is there some kind of formula or something to figure out how many pentatonic patters fit in one major scale patter for example dorian has three the minor shape the 5th shape that everyone knows and the second shape and the and the 4rth shape all fit in there its really cool it open the pattern more and give you more options but i want to know if theres a way of just knowing what patterns fit and why and how it works i dont know if my question makes any sense i just saw this last night and it blew my mind so now i really dont know what to do with it
In the key of Cionian, you can play the Am pentatonic scale (A - C - D - E - G), Dm pentatonic scale (D - F - G - A - C), and the Em pentatonic scale (E - G - A - B - D). You "should" play these over the 3 minor chords (Am, Dm, Em) correspondingly, and over the chord that uses the minor triad and the 3rd, 5th, and 7th notes in its 7 chord; by that I mean Am (A-C-E) is the 3, 5 and 7 of Fmaj7 (F-A-C-E), and Dm is of G7 and Em is of Cmaj7. These go well together because it hits the whole triad plus the 9 and 13 which are leading tones.

Along with that, you can modulate, dont forget it! If you want, play Cmaj7 and go up to Ebmaj7, and play Fm, Gm, or Cm pentatonic scales then modulate to Fmaj7 and play Dm or Am and then back to Cmaj. Dont limit yourself
Quote by jrcsgtpeppers
In the key of Cionian, you can play the Am pentatonic scale (A - C - D - E - G), Dm pentatonic scale (D - F - G - A - C), and the Em pentatonic scale (E - G - A - B - D). You "should" play these over the 3 minor chords (Am, Dm, Em) correspondingly, and over the chord that uses the minor triad and the 3rd, 5th, and 7th notes in its 7 chord; by that I mean Am (A-C-E) is the 3, 5 and 7 of Fmaj7 (F-A-C-E), and Dm is of G7 and Em is of Cmaj7. These go well together because it hits the whole triad plus the 9 and 13 which are leading tones.

All of those scales are actually the Cmajor pentatonic. Why? Because the key is C. It doesn't matter if you start on A, D, E, or any other note. If the key is C major, the scales above will SOUND like Cmajor pentatonic.

Along with that, you can modulate, dont forget it! If you want, play Cmaj7 and go up to Ebmaj7, and play Fm, Gm, or Cm pentatonic scales then modulate to Fmaj7 and play Dm or Am and then back to Cmaj. Dont limit yourself

This, however, is true.

@TS:
It really doesn't matter how many patterns there are. All that matters is the intervals. The major pentatonic has the following intervals: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 (so that's the notes C, D, E, G, A in the key of C). The minor pentatonic has the following intervals: 1, b3, 4, 5, b7 (so that's the notes C, Eb, F, G, Bb in the key of C). Mix those two together and you have the intervals: 1, 2, b3, 3, 4, 5, 6, & b7 (which is the notes C, D, Eb, E, F, G, A, Bb in the key of C). Those intervals are all over the fretboard. Find your tonic note (aka your "1"; which is C in this case) and follow the interval pattern. Then, use your ear to hear what notes sound good against what chords and so on.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Apr 22, 2014,
It's probably more helpful to think of the pentatonic scales as the 'skeleton' that the major and minor modes are hung on and like supersac said, learn them and your fretboard notes while you USE them in songs and your 'noodling'.

C major pentatonic is C D E G A. C Ionian is C D E F G A B C, C Lydian is C D E F# G A B C and C Mixolydian is C D E F G A Bb C. No matter the section of song or harmonic changes you are playing over, the pentatonic tones will sound smooth and 'blended' as long as your melody is moving.

Same with minor pentatonic and the minor modes. E minor pentatonic is E B A B D. E Aeolian is E F# G A B C D E, E Dorian is E F# G A B C# D E and E Phrygian is E F G A B C D E. The pentatonic tones are common to all three.

This may not have directly answered your question but I believe a bit of a direction change in your focus may open up your understanding better. As always, it's USING these things that will put them straight in your mind and under your fingers when playing. Good luck
There is one position for every note in the scale so there are five positions to learn.

Here is a lesson I found on it in 10 seconds.

This one is in E minor, so the notes are E G A B D so pattern one starts on E, pattern two starts on G etc.

Learn the patterns, then mess around and start seeing what sort of sounds you can get. You'll start to see where a lot of players get some of those 'classic' guitar licks.

Don't be afraid to explore notes outside the shapes as well.

Once you learn your major scales and pentatonic scales well enough, you will see the patterns and things will make sense. For now, just get those fundamentals down.
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Last edited by British_Steal at Apr 22, 2014,
How many forms? A bunch.

Study them? Maybe.

Be unique and don't worry about patterns and modes too much? Absolutely.

