#1
So I'm getting pretty deep in learning every chord I can and I'm using scale degrees as a study guide. The major scale and it's modes make this pretty easy:

1+4=5 M (C, F, G)
2x3=6 m (Dm, Am)
7 is diminished (B°
And of course the notes and chords stay the same, just in different order.

But looking into alternative scales such as a pentatonic or blues or Japanese... Which chords would correspond to the scale degrees? Is the first degree in the C pentatonic a C or Cm?

Bonus: Are these alternative scales made from thin air or are they based on the basic major scale?
Theory is just...wow. I'm getting a bit over my head by trying to learn so much w/o formal educators

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My motto: Play what the song needs you to play!
#2
In pentatonic major the tonic is major and in pentatonic minor it is minor. Blues scale is pentatonic minor with some extra notes.
#3
Just gotta learn the different scales.. in Am as the root you get Am Bdim C Dm Em F G. And in D dorian you'd get Dm Em F G Am Bdim C. All the modes can be done this way.
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#4
I wouldn't use the pentatonic scale to build chords. Use it for melodies.

You can build chords from the pentatonic scale, but most of the chords will be something like sus2 or sus4 or whatever.

How to figure this out? You need to harmonize the scale. How to do that? Start the scale with the root, third and fifth.

Let's try it with the major scale first to get the idea.

     R 3 5
I    C E G - C major
ii   D F A - D minor
iii  E G B - E minor
IV   F A C - F major
V    G B D - G major
vi   A C E - A minor
viio B D F - B diminished


You could do the same with the pentatonic scale, but the problem is that it skips some notes and you won't get basic triads with the same method. But let's try it. Let's start the A minor pentatonic scale with the root, third and fifth.

R 3 5
A C E - A minor
C D G - Csus2 (=Gsus4)
D E A - Dsus2 (=Asus4)
E G C - C major
G A D - Gsus2 (=Dsus4)


As you can see, there are just two basic triads, A minor and C major. You don't get a lot of different chords from the pentatonic scale, so I don't really see a point in using it for building chords. And a song that uses the Am pentatonic scale is in the key of A minor - you can use the chords in the key of Am. There's no "key of Am pentatonic".
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#5
^This, for now anyway.

You harmonize the scale to dictate the chords. Eventually, your'e going to find that it's the opposite in reality; the chords dictate the scale.

Either way, Maggara's post is gold.
"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
#6
Maggara pulled out another one. Seriously, if he's not teaching college he should be. Thanks again
Theory is just...wow. I'm getting a bit over my head by trying to learn so much w/o formal educators

Quote by DBKGUITAR
To be a good lead guitar you must be VERY GOOD AT RYTHM

Quote by MaggaraMarine
My motto: Play what the song needs you to play!
#7
Yeah he definitely has his game together.
"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
#8
Quote by eric_wearing


But looking into alternative scales such as a pentatonic or blues or Japanese... Which chords would correspond to the scale degrees?


If you're a fan of the sound of jazz giants like John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Joe Pass, et al,, then you definitely want to explore pentatonic scale harmony insofar as it relates directly to quartal harmony (as distinct from tertial harmony, i.e., the Western classical tradition of building chords in thirds.)

What exactly is that relationship?

Consider the intervals of the minor pentatonic scale: 1, b3, 4, 5, b7.

A minor pentatonic: A C D E G

Now, take a look at the following five note chord built by stacking fourths:

EADGC

Seeing the relationship now?

Same notes - just in different order.

Now, try this: Take the aforementioned quartal chord (EADGC) and play just the last four notes of the chord (ADGC) on the top four strings:

String/fret: 4/7 3/7 2/8 1/8.

Next, move this four string shape up (and down) the fretboard so that the note on the high 'E' string traces the notes of the previously mentioned A minor pentatonic scale (A C D E G.) Do the same thing while tracing the notes of the scale on the 'B' string.

BTW, you can do the same thing with three note versions of the same chord, i.e., DGC on the top three strings, etc.)

This exercise should suggest some of the harmonic (and melodic) possibilities of pentatonic and quartal harmony to your ears.

If you want to delve deeper into the subject, this video is a great resource:

Corey Christiansen Quartal Harmony Modern Jazz Comping and Voicings

https://youtu.be/ZPLrTbdr9mQ

#9
For those who want to go even deeper still into pentatonic and quartal harmony, here are a few more exercises...


Harmonize each pentatonic note with that note as the third of a second inversion major triad, and then resolve down to each quartal triad (the pentatonic scale-derived note will be static while the other two notes descend a half step.)

Instant McCoy Tyner!

Example: A minor pent: CFA->BEA, EbAbC->DGC, FBbD->EAD, GCE->F#BE, BbEbG->ADG, etc.

Work this out in all the inversions as well, (i.e., FAC->EAB, etc.) both chord-style and broken up into melodic figures.

Note: just as with diatonic triads, you're not bound to only 'close' voicings - any of these notes can be displaced to other octaves.

As far as practical applications go, keep in mind that in the Tyner/Coltrane vocabulary, a minor pentatonic is virtually never used in root applications but rather superimposed onto others. For instance, over a Dmi chord, rather than play D minor pent, they would play A minor pent or E minor pent (this gives you a straight-up Dorian flavor.) Over a Dmaj7 they would play F#m pent or C#m pent (Lydian.) Over D7 they would play Fm pent (highly altered) and so on...


Thanks to Ken Rosser at G.I.T. for these concepts.
#10
^Springboarding off tonto:

I've done a MASSIVE thread on this.

