#1
Ok, I'm gonna describe this the best that I can:

Basic 12 bar blues chords:
I IV V

Let's say we're using the key of E for this.
E(I) A(IV) B(V)

E Major Pentatonic
e-|--|2-|--|4-|--|--|7-|--|9-|--|--|12|--|14|--|16|--|--|19|--|21|--|--|24|
B-|--|2-|--|--|5-|--|7-|--|9-|--|--|12|--|14|--|--|17|--|19|--|21|--|--|24|
G-|1-|--|--|4-|--|6-|--|--|9-|--|11|--|13|--|--|16|--|18|--|--|21|--|23|--|
D-|--|2-|--|4-|--|6-|--|--|9-|--|11|--|--|14|--|16|--|18|--|--|21|--|23|--|
A-|--|2-|--|4-|--|--|7-|--|9-|--|11|--|--|14|--|16|--|--|19|--|21|--|23|--|
E-|--|2-|--|4-|--|--|7-|--|9-|--|--|12|--|14|--|16|--|--|19|--|21|--|--|24|


Minor Pentatonic E:
0|--|--|3-|--|5-|--|7-|--|--|10|--|12|--|--|15|--|17|18|19|--|--|20|--|24|
0|--|--|3-|--|5-|--|--|8-|--|10|--|12|--|--|15|--|17|--|--|20|--|22|--|24|
0|--|2-|--|4-|--|--|7-|--|9-|--|--|12|--|14|--|16|--|--|19|--|21|--|--|24|
0|--|2-|--|--|5-|--|7-|--|9-|--|--|12|--|14|--|--|17|--|19|--|21|--|--|24|
0|--|2-|--|--|5-|--|7-|--|--|10|--|12|--|14|--|--|17|--|19|--|--|22|--|24|
0|--|--|3-|--|5-|--|7-|--|--|10|--|12|--|--|15|--|17|--|19|--|--|22|--|24|


Major scale 1(E) 2(F#) 3(G#) 5(B) 6(C#)
Minor scale 1(E) b3(G) 4(A) 5(B) b7(D)

So here's my question... How come in, in standard I IV V 12 bar, if we want to play in the Major scale, we can't, in this example, play the note of A in the major scale? I realize that the 12356 skips A (since it's the 4th) but...

Why can't I play a 4th (A) when I'm playing AN A CHORD!!?

Signed,
A very confused person

PS. I'm learning lots from reading lessons and posts here, and improving greatly(for me at least :P), but this just has me baffled.
#2
Ok now I'm confused.

A is in both the E major and Minor scales...

Maybe review your notes?
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#3
nothing is saying you cant do it you just wouldnt be playing the a note in the major pent scale also its not garuanteed to sound how you expect for it to sound (bluesy)

and you can use the minor pentatonic instead which is more widely used and likely to sound good in your improv
Last edited by supersac at Sep 12, 2010,
#4
Quote by nightwind
Ok now I'm confused.

A is in both the E major and Minor scales...

Maybe review your notes?


but the fourth isnt in the major pentatonic
#5
Quote by nightwind
Ok now I'm confused.

A is in both the E major and Minor scales...

Maybe review your notes?



but the fourth isnt in the major pentatonic


^^^ This.

Why is it that in the chord progression itself, there is an A major chord(since E A B are all dominant chords), but in the major pentatonic scale, the A note(which is the 4th) is not 'acceptable' or however you say it if i want to play in the major pentatonic scale over a progression of all dominant chords, while staying in proper theory parameters?

Also, keep in mind I'm still very new to theory and want to learn things 'properly', which is what stemmed this thread. So if you reply, just make sure to remember you're talking to a newbie!
Last edited by Rvn at Sep 12, 2010,
#6
Quote by supersac
and you can use the minor pentatonic instead which is more widely used and likely to sound good in your improv


It's more widely used even if all of the chords are Major chords, like my example in the OP?
#7
Why is it that in the chord progression itself, there is an A major chord(since E A B are all dominant chords), but in the major pentatonic scale, the A note(which is the 4th) is not 'acceptable' or however you say it if i want to play in the major pentatonic scale over a progression of all dominant chords, while staying in proper theory parameters?

