#1
Hello everybody.

I don't know exactly the difference between the minor pentatonic scale and its major pentatonic.

For example can you show me one guitar solo based on C major pentatonic and another with A minor pentatonic?

It depends on the chord progression?
Are there any specific rules ?
#2
It's about where the resolve is, and how the melody feels. Both will use the same notes, but the major will resolve on C, meaning when you hit a C and stay on it, it will feel completed and comfortable. It will also feel "happy." If the resolve is on A, it will feel "darker;" this is minor.

The context of the rest of the song also helps. If the song is in Am or C, though this isn't a hard-set rule.
#3
Both scales contain the same notes. for an Am pentatonic, you have the root (1), minor 3rd (C), Perfect Fourth (D), Perfect fifth (E), and minor 7th (G). For the C major pentatonic you have the root (C), major second (D), major 3rd (E), Perfect fifth (G), and major six (A).

Think of it like this: since they are technically the same scale, to get different sounds out of them over the same progression you need to focus on the respected root of each scale. if you resolve to a C enough, the scale will sound major; while if you resolve to an A, it will sound minor. This is a lot easier said than done, as with modes, so it's easier to just play over different progressions.
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#4
Quote by TK1

to get different sounds out of them over the same progression you need to focus on the respected root of each scale. if you resolve to a C enough, the scale will sound major; while if you resolve to an A, it will sound minor..



I disagree with this part.


If you focus on the C in an A minor progression won't you hear it as a minor 3rd therefore no matter how many times you play it you will always hear it in relation to the key or current chord thats being played.

I could be wrong though
#5
First off, they use the same notes. So in a sense, they are the same.

What changes is the root note. This is the note that sounds final if you play it last. I'ts also the note everything else is relative to. This actually makes it sound completely different since your ear hears how far notes are apart, not which note it is. Because of this, each note of the scale has a different "purpose." It's a good idea to think of them as different scales, so that you don't mix up which note you're playing.

For example, A min Pent is A, C, D, E, G. If you play C over an A minor chord, you'll hear the C as a minor third, D as a fourth, etc.
C maj pent is C, D, E, G, A. If you play a C, it will sound like the root/"ending" note. A D mill be a major second, etc. The numbers and major/minor before the number come from how far they are from the root and is how you should think of them because that is what determines what they sound like.

You're right that the root note is mostly dependent on the chords it's played over.
Sorry if that's hard to understand, I haven't really tried explaining this before.
#6
It's basically said above. One is major, one is minor. One resolves to C, the other resolves to A. The chord progression will determine where the song resolves to, not your note choice over it.

As for examples, look up backing tracks in A minor. Improvise over it. Then look up backing tracks in C major. Improvise over that. Hopefully you hear a difference.
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#7
oK...
BUT PRACTICALLY:

The chord progression is:

C F G ...repeated

Can you show me a little am pent solo and a c maj pent solo?

which notes should I use in order to make the solo "sad" (A min) or "happy" (C maj)???
#8
Quote by sgabbo
oK...
BUT PRACTICALLY:

The chord progression is:

C F G ...repeated

Can you show me a little am pent solo and a c maj pent solo?

which notes should I use in order to make the solo "sad" (A min) or "happy" (C maj)???


That progression is in C major. No matter what you play, it'll be C major.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#9
So if a song has a (C for example) major chord progression thus if the scale used for the solo is a pentatonic (A min o C maj in this case) it will be for sure major pentatonic??
Last edited by sgabbo at Oct 7, 2011,
#10
Quote by sgabbo
So if a song has a (C for example) major chord progression thus if the scale used for the solo is a pentatonic (A min o C maj in this case) it will be for sure major pentatonic??


Yes
#11
Quote by sgabbo
So if a song has a (C for example) major chord progression thus if the scale used for the solo is a pentatonic (A min o C maj in this case) it will be for sure major pentatonic??


Yes. It's referred to as the key of C major.
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#12
But for example:

Knocking on the heaven's door by Guns & Roses...

It's is in G major: G D C ....

But everybody say that the solo is in Em pentatonic...in fact it's so sad..

Why in this case over a major chord progression the pent is minor and not major??
#13
Quote by sgabbo
But for example:

Knocking on the heaven's door by Guns & Roses...

It's is in G major: G D C ....

But everybody say that the solo is in Em pentatonic...in fact it's so sad..

Why in this case over a major chord progression the pent is minor and not major??


It's not in E minor, it's in G major. The solo is in G major.

Major can be sad.

Minor can be happy.
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#14
That's because everyone solo's over that using Em Pentatonic shape 1. But it's not Em Pentatonic, it's G major pentatonic shape 5.

It's sad because of a combination of harmonic rhythm and the melody.
#15
So my next question is:

If I have a chord progression in C major, using the Cmaj pent, how can I play a "sad" solo and an "happy" solo?

Are there any general rules?? for example for a sad solo play mostly the fifth note (a random one)
#16
Quote by sgabbo
So my next question is:

If I have a chord progression in C major, using the Cmaj pent, how can I play a "sad" solo and an "happy" solo?

Are there any general rules?? for example for a sad solo play mostly the fifth note (a random one)


Not really. It's a function of understanding the relationship of the scale to the chord progression, of having musical ideas, of knowing how different notes will react in different contexts.

Work on your ear and your phrasing, and this sort of thing will start to come to you.
#17
Let's try some reverse engineering.....You can take any Major key, its root chord, (the 1 chord), or its relative minor, (the 6 chord), and improvise over them with the same pentatonic scale. That said, it seems silly to continue to either doubt that, or continue to argue about the name.

What you really need to do, is learn the major scale associated with the root note, and learn what notes NOT to play, when improvising in a pentatonic scale.

Let's look at "G" Major, the notes are: G, A, B, C, D, E, F#, and G (again)

The pentatonic scale for either the "G" Major chord, or the "E" minor chord, contains these notes: G, A, B, D, E, and G (again).

So what notes of the pure major scale are we missing? We're missing the fourth, ("C"), and we're missing the seventh, ("F#)".......!

Played against a G major chord "F#" is the major seventh, and the "C" would be the suspended forth. These steps of the scale destroy the overall harmonic feel that a pentatonic scale should convey, hence they are avoided. That's not open to discussion, that's just cultural harmonic conditioning! It just is, period!

Let's try pulling the pentatonic scale out of "A" Major, and its relative minor, "F#" minor.


The major scale in "A" Major is this: A, B, C#, D, E, F#, G#, and A (again).

We simply count up, then delete "D" (the 4th), and G# (the 7th)!

So, what's left? Well, we now have: A, B, C#, E, F#, and A (again).

That would be the pentatonic scale to improv over either the "A" Major chord, or the "F#" minor chord.

Now you try it. Pick a note, any note.....