#1
I'm a little confused and can't find much help on this and it's probably quite simple. I know that the minor pentatonic is made up of root note, flat third, fourth, fifth, flat 7th. If I'm playing box 1 in the key of A, the Root would be low e 5th fret and flat third would be low e 8th fret. If 5th fret is a, 7th fret would be b and 8th fret would be c. I don't understand where the flat is on the 8th fret as there is no c flat. If anyone can shine some light on this I think it would shed a lot of light on theory in general for me. Thank you in advance
#2
The interval name being flat doesn't make the note name flat. A minor 3rd (b3) means that the note is 3 half steps away. A major 3rd (3) is 4 half steps away. If you were playing in A# minor then the 1 will be A#, the 2 will be B# and the b3 will be C#. Notice that in this case the second note is called B# instead of C because it's the second note in the scale, and since the first was some kind of A the second has to be some kind of B, otherwise it would have both a C and a C#.

This thread should've been posted in Musician Talk.
Last edited by The4thHorsemen at Mar 3, 2015,
#3
Perfect. I had to read it five times but I now understand. Thank you for taking time and sorry for posting in the wrong forum.
#4
Just remember pentatonic means you are playing the entire scale minus the 2 and the 6. Which is nifty because the 3 minor scales, dorian, phrygian and aeolian, are exactly the same when you omit that 2 and 6 from the scale.

So you can pick any mode and turn it into a pentatonic scale by just playing that same scale without the 2 and 6. Pentatonic can be major as well.
The pentatonic C Ionian scale would be C-E-F-G-B. The reason the pentatonic scale is usually referred to as minor pentatonic is because you are basing it off of the aeolian scale normally. Which is a minor scale because the 3 is minor instead of major
#5
Why on earth would you bring modes into this? They're utterly irrelevant to the question and referring to them adds nothing to answering the original post.

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#6
the4thHorseman nailed it.

A third always covers a three letter range. Some kind of A to some kind of C is some kind of third because A is 1 B is 2 C is 3. Some kind of C to some kind of E is some kind of third because C is 1, D is 2, E is 3 etc. They type of third depends on the specific distance in semitones...

The major third interval is a distance of four semitones (four frets on the guitar).
The minor third is a distance of three semitones (three frets on the guitar).

Thus if you look at the notes between A and C you have some kind of third. If you count the semitones you have a minor third.

Usually a distance of three semitones is a minor third but not always, sometimes it is an augmented second. For example if you look at the A harmonic minor scale...

A B C D E F G# A

You will see a distance between the F and G# that is three semitones. However, it doesn't cover a three letter range so is not some kind of third. It covers a two letter range so is some kind of second. A major second is two semitones and this is three semitones so it is larger than a major second, it is an augmented second.

These posts from a previous thread explain intervals in detail.
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showpost.php?p=33155179&postcount=8
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showpost.php?p=33155181&postcount=9
Si
#7
The term "flat third" is a bit confusing (because of the reasons mentioned in the original post). I would prefer using "minor third".

Why people use "flat third" is because when compared to the major scale, the third is a half step lower, ie flattened. If you flatten C sharp (in the A major scale), it becomes C natural and that's why the "flat third" from A is C natural, not C flat.

When talking about scale construction, we usually use the flat sign (b) to indicate minor (when we are talking about 2nds, 3rds, 6ths and 7ths) or diminished (when we are talking about 4ths, 5ths and octaves/unisons) intervals and the sharp sign (#) to indicate augmented intervals. If the interval is major/perfect, we use nothing in front of it. I guess that's where the "flat third" comes from. For example the interval structure of the minor scale is 1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7. The major scale is simply 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 - all intervals are major/perfect.
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#8
Music theory Cliff's notes:

There are effectively only 12 tones to work with in the chromatic scale. It's not rocket science.

Depending on the chord structure, 5 of them will always sound like old friends (pentatonic)

2 more will sound very friendly and familiar

3 will tend to stretch your ears a bit and create tension

The last 2 will take you into Miles and Coltrane territory where the average musician dares not tread. Boldly hitting one of these at the wrong time is like a land mine going off.

The secret sauce is knowing which is which and when to effectively use each. That's it, now go practice.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#9
Out of sheer curiosity, what two notes are intolerably dissonant for you?

I've reached the point where nothing really grosses me out anymore and it interests me to know what everyone else finds dissonant.

Also 20T and 4th got this.

Also this doesn't have a damn thing to do with modes.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#10
Quote by MaggaraMarine
diminished (when we are talking about 4ths, 5ths and octaves/unisons)

What? How the hell would you have an altered octave or unison? An octave is double or half the frequency, a unison is the same frequency. In what case would you ever want to call something a unison when it's not the same frequency?
#11
Quote by Cajundaddy
Music theory Cliff's notes:

There are effectively only 12 tones to work with in the chromatic scale. It's not rocket science.

