#1
If you are improvising over a progression in a Major key, say E. For improvisation you could use any E Major scale (E Major, E Major Pent, Etc). Also the same for minor keys as well. Is this correct?

Also can you mix the scales as well as long as they are either Major scales or Minor scales? In the example above could you mix the major pent with the major scale in an progression in the key of E?
#2
That seems about right for your first question, yes. Yes to the second as well, because the pentatonic is basically the notes in the major scale that are the most constant, so you can solo in the major or minor scale and just primarily use notes from the corresponding pentatonic, while still throwing in notes from the overall major to keep it interesting. But it looks like you have the right idea, good luck.
#3
Every note in the pentatonic major/minor scale is found in the parallel diatonic major/minor scale. So every note in E major pentatonic is found in the E major scale.
#4
Yeah that would be correct.
But its also a pretty cool technique to change your scales depending on what chords your improvising over. If your in E and your doing a basic I, IV, V progression then your chords would be E, A, and B. So while the E chord is being played, play an E maj pentatonic first position (for example, any E maj scale could work). Then when the chord change comes to an A chord, try playing a scale in A major. Like pentatonic position 4. And then pentatonic position 3 for your B chord.

Also, its ok to slip into the minor pentatonic while soloing in the major key. The notes in the minor pentatonic would be your 1, 3b, 4, 5, 7b. Using your flatted tones can make your solo sound very "bluesy." But you can also bend or slide those tones into your 3 and 7 natural tons. Which also can sound really cool.

Just some more advice I guess, but yes to both your questions.
#5
Thanks. One last question. I have been studying the Harmonic minor scale and this scale does not contain a D where the Pent minor does. But I did find that the Melodic minor does contain all the same notes as the pent minor. What is more useful in popular music the Harmonic minor or the Melodic minor and also is the Melodic minor also called the natural minor is is this yet another minor scale?

Thanks
#6
Quote by McG5-0
Thanks. One last question. I have been studying the Harmonic minor scale and this scale does not contain a D where the Pent minor does. But I did find that the Melodic minor does contain all the same notes as the pent minor. What is more useful in popular music the Harmonic minor or the Melodic minor and also is the Melodic minor also called the natural minor is is this yet another minor scale?

Thanks


When descending, the melodic minor is the same as the natural minor (though jazz musicians often break that "rule" and play the melodic minor descending as well).

I'm not sure which is "more useful," it depends on how you use the scales.
#7
The melodic minor scale is used in melodies. It is different ascending than when descending and as such, you don't typically use it for harmonic playing. It is the natural minor when descending, however.

The harmonic minor has #7 at all times, which means it's more stable for harmonic use (as its name implies).
#9
Quote by McG5-0
By useful I mean, what is most commonly used in rock music.
I think the harmonic minor. At least in the music I listen to.

Quote by freakstylez
The harmonic minor has #7 at all times, which means it's more stable for harmonic use (as its name implies).
It does not have a #7, it has a 7. Sure, it is sharped from the natural minor's b7, but that doesn't make it a #7. A #7 is enharmonic to a 1.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
Last edited by food1010 at Jan 9, 2010,
#10
Quote by food1010
It does not have a #7, it has a 7. Sure, it is sharped from the natural minor's b7, but that doesn't make it a #7. A #7 is enharmonic to a 1.

I think he meant a sharpened 7th of the natural minor, but you're right. It should be in the context of the parallel major.
#11
If you are just beginning to improvise (which is probably a logical assumption) I would highly suggest you stick to straight pentatonics. As in, only E major pentatonic over an E major progression and only D minor pentatonics over an D minor progression and so on.

By limiting yourself to 5 notes, you can focus on your phrasing (protip: imagine yourself singing with your guitar) your general feel for improvisation. When you feel you've mastered pentatonics, start playing around with non-scale notes.
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[U]      //| \      |       |      [/U]
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#12
Quote by demonofthenight
imagine yourself singing with your guitar

This, a vocalist doesn't sing lyrics non-stop. There's has to be space between the notes.
#13
Quote by food1010
I think the harmonic minor. At least in the music I listen to.

It does not have a #7, it has a 7. Sure, it is sharped from the natural minor's b7, but that doesn't make it a #7. A #7 is enharmonic to a 1.


Sorry, you're right. I knew what I was saying, just stated it incorrectly.
#14
Quote by freakstylez
Sorry, you're right. I knew what I was saying, just stated it incorrectly.
Yeah, I knew you did, I just wanted to make that clear.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#15
Thanks. More good advise. After reflecting on this I maybe be searching for a different scale when I should just improve my phrasing. Phrasing is such an abstract concept that I will sometimes just not think of it and think more like there has to be another scale I can use to make my solos more interesting instead of just focusing on making them more interesting with the pentatonics. Thanks guys.
#16
Quote by McG5-0
Thanks. More good advise. After reflecting on this I maybe be searching for a different scale when I should just improve my phrasing. Phrasing is such an abstract concept that I will sometimes just not think of it and think more like there has to be another scale I can use to make my solos more interesting instead of just focusing on making them more interesting with the pentatonics. Thanks guys.
I think a good way to go about learning how to better phrase your solos is to primarily learn, and become familiar with scales and such, but then once you master that, just forget about that stuff and just play. It takes a lot of creativity to do one without the other and have it still sound good. It can be done, but the most logical progression is to master theory, and then learn how to actually play. It will take a while though.

That's my take on it at least.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#18
Quote by freakstylez
The melodic minor scale is used in melodies. It is different ascending than when descending and as such, you don't typically use it for harmonic playing. It is the natural minor when descending, however.

The harmonic minor has #7 at all times, which means it's more stable for harmonic use (as its name implies).

It's not caled that because it's "used in melodies", all scales are used in melodies, likewise all scales are used in a harmonic context.

The harmonic minor was introduced as it makes for a nicer resolution to the tonic, the melodic minor was introduced to smooth out the jarring 2 semitone jump you get from raising the 7th to create the harmonic minor scale. Both those scale conventions were introduced to address issues using the natural minor scale over certain chord progressions.
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Last edited by steven seagull at Jan 10, 2010,
#19
Quote by food1010
I think a good way to go about learning how to better phrase your solos is to primarily learn, and become familiar with scales and such, but then once you master that, just forget about that stuff and just play. It takes a lot of creativity to do one without the other and have it still sound good. It can be done, but the most logical progression is to master theory, and then learn how to actually play. It will take a while though.

That's my take on it at least.


The only problem is, is finding enough of a vocabulary musically from inside, before you've exhausted your own well or bored yourself with the same old playing. This is why its good to learn what others have done that sounds interesting to you, in the context of also understanding the theory, so that you can add these ideas in a tangible way to your own playing approach. If you play long enough, you will eventually develop an amalgamation of different styles and ideas which together make up your own.