Major Pentatonic Patterns

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by lgehrig4, Mar 21, 2006.


  1. lgehrig4

    lgehrig4 Silver Supporting Member

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    I am starting to understand (not just memorize) scales and lately I have been focused on Pentatonics. In addition to a teacher who I just started seeing I am also reading Fretboard Logic. FB teaches you visually by explaining the C-A-G-E-D forms. I picked this up quickly and understand how they move up and down the fretboard, but I don't fully understand their relationships.

    I recently took each of these maj pentatonic scales(c,a,g,e,d) and tabbed them using each of the five C-A-G-E-G forms. From this I noticed a pattern, but I don't know what to make of it.

    Major Pentatonic Scales
    E form....root is always 1st note
    G form....root is always 2nd note
    A form....root is always 3rd note
    C form....root is always 4th note
    D form....root is always 5th note

    *Root notes - To understand how I counted, the 1st note would be the lowest note on the low E string of that scale and I counted up from there.

    Although I am recognizing these patterns visually, theoretically nothing is clicking.

    **One more thing** From what I can see the Cmaj pent is the same scale as the Ebmin pent when using the G form in the 8th position. Is this correct?? Man, am I confused!

    thanks
    jeff
     
  2. gennation

    gennation Member

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    ------------------------------------------
    Major Pentatonic Scales
    E form....root is always 1st note
    G form....root is always 2nd note
    A form....root is always 3rd note
    C form....root is always 4th note
    D form....root is always 5th note

    ------------------------------------------

    Yes, I guess this is true. But I think the general thought would be...

    In a C form: the Root is on the A and B strings
    In an A form: the Root is on the A and G strings
    In a G form: the Root is on the Low E, G, and High E strings
    In a E form: the Root is on the Low E, D, and High E strings
    In a D form: the Root is on the D and B strings


    ------------------------------------------------------------

    **One more thing** From what I can see the Cmaj pent is the same scale as the Ebmin pent when using the G form in the 8th position. Is this correct?? Man, am I confused!

    -------------------------------------------------------------
    Well, this isn't quite right, but maybe your barings a just a little off.

    The C Major Pent is the same scale as the A Minor Pent. In Diatonic Theory A Minor is known as the Relative Minor to C Major.

    Look at the notes and you can see how they relate...

    C Maj Pent = C D E G A C
    A Min Pent = A C D E G A

    Can you see they contain the same notes?

    This is true with any Major Pent scale or Major chord too, if you move three half steps lower than the Root you will find its Relative Minor Pent scale. Here's some of them (scales or chords)...

    G Major -> E Minor
    A Major -> F# Minor
    D Major -> B Minor
    etc....

    Ok...here's some advice with Fretboard Logic....

    That book covers the CAGED method. The CAGED Method is a logical way of mapping the fretboard out as if it was a puzzle...this IS VERY useful imformation, and the CAGED method has been used successfully for a very long time. The book is a great idea...although...

    I found this book not to be very organized. I doesn't teach you from the ground up. It teaches all the information, just not in a very...err...logical layout.

    Definitely stick with the book as it is valuable. But, don't get discouraged when something seems to start clicking then you totally lose the train of thought...that's due to the books unorganized format.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Rush_898

    Rush_898 Member

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    A key denotes a key signature and certain scales, major and relative minor, share a key signature. Meaning they have the same number of flats or sharps. So the notes in a CMajor and an Aminor scale will be the same notes with a different root and then different corresponding scale steps. So...all Major keys and their relative minor share a key signature and so share the same notes. The shapes of the pentatonic for major and relative minor ...are the same shapes...with the root in a different place for major and minor, because pentatonic is built from the diatonic scale. That is why the CAGED system works. So instead of a marriage in your mind between a major key and it's minor, try associating a major key with it's relative minor. Such as Gminor and BbMajor. Same notes, different scale steps and root. A major key and it's minor are more like cousins.

    So basically what I was trying to say: if two keys are the same number of flats or sharps they share the same notes.

    I never got into those books, but maybe that will help you in some way.
     
  4. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    Mastering the basics can never be over stated. If you do not know your key signatures, every time you make these discoveries you will be in the dark. A solid foundation in basic theory is a must, especially once you start to branch out.
    My 2 cents.
     
  5. lgehrig4

    lgehrig4 Silver Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I don't know where I got that from. After mapping out scales for an hour everything starts to look the same.

