hey guys hoping you could help me out with something. i learned the pentatonic scale recently and asked one of my very guitar savvy friends what i should learn next, and he said to learn the minor half steps of the pentatonic scale. ive got a guess at what it might mean, but im having trouble putting even that into words.

i know the simplest solution is probably to just ask him but i ask him guitar and theory stuff all the time and i figured id let him off the hook and ask you guys
Quote by evolucian
Fill the gaps

haha thats what i thought but then wouldnt all the notes be included? that seems like too many to all work
Nah... just kidding bro... only fill some gaps

Look at your minor scale formulae, which would fall on degrees 2, 3 and 6... you could include the 7th degree too but its more diminished than minor (although you could get away with it depending on how you were playing). So for now, lets just look at degrees 2, 3 and 6:

2nd degree: R 2 b3 4 5 6 b7

3rd degree: R b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7

6th degree: R 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7

Now lets look at the minor pentatonic you learned.

R b3 4 5 b7

With that in your hands now... it might be easier to fill the selected gaps... always remembering that a tone is equivalent to 2 frets and a semitone is 1 fret away. So if you see R followed by b2... it means a semitone away from where you started. If it says R 2... then the next note is 2 frets away from where you started
I think he means learn Em pentatonic, then Fm Pentatonic, then F#m, then Gm etc. until you know them all.
Although this is very simple on guitar, as all of them are derived from the same basic shape

Edit: Nevermind, listen to this guy ^^^
Last edited by whoomit at Jun 1, 2010,
He means learn the whole heptatonic scales that the pentatonic scales are derived from.

Basically the essence of pentatonic (5-note) scales is they take certain heptatonic (7-note) scales (major and natural minor to be exact) and they eliminate the half-steps by removing two notes.

The major scale consists of the intervals 1 2 3 4 5 6 7. There is a half-step between 3 and 4 and between 7 and 1. So, how the major pentatonic works, is it takes out the 4 and the 7, leaving you with 1 2 3 5 6. Now you ask, why the 4 and the 7 instead of the 3 and the 1? Well, you obviously want the 1 in there since it's the root, but the 3 is left in too because it's a chord tone (or so I presume).

The natural minor scale, on the other hand, consists of 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7. There is a half-step between the 2 and b3 and between the 5 and b6, so to make the minor pentatonic, you take out the 2 and the b6, leaving you with 1 b3 4 5 b7.

That's the idea behind the pentatonic scales. I'm pretty sure what your friend is talking about is putting those half-steps back into the pentatonics to get their respective heptatonics.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
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