#1
omits the 4th and 7th scale degree? I realize these notes have a lot of tension and the 4th wants to resolve to the major 3rd and the the 7th wants to resolve to the tonic.

I was hoping that maybe someone could explain why these notes are omitted in relation to chords in backing track?

And also, in minor, the 2nd and 6th are omitted...which I understand are the same note distance as the relative major...but could someone explain this a little more
concretely?

Thankyou!!
#2
In the key of E minor for example. The F# and C would both sound pretty ugly over the tonic chord (Em). Eliminating these notes gets rid of the tension over the tonic, creating an easier solo opportunity as you are less likely to hit a note that will sound ugly.

I actually like the tension that these semitone intervals create, i very rarely play a solo with just pentatonics.
#3
I think you might be thinking about this backwards:

The pentatonic is a collection of notes that appears to be deeply embedded in our brains. It occurs in every musical culture. Bobby McFerrin does a great little gimmick to demonstrate this:

http://www.ted.com/talks/bobby_mcferrin_hacks_your_brain_with_music.html

It's a little three minute video. Worth checking out.

You might even go so far as to say that the diatonic scale is simply a way people have found to add two notes that work with the pentatonic scale that we were all born with - and different cultures have added different other notes (the flat five in west african music, the quarter-tone third in arabian music, etc).
#4
^I agree with this.

Another video expounding this same idea that the pentatonic scale is some kind of universal sclae that we are born to understand is this one...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnbOWi6f_IM#t=2m52s

Just to add some of my own idle thoughts on the topic...

The strongest relationship in music after the octave is the perfect fifth.

If we start on C and go up a perfect fifth we get G up a perfect fifth from there gives us D up a perfect fifth from there gives us A and up one more time we get E.

Put them in order within a scale range we get C D E G A C - the major pentatonic scale.

If we created a scale using a chain of fifths, using a minor third as the largest acceptable interval and wanted to do it in as few a steps as possible then this would be the result.


If we go one more step up from the E we get B and up from there we get F#. As F# can be particularly dissonant agains the tonic we can lower it a half step to get F which also happens to be the perfect fifth below the tonic. Then we have the major scale.

But this is all just idle observations that have no purpose or meaning really. The pentatonic scale is just what we naturally hit upon when we first started singing melodies. People naturally find it easy to sing whole tones and minor thirds than they do half tones or larger intervals.

We found pitches and intervals that sounded good and eventually when we got to the point of figuring out how to write down and structure these pitches into some kind of order they happened to be the pentatonic scale. How we fill that scale out is largely a matter of cultural conditioning. We could use some kind of microtonal scale that has 19 tones or like the western system we could use a diatonic scale.
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Feb 13, 2012,
#5
I really love that "How Music Works" series.

It's pretty basic but there's a lot of good info there.

Howard Godell also did an hour special on the Beatles, which you can find on Youtube. Also very good.
#6
Quote by dvm25
omits the 4th and 7th scale degree? I realize these notes have a lot of tension and the 4th wants to resolve to the major 3rd and the the 7th wants to resolve to the tonic.

I was hoping that maybe someone could explain why these notes are omitted in relation to chords in backing track?

And also, in minor, the 2nd and 6th are omitted...which I understand are the same note distance as the relative major...but could someone explain this a little more
concretely?

Thankyou!!

you pretty much explained it. the pentatonic is basically the strongest most resolved notes, which is probably why we are drawn to them. the wider intervals also tend to sound more melodic than smaller ones. they sound less scale like. and because those tension notes are gone, the scale works in more situations. semitones are usually harder to sing as well which may be why so many songs use pentatonics for the melody. any good player however will use these omitted notes when they see fit. they use the pentatonic as a base on which to build from. this is something i usually tend to do as well.
Last edited by Blind In 1 Ear at Feb 13, 2012,
#7
Quote by HotspurJr
I really love that "How Music Works" series.

It's pretty basic but there's a lot of good info there.

Howard Godell also did an hour special on the Beatles, which you can find on Youtube. Also very good.

Awesome I'll check it out. Thanks
Si
#8
Quote by mrbabo91
In the key of E minor for example. The F# and C would both sound pretty ugly over the tonic chord (Em). Eliminating these notes gets rid of the tension over the tonic, creating an easier solo opportunity as you are less likely to hit a note that will sound ugly.

I actually like the tension that these semitone intervals create, i very rarely play a solo with just pentatonics.
I agree that the C would most often sound "ugly" over E minor, no matter where it was placed.

But, played over E minor, F# is an interval of the 9th. I'd actually call it "dreamy", as opposed to "ugly".
Last edited by Captaincranky at Feb 13, 2012,
#9
Quote by Captaincranky
I agree that the C would most often sound "ugly" over E minor, no matter where it was placed.


This is just an Em13 chord, and there's nothing wrong with it. Try this voicing:

e 8
B 8
G 7
D x
A 7
E x

Remember, the really important notes in an Em chord E and G. Putting a C in there just makes it an inversion of C major.
Quote by metal4all
Just, no. Locrian should be treated like that gay cousin. Just avoid him cuz he's weird, unstable, and is attracted to the wrong thing.


Quote by steven seagull
Big deal, I bought a hamster once and they put that in a box...doesn't make it a scale.
#10
You can build a lot of pentatonics, removing different notes of the scale (or mode).

I Think the intention of this is to create bigger intervalic stretches or jumps (sorry about my english, i'm from chile), so it will be sound more " interesting "
#11
Quote by yM.Samurai
This is just an Em13 chord, and there's nothing wrong with it. Try this voicing:

e 8
B 8
G 7
D x
A 7
E x

Remember, the really important notes in an Em chord E and G. Putting a C in there just makes it an inversion of C major.
OK, I'm going to go with calling this Em6, only 'cause I thought that "x" meant mute or don't play that string. If it said "0" I would interpret that as "play open". I of course could be wrong, at least if past performance is any indicator.

Moving on, adding a "C" to E minor yields Cmaj7, which has a pleasant enough sound, but possibly would be tough to work into grunge metal....
#12
I called it an Em13 because there's a D natural being played on the 7th fret of the G. I just posted an Em7 shape without the 5th and with a 13th on top.

...but it doesn't really matter :P

And you're right, I don't think it'd fit, but you could use it for soloing purposes.
Quote by metal4all
Just, no. Locrian should be treated like that gay cousin. Just avoid him cuz he's weird, unstable, and is attracted to the wrong thing.


Quote by steven seagull
Big deal, I bought a hamster once and they put that in a box...doesn't make it a scale.
#13
Quote by mrbabo91
In the key of E minor for example. The F# and C would both sound pretty ugly over the tonic chord (Em). Elimina(Invalid img)ting these notes gets rid of the tension over the tonic, creating an easier solo opportun it xP Just my opinion... nity as you are less likely to hit a note that will sound ugly.

I actually like the tension that these semitone intervals create, i very rarely play a solo with just pentatonics.
n it xP Just my opinion...