    Thanks for the info. Very helpful!
     
  6. lgehrig4

    lgehrig4 Silver Supporting Member

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    It looks to me in this example(below) that if you were playing a solo using these notes that you wouldn't be able to tell if you are using Cmaj ot Amin since you are probably not playing the notes in these orders? Does this assumption make sense?

    C Maj Pent = C D E G A C
    A Min Pent = A C D E G A
     
  7. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    Absolutely, why? cause they have the same exact notes.
    When that is the case it usually boils down to the chords in the tune, or the chords you are blowing over at that time.
    So if you are blowing over a /Amin/Dmin/ vamp, consider it A minor.
    If it is C Maj/F Maj, then call it C major.

    Although one could argue if you start and end on A, it is A minor......starts and end on C it is C major.

    Easier to let the harmony dictate, but you could tell your friends you are using both keys, then they will be afraid of you and think you are kooler then them. ;)


    Now for an advanced topic. Basically those 5 notes can be used anywhere on the neck, the scale patterns just help you locate them and organize them so that they are easier to remember. There are 5 scale patterns, learn them up and down the neck (yes, hey will repeat themselves) in as many octaves as you can on your guitar. This will free you up and give you the ability to move out of the standard box pattern when soloing. Study how the patterns overlap one another, they are connected exactly like a jigsaw puzzle.
     
  8. gennation

    gennation Member

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    Rush and Hanky alluded to this...stating that an understanding of "keys" would show you that whether you are in C Major or A Minor you are still dealing with the same notes.

    But, it either case you would say it's the "key of C Major". The more you learn about Major and Minor keys you'll see that a Major key is more static than a Minor key. Kind of hard to explain right now and I don't want to give you too much more and stray off topic.

    But looking at this Circle of Fifths you'll see the Relative Minor relationships/groups....

    [​IMG]

    But know look at it with the "keys" represented by the sharps and flats and you'll see that the "key signature" is the same for the matching Major and relative Minor keys...

    [​IMG]

    This is all way beyond learning out of Fretboard Logic. Fretboard Logic is learning how to map out the fretboard and know your way around it visually, and logically. All of this other stuff are keys points in Music Theory, and what's called Diatonic Theory.

    It'll give you some food for thought, maybe a feast for thought at the point but, just take it slow. Learn that fretboard right now, then you'll be able to "put the names to the faces" as you delve deeper into it.
     
  9. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    Damn, if that is the case then you better start learning your theory now cause the more deeply you get into this the more confusing it will become, especially once you delve into major and minor scales (with the additional 2 notes).
    Memorizing patterns will only get you so far, and once you start to teach yourself (as you are doing) that is when the theory will answer your questions.
     
  10. lgehrig4

    lgehrig4 Silver Supporting Member

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    I saw these charts in books I bought years back and I flipped right past them, but I'm actually starting to understand this now.

    What I really don't get is this whole business of keys. If you are playing a I IV V progression and the chords are C, F and G does this mean you are playing in the key of C? If so does the Key always just represent the 1st chord of the progression? If there is more to this please let me know.
     
  11. gennation

    gennation Member

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    While I'm a pro-theory guy I also realize that A LOT of guitar players learn those little dots written on fretboard patterns and how to move them around the fretboard, connect the dots, etc...way before they REALLY get to theory.

    Of course while it would be wise to learn theory right off the bat...I think all this "dot learning" is essential to finding and placing the theory on the fretboard in the long run. It makes memorizing things a little easier on their own than trying to cop the fretboard AND the theory simulanous.

    So, even though they may not be learning theory, they are still learning essential information about the guitar as an instrument...the fretboard, the patterns, the concepts, etc...so once they get to theory, the instrument isn't such an up hill battle at the same time the theory's an up hill battle.

    Although of course this isn't the case for everyone but the bulk of guitar player are getting the theory tools (Intervals, scales, and chords) under their belts before they even wonder "WHY/HOW". But again, everyone's different...but hopefully at some point everyone ask "WHY/HOW" and goes to find out.
     
  12. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    It is time for you to get a good teacher. Cause you are asking great question but you are getting way ahead of yourself. You are now trying to harmonize the major scale, and that is great. But you do not have a grasp on key signatures, and that makes it impossible.
    Yes, there are ways to memorize it all but you will never have a true understanding of what goes on. Basically you will be building a house and a crummy foundation.