Also, keep in mind I'm still very new to theory and want to learn things 'properly', which is what stemmed this thread. So if you reply, just make sure to remember you're talking to a newbie!

i dont like using the jargon much eithr so basically the reason you wont use Emajor pent is because it doesnt have the correct notes if you want to use a major scale use the
major equvalent of E minor which is Gmajor pentatonic since is has all the same notes but still sounds major
i hope that helped
Last edited by supersac at Sep 12, 2010,
#8
The major and minor mixing like that is what gives blues its unique feel.

You CAN use an A note. It just isn't part of the pentatonic scale. You could use the entire major scale if you wanted to. Just see what notes the chords have and make sure you don't play anything that will clash.

After a while you'll learn that there is no acceptable or unacceptable. (unless you're composing strictly in a specific style but that's beside the point)
Quote by DiminishedFifth
Who's going to stop you? The music police?
#10
Quote by FacetOfChaos
The major and minor mixing like that is what gives blues its unique feel.

You CAN use an A note. It just isn't part of the pentatonic scale. You could use the entire major scale if you wanted to. Just see what notes the chords have and make sure you don't play anything that will clash.

After a while you'll learn that there is no acceptable or unacceptable. (unless you're composing strictly in a specific style but that's beside the point)



This.

Mixing the major and the minor correctly is a skill that takes some time to develop. In reality, you can play any note you want pretty much whenever you want, as long as it fits into the groove, or you massage it in.

Also, over a 12 bar blues in E, it is more common to play the E minor pentatonic/blues scale than it is to use the E major scale. It is a bit more difficult to make the E major pentatonic sound as bluesy as the minor or blues one can.

It is all about being aware of what chord you are playing over. A good exercise would be to ONLY play the chord tones of the chord you are soloing over. Learn which scale degrees go into making the chord you are playing, and those notes will ALWAYS sound good over said chord.

As an example, whenever you get to the A chord in this 12 bar blues, you can play the A, but I think it sounds better if you play the 3rd or the 5th of A as well, which are C# and E respectively. You can hear SRV do a lick where hell take that A note, bend it up to a B and then hit the 12th fret of the little E string, which sounds great over the A chord in a 12 bar blues in E.

Lemme know if this just confused you more than it helped any and I'll try to explain it better.
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#11
Ok cool, thanks everyone

That makes more sense now.

PS. Thank you for the replies and all the help I've been getting these last weeks. I even try to help out once in a while to return the favor when it's a very easy question that someone has that I may actually know an answer to! I think it's only fair to try and help since you all help me a lot. ^.^
Last edited by Rvn at Sep 12, 2010,
#12
im not sure why you think you "cant". if you are playing over the A chord, go for it. it might sound good if you were following the chords back to the tonic. you could over the others as well but it wont sound very "bluesy. in a major blues its usually dominant 7 chords or 9ths. sometimes its just a shuffle and yes sometimes its just regular major chords. but the blues "sound" is based on playing the minor and major pentatonic together to kinda fool around with tension and release. the major scale would sound to "proper" or "happy" over it. so the major pentatonic works better. the minor scale would sound wrong. the minor pentatonic solves this and works because of the dominant chords (and we kinda just let it slide with regular major chords). good blues players will mix the minor and major pentatonic together.
#13
Quote by Seryaph
It is all about being aware of what chord you are playing over. A good exercise would be to ONLY play the chord tones of the chord you are soloing over. Learn which scale degrees go into making the chord you are playing, and those notes will ALWAYS sound good over said chord.


