#1
I've finally got the mixing major and minor pentatonic technique down, it's amazing how much it opens things up, but I'm having quite a bit of trouble figuring out when the proper time to use it is.

My way of deducing if it's appropriate is by simply trying it out and seeing if it sounds "right". What is the theory answer to my question, that being, when can you do it and it be "musically right?" I wanna be able to know, going into a jam, whether a certain chord progression is appropriate.

Thanks in advance
#2
I don't look at it as right or wrong. For relevant music, I usually ground a solo in minor pent and then use major pent as sort of a bridge section to add tension and interest. Then resolve with minor pent. Make any sense? Don't forget to play a bit outside using b5s to draw their ears in.
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#3
In short, figure out whether or not the notes you play will resolve well with the chord. I'll let the others handle examples because I can't be bothered to type it out on my mobile.
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#4
The extremely short answer is:

In general, you can play minor pent. over major sounds. The reverse is not true.

This is the simplest answer, and obviously there's WAY more pentatonic applications that this rule doesn't apply to, but for the blues/rock solo type thing, its a good rule of thumb.
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#6
Depends on the music - playing minor pentatonic over a major chord has a really "mean" quality to it, and it sounds extremely bluesy. In a lot of settings, that's a completely inappropriate sound, so use it sparingly outside of blues-based music.

But if you're talking about bluesy stuff, it's pretty easy to mix it up. You can use either over the I, minor over the IV, and either over the V (very broad guidelines).

If you want to sound like a genuine player, though, you should use them at the same time by playing your blue notes. That is, instead of just hitting a C# over an A chord, hit C and resolve it to C#. Any time you want to sound bluesy or jazzy without an aggressive minor sound or a nondescript major sound, use the blue notes. b3, and b5/#4. That's basically the default in my playing, and I use "pure" major or minor for specific effect.

To really understand when to use different scales and such, just look at the chords and use the relevant arpeggio or scale to emphasize chord tones.
#7
Quote by cdgraves

If you want to sound like a genuine player, though, you should use them at the same time by playing your blue notes. That is, instead of just hitting a C# over an A chord, hit C and resolve it to C#. Any time you want to sound bluesy or jazzy without an aggressive minor sound or a nondescript major sound, use the blue notes. b3, and b5/#4. That's basically the default in my playing, and I use "pure" major or minor for specific effect.


Yeah. And also the b3rd bent a quarter tone sharp as well for effect.
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#8
Not sure, but I think iRock7 could be talking about overlaying the Pentatonic Major scale over the top of the Pentatonic Minor scale in the same position.
#9
There's no "technique" to it, you simply have to listen to what you're playing and choose your notes accordingly.
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#10
It really helps to sing your scales as you practice them. Doing this you'll know which notes fit before you play them. Of course, a little dissonance in a solo here and there works really well sometimes.
#11
Quote by arv1971
Not sure, but I think iRock7 could be talking about overlaying the Pentatonic Major scale over the top of the Pentatonic Minor scale in the same position.


This is sorta what I mean. I'm speaking in more of a blues setting though. I think Clapton epitomized this style the most. Sprinkling major pentatonic within his minor playing and then resolving on a minor or a blues note (as someone said here). I'm trying to figure out how you'd know when a chord progression would make it appropriate to do that. Of course I could just play along and figure it out by trying, but I'd rather be able to hear a chord progression and say "now is the time I can do that".
#12
Idk, I've been trying to figure this out, and I've never come across anybody else that knew the answer to this. To be honest, I haven't been that active in trying to figure it out, but I've wondered this a few times before. Blues uses the I7 and IV7 which are unconventional for the major key. It's a I-IV-V, so I will assume that basically anything I-IV-V, or whatever order will work. But, I have not come across that much music that works with the minor pentatonic and major pentatonic the way blues does.

I'm sure quite a few jazz tunes will phase in and out between these with certain chord changes, but blues works with minor pent the whole way through, and major pent and major as well. Blues works with a lot of stuff, it is very free that way, which is what is cool about it. But Idk why some music works nicely with minor pent that way, and some other music doesn't.
#13
Quote by iRock7
This is sorta what I mean. I'm speaking in more of a blues setting though. I think Clapton epitomized this style the most. Sprinkling major pentatonic within his minor playing and then resolving on a minor or a blues note (as someone said here). I'm trying to figure out how you'd know when a chord progression would make it appropriate to do that. Of course I could just play along and figure it out by trying, but I'd rather be able to hear a chord progression and say "now is the time I can do that".


A lot of the time (you can just tell I'm a theory ninja, right? It might work best over the I chord since no clash) you can end a lead lick/phrase with the minor third bent a quarter tone sharp, or with the minor third as a quick passing tone to the major third. (That's assuming you stick to the one scale throughout the blues progression- so if you're playing E7, A7 and D7 (I, IV, V) I mean you'd be using the E minor pentatonic (or blues) scale throughout.)
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I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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#14
In the blues, they’re interchangeable. Take A blues, for example:

A min pent: A C D E G
A maj pent: A B C# E F#

Now, if you combine these two scales, you get: A B C C# D E F# G which is basically A mixolydian with a variable 3rd. Of course, all of this fits nicely on the A7 in A blues. When you get to D7, you probably won’t emphasize the C# because it will clash with the C natural (as the 7th) in the chord (but you can certainly use it in passing). When you get to E7, you don’t have to avoid the G, but you can add a G# as well (creating the variable 3rd on the E7). You can emphasize the chord tones (even ones that aren’t necessarily played, like 9ths, 13ths).

