#1
This is probably a stupid question, and I fell dumb for asking it. But when people say a song is in the key of, say A minor, does that mean it uses the A minor pentatonic scale? I think it does, but I want to be sure. And, if it is in the key of A major, would I use the A major scale, or the A major Pentatonic?
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#2
Minor/Major PENTATONIC scales are Minor/Major scales but with less notes (the 2nd and the 6th), so you can use both of them.

Pentatonics are "easier" to use.
#3
I believe the Minor Pentatonic has the 2nd and 6th removed and the Major has the 4th and 7th removed.
#4
Quote by guitarlord28
when people say a song is in the key of, say A minor, does that mean it uses the A minor pentatonic scale?

No, not really. It could be any scale other than the pentatonic, and they might not even play an A scale.
#5
Quote by tenfold
No, not really. It could be any scale other than the pentatonic, and they might not even play an A scale.



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TS, if someone says a song is in the key of A Minor, you can use the A Natural Minor scale over it. For a more bluesy or rock type feel, you can use the A Minor Pentatonic. It's just the Natural Minor scale with some "awkward" notes taken out to make the scale easier to use. The same thing applies to a Major scale.
#7
Quote by tenfold
I'm just saying that a key doesn't determine what scales you can use.
You should check what notes they use to figure it out.


A key determines the root note, which pretty much determines the scale that's used if they specify A Major, Minor, Phrygian, Lydian, Locrian, etc.
#8
Quote by Erick vonZipper
A key determines the root note, which pretty much determines the scale that's used if they specify A Major, Minor, Phrygian, Lydian, Locrian, etc.

That's what I was saying, that it might not be a pentatonic scale.
It's not impossible to use a G Harmonic Minor scale in A Major even though it might sound odd. All I'm saying is you should examine all the notes, and make a conclusion from there even if there's a probable chance that a song in A Major uses an A Major scale.

TS: What key you're in doesn't determine what type of scale you can play, though it's most likely some variation of the root note's scale.
#9
'Key' is the term used to indicate the scale from which the tonal material of a song is derived.

For example, if you say that a piece is in the key of C major it means that it uses the tones of that scale as its basic tonal material, and that its harmony employs the chords built on the tones of that scale. C is then the keynote, and the C major triad, or the notes CEG, the tonic chord of the piece.

The key is normally indicated by the key signature, which tells you how many sharps or flats there are.

You can still use the remaining five tones of the chromatic scale as auxiliary tones, and chords can be borrowed from other keys.

Modal music isn't normally defined by keys, so if a piece is in a certain key its basically going to be major, minor or pentatonic.
#10
Following on from all of this, I want to get something cleared up that's been bothering me for some time.

Let's say I have a song in the key of G major, and I was soloing over it using the G major pentatonic scale. What's always bothered me is that since the relative minor of G is E, what actual difference does soloing in either G major or E minor actually make? I know they're not technically the same scales although they contain the same notes, seeing as the roots are different and the notes are at different intervals from the root, but, on a practical level, what is the difference? As far as I can see, there really is none.
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#11
Karvid, E minor has a different tonal centre. You use the same notes, but if you actually use E minor that means you'll be resolving to E which will sound unfinished over a G Major chord progression. Whats more likely to happen is that you'll end up resolving to G anyway - which means you are playing G Major.

G Major and E minor have the same notes, which means they make the same shapes in the same places all over the fretboard. Learn the scales all over the neck and you'll see - from your quesion I'm guessing you've only learnt them each in one position.
#12
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They're the same raw material, but they become different things under certain conditions and will only ever be one of those things at any given time...in much the same way as ice, water and steam are all fundamentally the same thing but at the same time are quite different.

Quote by guitarlord28
This is probably a stupid question, and I fell dumb for asking it. But when people say a song is in the key of, say A minor, does that mean it uses the A minor pentatonic scale? I think it does, but I want to be sure. And, if it is in the key of A major, would I use the A major scale, or the A major Pentatonic?

No, that's backwards , put simply the key tells what chord the music resolves to and by association you what other chords will likely have been used. From that you can infer what scale will most likely have been used for any lead parts but it's not always the case, particularly in rock music - for example you'll often find the parallel minor scale used over a major key.
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#13
Quote by zhilla
Karvid, E minor has a different tonal centre. You use the same notes, but if you actually use E minor that means you'll be resolving to E which will sound unfinished over a G Major chord progression. Whats more likely to happen is that you'll end up resolving to G anyway - which means you are playing G Major.

G Major and E minor have the same notes, which means they make the same shapes in the same places all over the fretboard. Learn the scales all over the neck and you'll see - from your quesion I'm guessing you've only learnt them each in one position.

I actually realized that it was a pointless question right after posting it, seeing as I have actually learned pentatonic scales all over the neck.

The question I originally wanted to ask was about majors and minors and how they relate. So, for example, if there were a progression in E major, and I played in E minor on top of that how that would work, seeing as I would essentially be using the same notes I would if I were playing in G major. But I guess you've sort of answered that, too.

Edit: And it's also the effect that the parallel major and minor create, which makes it work if you think about on a less theoretical level.

I think the key is to learn what sounds a minor scale creates on top of a major progression and vice versa (this also goes for learning what modes work with what progressions and what the aural results of that are gonna be). I've usually stuck with major scales on top of major progressions and minor scales on top of minor progressions, but I've been wanting to experiment with minors on majors, and modes in general, for some time.
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