#1
I have very little knowledge on music theory and I often come across phrases like "playing in f#" or "e minor pentatonic scale". I know what the pentatonic scale is, but I. cannot understand this letter terminology. Can someone please provide detail on this topic?
#2
Do you know the note names?

If not, they are A, B, C, D, E, F and G (plus sharps and flats).

So, when you play the E minor pentatonic scale, it just means it's a pentatonic scale with E as the root note. You can play pentatonic scale in all different keys. The distance between every note stays the same but the note names change. For example E minor pentatonic and D minor pentatonic have different notes in them but the distance between the notes stays the same so they sound the same. And the distances between the notes are called intervals. The minor pentatonic scale in every key always uses the same pattern - root, minor third, perfect fourth, perfect fifth, minor seventh (or 1, b3, 4, 5, b7).

Learn the intervals and also learn to recognize them by ear (it takes time and won't happen instantly, but remember to use your ears because music is all about sound).

So if you want to build E minor pentatonic scale, first your root note is of course E. Then the minor third which is G. Perfect fourth from E is A. Perfect fifth is B and minor seventh is D. This is how you build the scale. But first you should learn about intervals so you understand all this.

Then the key you are playing in... It depends on the chords you are playing over. To know what key you are in, you need to listen to the song. One of the chords feels like home. There's no "tension" when you play that chord. That's your key center. For example if the chord is Em, you are in the key of E minor. It requires a decent ear so you may not be able to hear it yet. If you know the key the song is in, you know which scale to use. For example if the song is in E minor, you want to use the E minor scale.

This all may sound too complicated for now. But if you learn about intervals and note names a bit, you'll understand what I'm saying. And it might also be that you understood everything I said.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
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Yamaha P115
#3
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Do you know the note names?

If not, they are A, B, C, D, E, F and G (plus sharps and flats).

So, when you play the E minor pentatonic scale, it just means it's a pentatonic scale with E as the root note. You can play pentatonic scale in all different keys. The distance between every note stays the same but the note names change. For example E minor pentatonic and D minor pentatonic have different notes in them but the distance between the notes stays the same so they sound the same. And the distances between the notes are called intervals. The minor pentatonic scale in every key always uses the same pattern - root, minor third, perfect fourth, perfect fifth, minor seventh (or 1, b3, 4, 5, b7).

Learn the intervals and also learn to recognize them by ear (it takes time and won't happen instantly, but remember to use your ears because music is all about sound).

So if you want to build E minor pentatonic scale, first your root note is of course E. Then the minor third which is G. Perfect fourth from E is A. Perfect fifth is B and minor seventh is D. This is how you build the scale. But first you should learn about intervals so you understand all this.


Then the key you are playing in... It depends on the chords you are playing over. To know what key you are in, you need to listen to the song. One of the chords feels like home. There's no "tension" when you play that chord. That's your key center. For example if the chord is Em, you are in the key of E minor. It requires a decent ear so you may not be able to hear it yet. If you know the key the song is in, you know which scale to use. For example if the song is in E minor, you want to use the E minor scale.

This all may sound too complicated for now. But if you learn about intervals and note names a bit, you'll understand what I'm saying. And it might also be that you understood everything I said.


Thanks a lot! Best explanation. I understood most of it . I'll try to strengthen my ear.