I know, that's vague.
Okay, take the term "Pentatonic" at its basic meaning, it's "5 notes". Essentially any 5 note scale can be termed "pentatonic" (Not necessarily major or minor).

If you mean "Major Pentatonic", there is an interval formula as related to the tonic, if the tonic is the same as the major scale.

Root, Major 2nd, Major 3rd, 5th and Major 6th.

D is immediately eliminated as a Major Pentatonic embedded in the C Major scale, because it lacks a Major 3rd

E is immediately eliminated as a Major Pentatonic embedded in the C Major scale because it lacks a Major 2nd

Now F - That IS a Major Pentatonic embedded in the C Major scale because from F it has ALL the intervals, Root, 2 3 5 and 6

And G - This IS a Major Pentatonic embedded in the C Major scale, because from G it has ALL the intervals, Root, 2 3 5 and 6

A is eliminated, because it does not have a Major 3rd so it is not a Major Pent embedded within the C major scale.

B does NOT have a Major 3rd, so it is not a Major Pentatonic, embedded within the C Major scale.

So what have we discovered then, if we are to step back and observe the tendencies?

The I IV and V chords, all have Major pentatonics embedded within the Major scale of the I chord.

Best,

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at Apr 22, 2014,
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
All of those scales are actually the Cmajor pentatonic. Why? Because the key is C. It doesn't matter if you start on A, D, E, or any other note. If the key is C major, the scales above will SOUND like Cmajor pentatonic.

This, however, is true.

@TS:
It really doesn't matter how many patterns there are. All that matters is the intervals. The major pentatonic has the following intervals: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 (so that's the notes C, D, E, G, A in the key of C). The minor pentatonic has the following intervals: 1, b3, 4, 5, b7 (so that's the notes C, Eb, F, G, Bb in the key of C). Mix those two together and you have the intervals: 1, 2, b3, 3, 4, 5, 6, & b7 (which is the notes C, D, Eb, E, F, G, A, Bb in the key of C). Those intervals are all over the fretboard. Find your tonic note (aka your "1"; which is C in this case) and follow the interval pattern. Then, use your ear to hear what notes sound good against what chords and so on.

They technically arent the same scale at all. Pentatonic scales are groups of 5 notes, the groups of 5 notes in the Dm, Em and Am pentatonic scales are not the same. It does matter what note you start on. It plays a huge role.
As Sean explained, if you have a C major scale, there are three different pentatonic scales that you could use over it (C, F and G major pentatonic). But they will all sound like the C major scale. To figure out the scales you need to look at the notes of C major scale and the notes in the pentatonic scales. But I wouldn't think this way. This is just a more complicated way of playing the C major scale. Just learn the C major scale and you don't need to think this way. I mean, why think in 3 different pentatonic scales when you can think in just one scale.
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Quote by Sean0913
Okay, take the term "Pentatonic" at its basic meaning, it's "5 notes". Essentially any 5 note scale can be termed "pentatonic" (Not necessarily major or minor).

If you mean "Major Pentatonic", there is an interval formula as related to the tonic, if the tonic is the same as the major scale.

Root, Major 2nd, Major 3rd, 5th and Major 6th.

D is immediately eliminated as a Major Pentatonic embedded in the C Major scale, because it lacks a Major 3rd

E is immediately eliminated as a Major Pentatonic embedded in the C Major scale because it lacks a Major 2nd

Now F - That IS a Major Pentatonic embedded in the C Major scale because from F it has ALL the intervals, Root, 2 3 5 and 6

And G - This IS a Major Pentatonic embedded in the C Major scale, because from G it has ALL the intervals, Root, 2 3 5 and 6

A is eliminated, because it does not have a Major 3rd so it is not a Major Pent embedded within the C major scale.

B does NOT have a Major 3rd, so it is not a Major Pentatonic, embedded within the C Major scale.

So what have we discovered then, if we are to step back and observe the tendencies?

The I IV and V chords, all have Major pentatonics embedded within the Major scale of the I chord.

Best,

Sean

Does this mean you can play the minor pentatonic for the ii iii and vi chords?
Quote by LTaces
Does this mean you can play the minor pentatonic for the ii iii and vi chords?

"Are minor Pentatonics embedded in that Major scale, and if so, which?"

Minor Pentatonics consist of R b3 4 5 and b7 intervals

D has all those intervals

E has all those intervals

A has all those intervals

B does not, the 5 is flat

As people have pointed out, they simply will have the function of C major over the progression in C major.

However, the knowledge of these intervals and other tones, could be useful in terms of presenting "target" tone options, in the chord. The only exception is the 4 interval.

Best,

Sean