Now, I’m not saying whiz up and down the entire combined scale, but I am saying that you don’t need to think of it as switching between two scales, but as available notes when you play blues. The general tone of the song will set the context for your note choices (more happy, more sassy, more sad, more funky, etc). In minor blues, you can avoid the major 3rd and major 6th and make them minor. Just remember, it’s not an “either-or” proposition (do I play major or minor pentatonic here?); it’s making note choices drawn from either scale at any time depending on what you’re trying to say musically.
#15
Quote by Harmosis

Now, I’m not saying whiz up and down the entire combined scale, but I am saying that you don’t need to think of it as switching between two scales, but as available notes when you play blues.


Yeah I think that's pretty much the way to look at it. That's the way I look at it, anyway. I'm more of a rock player than blues, though.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#16
Quote by Harmosis
In the blues, they’re interchangeable. Take A blues, for example:

A min pent: A C D E G
A maj pent: A B C# E F#

Now, if you combine these two scales, you get: A B C C# D E F# G which is basically A mixolydian with a variable 3rd. Of course, all of this fits nicely on the A7 in A blues. When you get to D7, you probably won’t emphasize the C# because it will clash with the C natural (as the 7th) in the chord (but you can certainly use it in passing). When you get to E7, you don’t have to avoid the G, but you can add a G# as well (creating the variable 3rd on the E7). You can emphasize the chord tones (even ones that aren’t necessarily played, like 9ths, 13ths).

Now, I’m not saying whiz up and down the entire combined scale, but I am saying that you don’t need to think of it as switching between two scales, but as available notes when you play blues. The general tone of the song will set the context for your note choices (more happy, more sassy, more sad, more funky, etc). In minor blues, you can avoid the major 3rd and major 6th and make them minor. Just remember, it’s not an “either-or” proposition (do I play major or minor pentatonic here?); it’s making note choices drawn from either scale at any time depending on what you’re trying to say musically.



Great explanation. You sorta lost me at the theory , but I get what you're saying. That's essentially what I do. I don't switch between the scales, but I touch notes from both when playing.
#17
I prefer to think of it as switching through scales. I don't so much plan for it necessarily, but I definitely notice that I will switch into one for a little bit, and stick to it for a while. That while might be real short, but it definitely seems to work that way to me. In blues, that I've discovered so far, I think is minor pentatonic, obviously, the major scale, and the pent inside that, the major one, and at least one other mode. Blues is a little crazy with everything you can do, but I definitely find that once you go into one mode, keeping in it works real well, and follows smoothly, and how you transition into another is key. It kind of has to follow nicely somehow I find. I think most of the time that happens for me by sliding over a semitone from the scale you're in, out of it, into another scale. The first note, being part of both, and the second part of just the other one. I think. Idk, I'd have to test it out and observe more closely maybe. Like going from minor pent to major, a popular way is to semitone up to the major third of the I. That's a classic bluesy kind of sound, and works well for that transition.

But I definitely do find that if you just switch willy nilly, it won't sound so hot, and once you've established a style of sound in some scale, you're good to go and the rest follows well if you stick to that.
#18
In blues, you can do "mixture" over any chord, you just have to play to the chord rather than the key. The dominant quality chords are major, but they accommodate tension very well, so it's easy to switch up which one you want to use.

The easiest way is to start with the chord tones themselves and build the relevant scale around them. You can always safely emphasize the chord tones. Between chord tones, you can use blue notes (or other non-chord tones) to get a more swinging, melodic feel.
#19
Here's a short recording I made of the different approaches to blues soloing

1) Major pentatonic of each chord
2) C minor pentatonic only
3) Mixing major/minor pentatonic and blue notes
4) All of the above
#20
One thing i've been noodling with over a blues recently is
Mixalydian over the I
Melodic Minor over the IV
and
Dorian over the V
That sounds kind cool.Sorta fusiony
#21
Quote by cdgraves
Here's a short recording I made of the different approaches to blues soloing

1) Major pentatonic of each chord
2) C minor pentatonic only
3) Mixing major/minor pentatonic and blue notes
4) All of the above


Is that the John Cage-inspired version?
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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Et tu, br00tz?
#22
Quote by Dave_Mc
Is that the John Cage-inspired version?

Yeah, you're just supposed to sit and imagine what it would sound like if I played those things... I mean the audience just as a much a part of the music as I am

here's the link!

https://soundcloud.com/calvingraves/blues-mode-demo

probably should have thrown a drum track on there, sound a little disjointed, but you get the idea
Last edited by cdgraves at Jul 21, 2014,
#23


Nice clips, they illustrate that nicely. You can especially hear the (cool) dissonance you get from the C minor pentatonic over the major backing.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?