Nope, you didn't confuse me

In fact, this might be a great way for me to practice! See, I already know the major and minor pentatonic scales pretty much by heart and where they fall on the fretboard in each key. I think my problem is that I'm trying so very hard to not screw up the theory portion, that I don't spend enough time practicing. Hell, I spend more time at my pc reading and pondering than I actually do playing my guitar. I think I'm overthinking stuff.

I think that you and FacetOfChaos are correct. I just need to start getting into a good way to practice and see what works and what clashes. Right now I seem to be really good at making things clash! Maybe I could write an album and title it 'Clash.' ROFL! :P
#14
Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
im not sure why you think you "cant". if you are playing over the A chord, go for it. it might sound good if you were following the chords back to the tonic. you could over the others as well but it wont sound very "bluesy. in a major blues its usually dominant 7 chords or 9ths. sometimes its just a shuffle and yes sometimes its just regular major chords. but the blues "sound" is based on playing the minor and major pentatonic together to kinda fool around with tension and release. the major scale would sound to "proper" or "happy" over it. so the major pentatonic works better. the minor scale would sound wrong. the minor pentatonic solves this and works because of the dominant chords (and we kinda just let it slide with regular major chords). good blues players will mix the minor and major pentatonic together.


The reason that I thought I 'can't' is because I was trying to understand how to use X key in I IV V while playing Major Pentatonic. And according to that specific scale, 12356, if I wanted to stay in that theory, I wouldn't be allowed. But you and the others have explained that I can, if I want. And that i just have to learn how to do it!

I hope it's ok that I'm replying this much, btw. I just want to be polite since you are all trying to help and spend your personal time to help me!

Edit: You bring up something else that I will have to learn: 'tension and release'

Edit #2: Btw Blind, I have listened to some of your youtube stuff. And I have a request, could you show yourself playing? It sounds so cool to me and I'd love to see the player behind the music! I particularly LOVE your 'A minor blues jam'. A is my favorite key by far! Followed by B then E. ^.^
Last edited by Rvn at Sep 12, 2010,
#15
Quote by supersac

i dont like using the jargon much eithr so basically the reason you wont use Emajor pent is because it doesnt have the correct notes if you want to use a major scale use the
major equvalent of E minor which is Gmajor pentatonic since is has all the same notes but still sounds major
i hope that helped


no, that's not how it works - there is no such thing as "playing the relative major" if your chord progression is in a minor key.

TS, E major is fine and you can use any notes you want. The major pentatonic scale omits the 4th and 7th notes of the major scale, therefore if you have chosen to use it you have chosen to omit the 4th and 7th notes, the 4th being A in this case. It's nohing to do with the scale not "allowing" you to play it, you yourself have decided not to play it by choosing to use that particular scale. Still doesn't mean you can't play it, but if you do us it then you're not really using the major pentatonic any more and you might as well just call it E major.

If you want to use A then don't use the pentatonic variant of the scale, it really is as simple as that.
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Last edited by steven seagull at Sep 12, 2010,
#17
Quote by Sean0913
There is so. But that is a pattern, and it still has the effect of functioning as a minor.
Precisely.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
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#18
Where the mystery lies is that while the Root notes of the I IV V are all in Key, but the harmonies used aren't. For instance, the E Blues roots E A B equal I IV V in the Key of E, but harmony wise each of the chords that go with the Root notes are dom7 chords (E7 A7 B7)...

so in the end, there isn't one scale that pertains to the whole progression. Even when you 'think' you're playing E Minor Pentatonic over the whole thing, you're really not due to the bending of the b3 over the E7 chord to bring it closer to the M3 (G->G#), or the bending of the 4th to the 5th over the A7 chord (D->E), and the bending of the b3 closer to the M3 over the B7 chord (D->Eb)...amongst other notes that are bent to get close to resolving pitches of the chords.

So, the notes of the E Minor Pentatonic themselves don't completely fit the progression but how you play the notes is what makes it fit, or seem like it's all one scale. Yes, it's all in one pattern but when you do these bends and other tweaks it's not directly from the pattern.

