Hey guys, i know i'm probably gonna get flamed for this but i did try searching and i did try the excellent FAQ thread. I know about the Major scale and that the Pentatonic is derived from that scale(although the 4th and 7th notes are dropped), and i know the 5 patterns off by heart. I just have 3 questions i could not find the answers to:

1) I know the root of that scale starts on the lowest note(6th string), so a A minor pentatonic will start on the 5th fret, 6th string(A). Now to keep the scale in the key of A, do i just emphasis and keep going back to all the A notes on the fret board? If i hit a few notes on the 6th string that are not an A note it won't change the key of the scale unless i then centre my playing around a note other than A?

2) If i take the above example and want to play in A minor Pentatonic, does it matter what pattern i choose to start on? Like can i choose pattern 2 instead of the more well known pattern 1 and put the root note on the lowest note? Reason i ask is that when people say "oh buckethead is playing in A minor pentatonic, just use that" i think "hmmm ok, that could have alot of variations as there are 5 patterns and the A notes would be in different places in the scale". Does root note have to be in the first pattern 6th string?

3) I know that if you drop a pattern back 3 frets, it becomes major(from 5th fret to 2nd, A minor to A major). But would that not make it F# major pentatonic? Or would the rote note have to be the A still? I play the pattern 1 scale in the F# postion and it does sound major but thats when i just play it up and down note to note(F#, A,B,C#,E), is it still a major sound that way? Or would i have to emphasis the A notes more.

Once again sorry for the billion questions, i just want to get this stuff 100% so i can move on to other scales etc. Alot of this would be answering my own questions but i just want to make sure. Thanks heaps.
The most important thing is the root notes, Any note in the A minor pentatonic will be in key if they key of the song is actually A minor. And no, there are specific position in each key, but you can go up and down the neck as you wish in A minor for example as long as you know the root notes (A) all the way up and down the neck.
F# minor is the same as A major. Browse through some theory lessons before you try to give out information on the forum.... there are plenty of lessons all over the internet and your time would better be spent looking through those.

Edited for more information.

Any of the five shapes works as long as you are emphasizing the correct root notes and chord tones as you play. The root does not need to be the lowest note on the 6th string. What else? Yeah, dropping the A minor pentatonic pattern back three frets turns it into the relative minor of the A major scale. (F# minor) If you are just playing riffs with no backing progression then you will need to emphasize the roots in order to establish tonality. Otherwise the backing progression will establish tonality and you just need to worry about hitting chord tones through your solo.
Last edited by Kaos_00 at Feb 26, 2009,
im not that good at english but ill try to explain.
1) your soloing doesnt determine the key of the song, the chords do. you can center your soloing on any note of the scale, simply in the key of A the safest note to start and end licks on is A as it is the rood note.
2) you can start playing from any position you want, the fist one is just the most comfortable.
3) what you are talking about is the concept of parallel minor and major. you see if you solo in position 1 of the A major scale you can move to position 1 of the F# minor scale in any time as that is the same key. that applies to all keys, for example E minor consists of the same notes as G major, A minor consists of the same notes as C major ect. you should really try this out with a backing track to get it. say you find a 12 bar blues backing track in the key of A (chords A, E, D - a common cord progression in A major) and solo in F# minor (or A major, which you should understand is the same) and start and end most of your licks on the note of F# - youll see your solo tends to sound sad. start and end licks on A - it will sound happy. try same in all positons of A major (F# minor) you know.

now that we got that out of the way the weird thing happens. you put on the same backing track in the key of A MAJOR (the same chords) and start soloing in any position of A MINOR and it sounds very good as well - really bluesy. this concept is used in the blues a lot more often the the concept of parallel major and minor, as it is one of the characteristics of the pentatonic scale - there are so few notes in the pantatonic and the chords are usually powerchords (not full major minor chords) so it sounds good as well.
yet you have to remember that this wont work in shred, metal, classical and other music where you dont rely as much on the pentatonic as the full major scales.

after this wall of text the trough is that this is only theory and you should just find a backing track you like and just try to improvised or play some solo stuff you already know to find out what works and what doesnt. hope i helped
Quote by Maharg
By moving back three frets and beginning on the 2nd fret it would be the F# minor if you then used the same pattern as the 5th fret(sorry I'm unsure to the number of the patterns).

If you want to find the relative major, move up three frets, to the 8th fret. All your current patterns are identical and actually in the same place as the A minor pentatonic, but if you centre them around C it will give it a major, and happier sound instead of a minor sound.

I'm sure someone can explain more.

Edit: Clarification was needed.

If you're editing this anymore, please just delete it. None of the information is accurate or relevant.
I think where your going wrong is the whole box idea..

see what scale degrees make up each position and go from there.. and that will answer all your questions.
Quote by joshjhasarrived
Little does the government suspect that it's funds are being rapidly drained through funding infinite free cardboard boxes to bored teenagers on an internet forum.
Quote by Megadeth09

3) I know that if you drop a pattern back 3 frets, it becomes major(from 5th fret to 2nd, A minor to A major). But would that not make it F# major pentatonic?

A Minor Pentatonic Shape 1 is on the 5th fret.
F# Minor Pentatonic Shape 1 is on the 2nd fret.

F# Minor Pentatonic Shape 2 starts on the 5th fret. This can also be seen as A Major Pentatonic shape 1.

If the backing chord or context was a F# minor chord, and "Buckethead" was playing "A Major Pentatonic shape 1", you wouldn't say he was playing in A Major. He is playing in F# Minor (he is using shape 2).

On the flip side, the backing could be in an A Major context, but he'd be playing "F# Minor Pentatonic shape 1", but he'd be playing in A Major (he is using A Major Pentatonic shape 5).

Do you understand?
Last edited by mdc at Feb 26, 2009,