    Please do not take this as a criticism cause it is not, in fact you are asking great questions and diving into this deeper then most ever care to but the foundation has to be laid before the house can be built. Trust me, it is NOT rocket science.

    Do you have any great teachers nearby?
     
  13. gennation

    gennation Member

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    It would be worth your time to google the term "diatonic theory". This is exactly where your answers lie.

    Without getting to deep, I'd rather give you abit to chew on then come back with more questions or google your questions...

    But, before you get too deep into this, head on over to my lesson site http://lessons.mikedodge.com and follow the links for the Intervals and Chord Construction Series. To delve into Diatonic Thoery it's wise to have these essentials under your belt.

    But anyways....

    Let's look at the key of C Major...

    Notes of the scale: C D E F G A B C

    The Major scale is made up of a series of Intervals (there's more on this at my site)...but regardless of the Root of the Major scale...ALL Major scales have the same Intervals sequence.

    Scales have a lot of uses, and one of them is to build chords...if we build the "chords of C Major" we end up with a chord for each note of the Major scale...and the Intervals starting from each note determines the name/family of the chord...so the chords in the key of C Major look like this:

    C Dm Em F G Am Bmb5 C

    If we build the chords one step further to the "7" type chords we get these chords:

    Cmaj7 Dm7 Em7 Fmaj7 G7 Am7 Bm7b5 Cmaj7

    These are the "7" type chords in the key of C Major.

    Then when we give each chord a Roman Numeral from I-VII, since there's seven chords we'll see a repetative sequence for EVERY Major key:

    Imaj7 IIm7 IIIm7 IVmaj7 V7 VIm7 VIIm7b5 Imaj7

    You can plug in any Major scales notes into this sequence and it will always hold true. For instanse, G Major:

    Notes of the G Major scale: G A B C D E F# G

    The "7" type chord:

    Gmaj7 Am7 Bm7 Cmaj7 D7 Em7 F#m7b5 Gmaj7

    still just...

    Imaj7 IIm7 IIIm7 IVmaj7 V7 VIm7 VIIm7b5 Imaj7

    See how the chord type/family stayed in sequence? But, the notes changed due to the Roots of the chords coming form a G scale instead of the C Scale in the example above.

    That's where the term "I IV V" come from...the first, fourth, and fifth chord of a key...or that sequence of chord in a key.

    A II-V-I progression would be the Second, Fifth, and First chords of a key.

    A I-VI-II-V progression is the first, sixth, second, and fifth chord in a key.

    Hopefully that made sense.

    Still, this stuff again is way beyond Fretboard Logic. But it's cool stuff, innit ;)

    And, it's basis of a lot of Music Theory.

    The main components of Theory really are Intervals, Scales, and Chords...almost everything else is build on that foundation. So, if you're going to jump in...those are great places to start. That's what my website will show you.

    Stop over to my site as it will give some very good foundation stuff that you'll need to get a good grip on all this other stuff. At your stage it'll open up a lot of doors for you.

    Cheers
     
  14. lgehrig4

    lgehrig4 Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm going to stop right here because I have gotten more info than I could handle and I need to spend a few hours with all the good stuff written thus far.

    I actually took my first lesson this past weekend which is why I have all these questions. I've been playing for 6 years, but for the most part I've been buying & selling gear, playing licks and exercises and not really learning anything. I basically scratched the surface on a lot of topics so I have tons of incomplete ideas and theories floating around in my head that need to be connected. Now that I'm really starting to learn, all 6 yrs worth of incomplete info are lining up in my brain waiting for clarification.

    *Moral of the story* Take your time and have the patience to learn the basics when you first start out. Not to say I haven't enjoyed this hobby over the last 6yrs..... Hell, considering a wife, 2 kids, 2 new homes and 2hr commute(each way:BITCH ), I'm surprised I found the time to make it this far :confused:


    Again, thanks for taking the time to address my questions! Hopefully I will be able to reward your generosity by contributing some decent clips sometime soon :AOK
     
  15. flatfinger

    flatfinger Member

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    Stick w/ fretboardlogic!! Great stuff!

    Also remember to sing or hum or whistle EVERYTHING you play. The scales and patterns are for your left brain, don't forget to do ear training and feed your right brain!!

    Stay with it and the rewards will follow!
    good luck !!!!!!!!:BEER
     
  16. lgehrig4

    lgehrig4 Silver Supporting Member

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    Good stuff! Thanks!
     

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