Depending on the chord structure, 5 of them will always sound like old friends (pentatonic)

2 more will sound very friendly and familiar

3 will tend to stretch your ears a bit and create tension

The last 2 will take you into Miles and Coltrane territory where the average musician dares not tread. Boldly hitting one of these at the wrong time is like a land mine going off.

The secret sauce is knowing which is which and when to effectively use each. That's it, now go practice.

This makes no sense.

Quote by The4thHorsemen
What? How the hell would you have an altered octave or unison? An octave is double or half the frequency, a unison is the same frequency. In what case would you ever want to call something a unison when it's not the same frequency?

Octaves and unisons are intervals and can be altered like every other interval. C-C# is an augmented unison/octave for example.
#12
Quote by The4thHorsemen
What? How the hell would you have an altered octave or unison? An octave is double or half the frequency, a unison is the same frequency. In what case would you ever want to call something a unison when it's not the same frequency?

From E to Eb there's a diminished octave or unison. From E to E# there's an augmented octave or unison. That's just how it is. In some cases that's just how it goes. For example if you have a progression like C-F-Fm-C, and the melody goes like C A Ab G, the interval between A and Ab is a diminished unison. It is not a minor second because the interval between G anything and A anything is a second, and we are talking about an interval between two A notes (A natural and A flat). Unison/octave is not an exception. It's an interval just like third and fifth are.

It's kind of the same as augmented second vs minor third. A harmonic minor scale has notes A, B, C, D, E, F and G# in it. The interval between F and G# is an augmented second, not a minor third. If you wrote it as F, Ab, then the interval would be a minor third. Similarly our progression has a Fm chord in it. It doesn't have a G# in it, it has an Ab in it. From A to Ab there's a diminished unison. What else would you call it? Minor second would be incorrect because as I said, the interval between A and G is a second.

You could even have a diminished second which is the same sound as a perfect unison (though I guess that's pretty rare). Well, I can think of one example. If you have a progression like E7#9-G-A, like in Purple Haze, the interval between the #9 of the E7#9 chord (Fx) and the root of the G major chord is a diminished second. I mean, think about it. From a F natural to G natural there's a major second. From F# to G there's a minor second. So by the same logic from Fx to G there's a diminished second.

Same with augmented 7th. That sounds like an octave but is not. If we go up from C to B#, that's an augmented 7th. Of course that's pretty rare, but it does exist. But as I said, it's the same with all intervals. Augmented 6th sounds like a minor 7th but is not the same. A good example is the augmented 6th chord. In the key of A minor the augmented 6th chord has the same notes (enharmonically) as F7. But it is not an F7 chord.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#13
Ah, ok, I get it. I knew about things like augmented 2nds and diminished 7ths, I just couldn't think of any possibility where you would need something like that for a octave or unison, but of course those are some pretty good examples.

Today I learned.
#14
+500 to JRF.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#15
Quote by Jet Penguin
Out of sheer curiosity, what two notes are intolerably dissonant for you?

I've reached the point where nothing really grosses me out anymore and it interests me to know what everyone else finds dissonant.


Hehe Jet, You are a dedicated jazzbo and live for the Trane. The two "land mine" notes vary depending on the chord structure but it is usually just two. They can always be used as long as they are used with purpose as leading tones or in passing chords or phrases. Landing solidly on a b2 or b5 over I, IV, or V chord usually gives me some churn but it depends on why and how you got there. Charles Ives would do this intentionally to wake up his audience.

The Joe Pass quote applies here: "If you hit a wrong note, then make it right by what you play afterwards."
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Mar 4, 2015,
#16
Lol i stick b9s and #11s on everything these days. Or chromatic neighbors. Depends on context.

To each their own.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#18
Of course not.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#20
It could be. The point is that Jet has experience and knowledge on how to use those dissonances in ways that don't sound like he didn't just hit a bum note.

A guy that is just figuring out the difference between a major and minor third is less likely to have the knowledge and experience to know how those dissonances are used effectively in different styles.

I guess I just wanted to point out (for the sake of the TS) that there's a bit more to it than just throwing b9s and #11s on everything.

EDIT: of course experimentation is a great thing and people should definitely play around with anything that strikes their fancy.
Si
#21
Good point Tigers. As mentioned earlier, it's all about context, chord structure, and knowing where and how to use them. A player just sorting out the pentatonic scale will be more limited in their understanding of where and how. Learning to use five effectively is a great place to start. An advanced player has no wrong notes, just better or worse places to use them.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Mar 4, 2015,
#22
Bingo. Or no places at all. Notes are inherently devoid of meaning after all. It all becomes very zen at a certain conceptual point.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp