    So in fretboard theory, you can find those notes in MANY places across the fretboard. And in theory, you can use every one of them across the fretboard and still be playing the E Major Pent scale. And in theory, you can change the word "theory" to "reality" in these last three sentences ;)
     
  9. lhallam

    lhallam Member

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    Great, now that you have two positions.

    Next trick is to learn the same scale in other positions.

    In other words, standard E major pentatonic =
    E-F#-G#-B-C#

    So now start with F# on the E string 2nd fret and play the same notes in the E maj pent scale going across the strings. EG - F#-G#-B-C#-F#

    Now start on the G# on the 4th fret E string. G#-B-C-#-F#-G#

    etc. until you get to the 12th fret.
     
  10. JonR

    JonR Member

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    If you read his post carefully, I don't think he's talking about major pentatonic.
    That's the title, but he says "pentatonic scale in E major" and talks about open and 12th fret positions, and playing against a 12-bar in E major.
    Reading between the lines, guessing his level of knowledge, I reckon this is a minor pent question.
    Of course, it's just a guess... ;)
     
  11. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

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    Emaj pentatonic = C#m penttonic, start on C#, which is the 9th fret on either E string, and note that the pinky will fall on teh 12th fret, teaching you that the major pentatonic is the same as the minor, just heading down the neck instead of up, which is why guitarist don't need a circle of fifths, their guitar tells them what teh relative majopr and minor scales are.
     
  12. lhallam

    lhallam Member

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    If you are talking about a standard E minor pentatonic, the notes are:

    E-G-A-B-D

    You should really learn both major and minor in all positions on the neck.
     
  13. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

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    The truth is, given the info the op provided

    the E major pent or the E minor pent/blues are both possabilities.

    The fact that he said 12 bar suggests the blues. But only suggests.
    And of course, the E major sounds great with the minor in a blues,,,

    But it could also be a folk tune that is in E major with a major 7th.
    and the blues would sound bad.

    But we don't have enough info from the op. That's what happens when
    only using triads and not 7th chords.
     

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