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Old 07-05-2014, 04:58 PM   #1
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Can i solo with the c minor pentatonic scale over the C Ionian progression I IV V?

Can i solo with the c minor pentatonic scale over the C Ionian progression I IV V?
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Old 07-05-2014, 06:47 PM   #2
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C Ionian scale - C-D-E-F-G-A-B
I - C-E-G
IV - F-A-C
V - G-B-D

C Minor Pentatonic - C-Eb-F-G-Bb

So, Eb and Bb would technically be a conflict (which you could help by avoiding the Eb on the I chord and avoiding the Bb on the V chord), but feel free to try it anyway. Music theory is not a set of rules. You can come up with interesting things while going out of scale.
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Old 07-05-2014, 10:01 PM   #3
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How do i get chords that are compatible to the pentatonic?
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Old 07-06-2014, 04:09 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by mattousley
How do i get chords that are compatible to the pentatonic?

The notes in the C Pentatonic scale have been listed for you above. Any chord that doesn't have "conflicting" notes will pretty much always sound good.

The minor pentatonic scale is good for this because in C alone there are 3 scale modes that it fits in - Dorian, Aeolian, Phrygian.

For the major pentatonic scale that would be Ionian, Lydian and Mixolydian.
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Last edited by PsiGuy60 : 07-06-2014 at 04:11 AM.
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:52 AM   #5
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Old 07-06-2014, 02:36 PM   #6
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If you're playing bluesy/rocky stuff, yeah. Technically there are a bunch of clashes. In practice (at least if you're playing bluesy or rocky stuff, as I said) it works.
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:50 AM   #7
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:54 AM   #8
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I IV V is not an "ionian" progression. It is in a major key. Forget about the mode names for now, they are just going to confuse you in the beginning. You need a better understanding of keys and scales to really understand modes. And ignore "ionian" and "aeolian" - they are called major and minor.

And yes, you can use C minor pentatonic over a I IV V kind of progression. That's what blues does all the time. For example if you play a blues in C, it goes like this: C7 x4 - F7 x2 - C7 x2 - G7 - F7 - C7 - G7. And that progression is only using I, IV and V chords. And to play a solo over it, you could just use the C minor pentatonic scale over everything (you could also add the blue note which in this case is Gb - that would make the scale you are using the C blues scale). Of course many blues solos also use notes outside of that scale but many solos also stay inside the scale most of the time.

But really, just try it and figure out if you like it. It will sound a bit dissonant but sometimes dissonance is really cool. There's no right or wrong in music. You just need to try things and figure out what works. You can use all notes in the chromatic scale and make it sound good. It's not that much about what notes you use but more like how you use them.

And when to use minor pentatonic? Well, you usually use C minor pentatonic in the key of C minor - it will work well over a simple progression like Cm-Bb-Fm. Using it in a major key is not that rare and it gives you a bluesy sound. But it won't sound good over all progressions. You need to look at the chord tones and use your ears. That way you'll figure out which notes work the best in which case.
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine : 07-07-2014 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:56 AM   #9
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Well, yes. As long as you're careful about how you play it. For instance, usually, it's advisable to not play Eb over the C chord. It could create too much tension. Of course, then there's times you want a ton of tension and would therefore play that Eb over that C chord.

There are no rules in music, beyond what you (the composer/improviser) want to hear.
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:18 AM   #10
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You can play whatever you want if you know how you're using it. Using Cm Pent. over a Cmaj chord will give you a really bluesy sound because of the conflict between Eb and E (and Bb and B). I recommend using the minor over major trick sparingly, as it gets old fast. Don't try to be melodic with it, it'll just sound out of key.

Or do try to be melodic. If you can make the minor/major combination sound good, then kudos to you. Umphreys McGee does a cool tune with minor chord roots under a major meldy: (around 1:45, chords are F# and D).
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