# Modal Pentatonics

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jakeman1086
12-27-2005, 02:36 AM
i'm having difficulty understanding why, based on the fact that the major pentatonic takes away the 4th and 7th from the major scale, the minor pentatonic takes away the 2nd and 6th from the natural minor scale. this one I semi-understood b/c you add two tones on the 7th to get the 2nd and 2 tones to the 4th for the 6th. but i would think you would subtract 2 tones since the natural minor is 2 tones BEHIND the major. the other omissions for altered modes I am completely clueless on. lydian pentatonic takes away the 2nd and 5th from the lydian mode, etc.

my question is why is this the case? why are these specific omissions taking place? i'm not asking the premise for why the 4 and 7 are omitted from the major scale. i'm just asking for relations i can make from this major scale to the others. i'm not sure i made this question very clear. if you have any questions, I'll do my best to further clarify.

thanks.

SilentDeftone
12-27-2005, 04:06 AM
Cas posted on this a while back with a great explanation but I can't seem to find it.

Anyway, it has to do with the ambiguity of the scales - if you eliminated the 4th and 7th from the Lydian and Mixolydian modes they'd sound identical to the major pentatonic - so using the pentatonic scales inclusive of these characteristics is important.

Basically, the idea is to apply the scale degrees (NOT INTERVALS) of the minor pentatonic to the various major modes and vice versa.

Doing so results in this:
Ionian pentatonic: 1 3 4 5 7 1
Dorian pentatonic: 1 2 b3 5 6 1
Phrygian pentatonic: 1 b2 b3 5 b6 1
Lydian pentatonic: 1 3 #4 5 7 1
Mixolydian pentatonic: 1 3 4 5 b7 1
Aeolian pentatonic: 1 2 b3 5 b6 1

And of course, the major and minor pentatonics.
Major pentatonic: 1 2 3 5 6 1
Minor pentatonic: 1 b3 4 5 b7 1

-SD :dance:

Mr.Moss
12-27-2005, 06:55 AM
SD bro, 1 where did you learn all this ****? i got more than a basic understanding of Theory, but that ****...you go to college or summin? Please continue to amaze me :cheers:

jakeman1086
12-27-2005, 03:14 PM
so are you recommending just straight memorization of the omissions deftone?

also, I recently ordered the book you recommended in some other thread, Jazz Theory Book by Mark Levine. Is this explained somewhere in that massive book?

SilentDeftone
12-29-2005, 09:36 PM
SD bro, 1 where did you learn all this ****? i got more than a basic understanding of Theory, but that ****...you go to college or summin? Please continue to amaze me :cheers:Right here at Musician Talk mostly.

I do go to college, but haven't taken any music classes lol. This upcoming semester I'm taking Music Appreciation. :)
so are you recommending just straight memorization of the omissions deftone?

also, I recently ordered the book you recommended in some other thread, Jazz Theory Book by Mark Levine. Is this explained somewhere in that massive book?
Straight memorization would be effective, but I think it's important that you also learn how to derive them, which I didn't really explain, raWrgh! Also, there's some slightly wrong info that I changed in the above post.

Anywho, how in the world do I get those wacky modal pentatonics?

Well, it comes from applying the scale degrees of the minor pentatonic to the major modes and vice versa!

Our first mode is Ionian - a major mode since it forms a major chord (1 3 5). Thus we'll be applying the scale degrees of the minor pentatonic.

Natural Minor: 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 1
Minor pentatonic: 1 b3 4 5 b7 1
Scale Degrees: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1

As you can see, the minor pentatonic is taking scale DEGREES (not INTERVALS!) 1 3 4 5 7 of the scale.

If we apply those scale DEGREES to the Ionian mode, we come out with intervals 1 3 4 5 7 - which is the Ionian pentatonic scale.

We can apply these scale DEGREES to the other major modes - Lydian and Mixolydian.
Lydian
Lydian: 1 2 3 #4 5 6 7 1
Degrees: 1 3 4 5 7 1

Lydian pentatonic intervals: 1 3 #4 5 7 1

Mixolydian
Mixolydian: 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 1
Degrees: 1 3 4 5 7 1

Mixolydian pentatonic intervals: 1 3 4 5 b7 1

The opposite happens for the minor modes?

Major: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1
Major pentatonic: 1 2 3 5 6 1
Scale Degrees: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1
As you can see, the major pentatonic is taking scale DEGREES 1 2 3 5 6 of the major scale.

Applying these to the minor modes (ones that form a minor chord - 1 b3 5) and you get this:
Dorian
Lydian: 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7 1
Degrees: 1 2 3 5 6 1

Dorian pentatonic intervals: 1 2 b3 5 6 1

Phrygian
Phrygian: 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 1
Degrees: 1 2 3 5 6

Phrygian pentatonic intervals: 1 b2 b3 5 b6 1

Aeolian
Aeolian: 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 1
Degrees: 1 2 3 5 6

Aeolian pentatonic intervals: 1 2 b3 5 b6 1

Locrian, being a diminished mode, can swing both ways. That means Locrian pentatonic can either be:
Locrian pent: 1 b2 b3 b5 b6 1
Locrian pent: 1 b3 b4 b5 b7 1

Got any questions?

I'm not all the way through Jazz Theory; I'm not altogether sure if it covers this or not. It's a great resource though! :cheers:

-SD :dance:

jakeman1086
12-30-2005, 01:34 AM
thanks. that makes a lot of sense. so you omit the 4 and 7 for major modes and 2 and 6 for minor modes. i think the website that got me really confused was mistaken. they said the lydian pentatonic omits the 2 and 5. this is the link to that site.