All these bends and tweaks are referred to as "blue notes". While the Blues scale shows one note as a "blues note" there are actually several more that can't be shown by drawing dots on the fretboard.

But the common thing between them is that you end up with Minor sounds wanting to resolve to Major sounds, based on all the chords in the progression being Major to begin with.

A process of dealing with these Minor to Major sounds is shown in great detail in this tutorial: http://lessons.mikedodge.com/lessons/AdvPent/AvdPentTOC.htm

READ the Introduction as it addresses some of the same questions you have as well as some questions that would probably come up next, and it reveals a lot of answers.

Then proceed onto more than 50 lessons/examples of how to breakdown and manage the two sounds. There is audio, tab, fretboard diagrams, and explanation to give you what you need for each lesson.

Start at the Introduction then work through the lessons in the order they are presented. You will see how these sounds are used to cop licks/sounds used but Page, SRV, Steve Morse, Alvin Lee, Albert Lee, Tom Anderson, Steve Lukather, Steve Vai, and more...

It's all completely free, not even any ads and definitely no pop ups or anything. It's straight learning!

Enjoy!
Last edited by MikeDodge at Sep 13, 2010,
#20
Sweet more replies ^.^

And thanks a bunch Mike Dodge!!! I am actually gonna head over and check out that stuff right now. I'll be sure to let ya know how it works out.
#21
Quote by Rvn
The reason that I thought I 'can't' is because I was trying to understand how to use X key in I IV V while playing Major Pentatonic. And according to that specific scale, 12356, if I wanted to stay in that theory, I wouldn't be allowed. But you and the others have explained that I can, if I want. And that i just have to learn how to do it!

well one thing to remember is that "theory" is just an explaination of something. in this case, music. so really, music theory arent rules that you must apply. theory will give you the best way to do things however. its the stuff you know is going to work and sound good. but composers and players have "broken the rules" for years. the better player you become, the better you will get at this. the more theory you know, the more you can "mess with it".

Edit: You bring up something else that I will have to learn: 'tension and release'

joe satriani has some cool vids on youtube about that. i forget which one, it might have been a lesson on modes or something. basically he says that people dont really notice that you are playing "out" as long as you bring it back "in" and dont rest on the "bad" notes too long. to them, it will just sound exotic.

Edit #2: Btw Blind, I have listened to some of your youtube stuff. And I have a request, could you show yourself playing? It sounds so cool to me and I'd love to see the player behind the music! I particularly LOVE your 'A minor blues jam'. A is my favorite key by far! Followed by B then E. ^.^


thanks man. yeah ive been thinking about doing that. i havent made a video in a while i might just do that.
#22
I'm not sure if I understood your post, but pentatonic scales by their nature leave out notes that are diatonic, so the 4th kinda clashes with the pentatonic (if it's 12356), don't you think?
#23
Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
thanks man. yeah ive been thinking about doing that. i havent made a video in a while i might just do that.


@SJPitrellifan~ Ya, I reckon it does sorta not fit perfectly. With the Major scale I mean.

I hope you do ^.^ I love watching skilled musicians of all kinds use their talents.

Edit: Unless it's an Oboe. I can't stand that sound! :P
#24
Why is it that in the chord progression itself, there is an A major chord(since E A B are all dominant chords), but in the major pentatonic scale, the A note(which is the 4th) is not 'acceptable' or however you say it if i want to play in the major pentatonic scale over a progression of all dominant chords, while staying in proper theory parameters?

There's your problem right there. Theory only explains something. Absolutely nothing will stop you using whatever you want. If you like the sound of it, do it.
#25
The real problem is that you're regarding the KEY as major pentatonic, and are afraid that it's going to clash for that reason.

The key isn't major penatonic, it's major, so includes two extra notes including the one you're worried about that's apparently missing.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#26
I knew what the key was. I just didn't understand why the 4th was being skipped like that. My real problem was that I didn't know that theory does not = absolute guitar law. ^.^