Hey guys, I'm just wanting to know for sure whether I have these two scales down correctly. From what I've gathered the major and minor pentatonic use the patterns but you just start on a different note or pattern. If you want to use the major pentatonic you would start with this pattern. And then use the other patterns that follow (the ones you would find when using the minor pent.)

e|-|---|-O-|---|-o-|---|
B|-|---|-o-|---|-o-|---|
G|-|-o-|---|-o-|---|---|
D|-|-o-|---|---|-O-|---|
A|-|-o-|---|---|-o-|---|
E|-|---|-O-|---|-o-|---|

If you want to use the minor pentatonic you start with this pattern.

e|-|-O-|---|---|-o-|---|
B|-|-o-|---|---|-o-|---|
G|-|-o-|---|-o-|---|---|
D|-|-o-|---|-O-|---|---|
A|-|-o-|---|-o-|---|---|
E|-|-O-|---|---|-o-|---|

And If I want to use the relative major to the minor pentatonic, I just move up one note in the scale.

Am I right or wrong? Any comments would be appreciated.
The relative major would be that form for major pentatonic starting 3 frets up if that's what you mean.
the relative major is 1 1/2 steps above the minor key.

ex. Em --> G.
(E), F, F#, G.

of course you can also just use the minor pattern on E and it'll be G major.
3 frets up from the minor root that is.
Yeah, a minor 3rd from your minor root.
Last edited by TriviumFan717 at Jul 2, 2009,
Those are the main scales but using the notes in the scale you can play it starting on any note from the scale on the low e string. For example an A-minor pentatonic starts on 5th or 17th fret. There are no sharps or flats in an A-Minor scale so you can start on open E and play all the whole steps up in any pattern. Using this you can improvise over an a-minor chord with any note on the guitar that isn't sharp or flat...this goes for all scales but sharps and flats just depend on the scale.
Simply, what the folks are saying, Major is 1.5 steps over minor.

As for the whole diatonic pattern, Modes work like this

Major, +1step = Dorian, +1step = Phrygian, +0.5step = Lydian, +1step = Mixolydian, +1step = Minor, +1step = Locrian, +0.5step = Major (next octave)

Thats how you get the 1.5step difference between minor and Major.

My Gear: (That I actually use)

ESP Edwards E-CY-165 CTM
Vox Saturator
Vox Tonelab LE
Jim Dunlop Crybaby 535Q
Quote by TriviumFan717
And If I want to use the relative major to the minor pentatonic, I just move up one note in the scale.

Am I right or wrong? Any comments would be appreciated.
Kind of. You don't have to start there - you can play either scale anywhere on the neck that you can find the notes, and if you draw out the scale all over the neck you can break it down into the 5 positions of the pentatonics, which you have 2 of.

If you draw out all 5 positions they fit together like a jigsaw puzzle to cover the whole neck, but I'd recommend you learn how the scales are constructed out of notes and intervals too. Pentatonics will make more sense if you learn about the Major scale first - check the Music Theory FAQ sticky out.

Out of the 5 shapes, the 1st one starts on the root of the minor pentatonic - so if you play it straight up and down you are playing the minor pentatonic scale - which is why that shape is often referred to as 'minor pentatonic'.

The 2nd shape starts on the root of the major pentatonic - so if you play it straight up and down you are playing the major pentatonic scale - which is why that shape is often referred to as 'major pentatonic'.

Stick the two shapes together and you'll see that the 2nd note of the first shape is the same as the 1st note of the second shape, so yes, if you are playing the minor pentatonic and you want to switch to its relative major, you just switch your tonal centre from being the first note of the first shape, to being the second note of the first shape.

You can use any of the 5 shapes to play the major or minor pentatonic - which you are playing will depend on what your tonal centre is (ie which note you tend to centre your playng around) ... and that will be dictated by the backing/chord progression you are playing over.

I would really urge you to learn how the scales work in temrs of notes and intervals tho...
thank you. I have studied alot with intervals (interval formulas etc.) for various scales. I have just been wondering about that. I've basically taught myself music theory. I'm working on the modes right now. They seem pretty simple. People often mistake each mode to be in the key of it's parent scale, which isn't the way to think about it. I think of each mode as being it's individual scale with it's own unique sound and use.