#1
I have recently picked up the idea of the minor pentatonic scale. I learned to first and second box of it and have been trying to improv to backing tracks with varying success. While I was doing this, I was adhering strictly to the pentatonic scale, not deviating from the notes in the scale.


The other day, I sat down with a very talented friend in hopes to gain some knowledge. We sat there and we would jam. He would play a chord progression and I would find the key and improv. Along the way, he would show me things I could be doing differently and even different notes I could be playing, notes that were not in the pentatonic scale I have been learning.



Sometimes sliding from that B to that C# would sound better than sliding from that B to that A, even though C# isn't a part of the B minor pentatonic scale.

However, I found myself to be in a different scale or pattern, because some I find myself not being able to go back and play that D for a few notes.

I'm not sure if I am explaining this correctly, but to be put simply, it feels like when I slide from B to C# I find myself in a new scale or pattern.

This is a happy but confusing discovery to me, because music just isn't scales and shapes. If I would have never jammed with my friend, I would just be playing the pentatonic randomly, but now I am confused as to what I am technically doing.
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Last edited by Funcoot at Dec 24, 2011,
#2
Well there's a whole step between B and C#, so it's possible that you could have gone into pattern 3 depending on where you were playing on the neck. What do you mean when you say you can't go back? Does it sound out of key all the time, or does it just take a second for your ear to adjust to it again?
#3
C# is part of the key of c minor depending on which chord is played C# will sound better than A, you may consider learning a full minor scale rather than just pentatonic
#4
Quote by MonsterMetalMus
Well there's a whole step between B and C#, so it's possible that you could have gone into pattern 3 depending on where you were playing on the neck. What do you mean when you say you can't go back? Does it sound out of key all the time, or does it just take a second for your ear to adjust to it again?

I should have just said D.
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Have you ever done this before? It's freakin' sweet! Earlier today, I was bored as hell just laying on my bed. I had an erection, so I started to use my penis as a gear stick and I was pretending I was driving. Has anyone else here ever tired this?
#5
Quote by Bad Kharmel
C# is part of the key of c minor depending on which chord is played C# will sound better than A, you may consider learning a full minor scale rather than just pentatonic

I should have mentioned I'm playing in B minor.
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Have you ever done this before? It's freakin' sweet! Earlier today, I was bored as hell just laying on my bed. I had an erection, so I started to use my penis as a gear stick and I was pretending I was driving. Has anyone else here ever tired this?
#7
Oh, so I was playing in the C minor scale, except I was only playing the notes in the pentatonic?
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Have you ever done this before? It's freakin' sweet! Earlier today, I was bored as hell just laying on my bed. I had an erection, so I started to use my penis as a gear stick and I was pretending I was driving. Has anyone else here ever tired this?
#8
Quote by Funcoot
Oh, so I was playing in the C minor scale, except I was only playing the notes in the pentatonic?


No, not C minor B minor, B minor is B,C#,D,E,F#,G,A,B you were playing in B minor, B minor pentatonic just removes the C# and the and the G, its easier to use but doesn't necessarily sound as good, I'm sorry for confusing you when I said you were in C minor it was just a typo, and I meant B minor
#9
Maybe I can explain it better. A minor pentatonic scale is a scale that is made up of only five notes. Thats why its called a "penta"-tonic scale. The B minor pentatonic scale uses the notes B, D, E, F#, and A. The pentatonic scales are simply simplified versions of the normal major and minor scales. A regular minor scale consists of 7 notes. There are two notes that are not used in a pentatonic scale. For B minor, the two motes missing are C# and G. You can still occasionally use these notes when soloing with the pentatonic scale, and it will sound fine.
#10
Quote by Bad Kharmel
No, not C minor B minor, B minor is B,C#,D,E,F#,G,A,B you were playing in B minor, B minor pentatonic just removes the C# and the and the G, its easier to use but doesn't necessarily sound as good, I'm sorry for confusing you when I said you were in C minor it was just a typo, and I meant B minor


Haha, mine was a typo too. I guess a typo is as contagious as a yawn, haha. I meant B minor.


But yeah, I was basically playing the B minor scale, I just thought I was playing the pentatonic + C#
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Have you ever done this before? It's freakin' sweet! Earlier today, I was bored as hell just laying on my bed. I had an erection, so I started to use my penis as a gear stick and I was pretending I was driving. Has anyone else here ever tired this?
#11
Quote by bosshog11
Maybe I can explain it better. A minor pentatonic scale is a scale that is made up of only five notes. Thats why its called a "penta"-tonic scale. The B minor pentatonic scale uses the notes B, D, E, F#, and A. The pentatonic scales are simply simplified versions of the normal major and minor scales. A regular minor scale consists of 7 notes. There are two notes that are not used in a pentatonic scale. For B minor, the two motes missing are C# and G. You can still occasionally use these notes when soloing with the pentatonic scale, and it will sound fine.


Ah, thank you. This makes sense and what I was guessing. Is this why I constantly hear, "Don't think in shapes and boxes, think in music."

People sometimes conform themselves to a box and patterns?
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#13
It's possible the notes your friend was suggesting harmonized better with the underlying chords. When I first started soloing, I got the idea that since pentatonic scales had no "bad" notes in them that I didn't have to care what I was playing. Since then I've learned that there's more to it than what patterns you know, and that just farting out random licks doesn't count as a solo.
#14
Quote by Funcoot
Ah, thank you. This makes sense and what I was guessing. Is this why I constantly hear, "Don't think in shapes and boxes, think in music."

People sometimes conform themselves to a box and patterns?

Not so much that, it's more a case that they will approach "improvising" by looking at their pattern and thinking "which dots shall I use", as opposed to first thinking about the sound they're wanting to create.
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#15
Quote by Funcoot
I have recently picked up the idea of the minor pentatonic scale. I learned to first and second box of it and have been trying to improv to backing tracks with varying success. While I was doing this, I was adhering strictly to the pentatonic scale, not deviating from the notes in the scale.


The other day, I sat down with a very talented friend in hopes to gain some knowledge. We sat there and we would jam. He would play a chord progression and I would find the key and improv. Along the way, he would show me things I could be doing differently and even different notes I could be playing, notes that were not in the pentatonic scale I have been learning.



Sometimes sliding from that B to that C# would sound better than sliding from that B to that A, even though C# isn't a part of the B minor pentatonic scale.

However, I found myself to be in a different scale or pattern, because some I find myself not being able to go back and play that D for a few notes.

I'm not sure if I am explaining this correctly, but to be put simply, it feels like when I slide from B to C# I find myself in a new scale or pattern.

This is a happy but confusing discovery to me, because music just isn't scales and shapes. If I would have never jammed with my friend, I would just be playing the pentatonic randomly, but now I am confused as to what I am technically doing.


The Pentatonic Minor scale is a stripped down form of a Natural Minor scale. It contains most of the safe notes, so that people starting out can improvise without worrying as extensively about resolution. The C# IS a 2nd/9th in B Natural Minor, you've merely discovered one of the two notes that the Pentatonic "misses" because it can be frustrating to the beginner if he tries to land on it and sustain it in an improv.

It creates a lot of tension, which is great in the hands of the skilled, but can be agitating to the one not ready for it. Now that you've discovered it, you'll no doubt notice its instability, so use it as a flavor note to keep things interesting.

Best,

Sean