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1669910&highlight=Jet+talks+JAzz

That being said, you should start with the basics before you get into quartal/pentatonic stuff.

Learn basic CST and how keys and modulations work.
"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
#11
My knowledge of basic theory is pretty solid, just wanting to expand a bit (^v^)


But uh...what's CST? And modulation sounds like modes and I have a solid knowledge there but I'm just assuming that's what modulation is...lol
Theory is just...wow. I'm getting a bit over my head by trying to learn so much w/o formal educators

Quote by DBKGUITAR
To be a good lead guitar you must be VERY GOOD AT RYTHM

Quote by MaggaraMarine
My motto: Play what the song needs you to play!
Last edited by eric_wearing at Apr 17, 2015,
#12
Quote by Jet Penguin
^Springboarding off tonto:

I've done a MASSIVE thread on this.

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1669910&highlight=Jet+talks+JAzz

That being said, you should start with the basics before you get into quartal/pentatonic stuff.

Learn basic CST and how keys and modulations work.


Agreed.

Just wanted to address the misconception that it was 'pointless' to learn chords built from pentatonics.

#13
Quote by eric_wearing
My knowledge of basic theory is pretty solid, just wanting to expand a bit (^v^)


But uh...what's CST? And modulation sounds like modes and I have a solid knowledge there but I'm just assuming that's what modulation is...lol


I think he's using CST as an abbreviation for chord scale theory...?

And modulation = changing from one key to another.
#15
Quote by eric_wearing
So I'm getting pretty deep in learning every chord I can and I'm using scale degrees as a study guide. The major scale and it's modes make this pretty easy:

1+4=5 M (C, F, G)
2x3=6 m (Dm, Am)
7 is diminished (B°
And of course the notes and chords stay the same, just in different order.

But looking into alternative scales such as a pentatonic or blues or Japanese... Which chords would correspond to the scale degrees? Is the first degree in the C pentatonic a C or Cm?

Bonus: Are these alternative scales made from thin air or are they based on the basic major scale?



It sounds like you are going to resources which list every scale, and every chord, and you are embarking on the mission of learning them all. While admirable, this is not a good approach to learning theory. It's all really simple, and makes sense. But the sense of it, is sound. It's not like, math or logical from a scientific or quantifiable standpoint. It's logical and sensible when you look at it from the point of view of how sound sounds, and how tones interact with each other.

It's all pretty basic, nothing too complicated. What you're doing now, seems very complex and very difficult, and not very conducive to making good music. I mean, you're going to get to a point where you'll be like "Ok, I learned all this shit, and how do I make music with it now?" And then you discover how a lot of it really isn't that useful to you.

Like I said it's not too complicated, but it's a lot to go over in a forum post. Music is sound, so it's hard to really teach anyone anything with text alone.
#16
^^^idk why but I always forget to tell you guys why I'm trying to learn all this bologna.

For this particular one, I realized I don't really have a solid library of chords. When in the key of F for example, I don't know how to play a simple 1-4-5 progression cos idk Bb or C# or any chord really outside of the basics, and even those 13 chords i do know are in one position each. If I can learn at least every major and minor and dominant 7 from Ab to G, the progressions will come much more easily.

And as for my position I plan to learn minimum 3 ways to play one chord. This gives me completely new sounds to play with, total control over the music...friggin beautiful music
Theory is just...wow. I'm getting a bit over my head by trying to learn so much w/o formal educators

Quote by DBKGUITAR
To be a good lead guitar you must be VERY GOOD AT RYTHM

Quote by MaggaraMarine
My motto: Play what the song needs you to play!
#17
Quote by Tonto Goldstien
I think he's using CST as an abbreviation for chord scale theory...?

And modulation = changing from one key to another.


Oh lol, well I'm pretty set there. But never can learn too much
Theory is just...wow. I'm getting a bit over my head by trying to learn so much w/o formal educators

Quote by DBKGUITAR
To be a good lead guitar you must be VERY GOOD AT RYTHM

Quote by MaggaraMarine
My motto: Play what the song needs you to play!
#18
Quote by eric_wearing
^^^idk why but I always forget to tell you guys why I'm trying to learn all this bologna.

For this particular one, I realized I don't really have a solid library of chords. When in the key of F for example, I don't know how to play a simple 1-4-5 progression cos idk Bb or C# or any chord really outside of the basics, and even those 13 chords i do know are in one position each. If I can learn at least every major and minor and dominant 7 from Ab to G, the progressions will come much more easily.

And as for my position I plan to learn minimum 3 ways to play one chord. This gives me completely new sounds to play with, total control over the music...friggin beautiful music


I also think of chords as 3 levels of chords. Some though, the more complex ones, don't work quite as well as that, and some have some subtle variations also.

But Ab->G is not a wise way to do it, because it's not following the logic of theory. What you want to do, is begin with the key, the diatonic chords of the key, the diatonic extensions they can have, and the roles these chords can play, and then once you do that, you can learn more sounds that are not diatonic. That way you can learn their character. What you want, is to learn the sounds. Not the fretboard shapes so much. You need to learn those, but I could show you Ab->G 3 chords with every extension, really fast. You only need to learn that for G, and then all the rest are the same patterns you learned for G but on all the other frets also. But it's almost useless information. Because you will not have learned the sound they have properly. Music is relative, so the sounds are named on relative basis. Which is why there are roman numerals. So, it's all the concept of the key that you want. You should be learning the logic of music theory. Not just chords and scales. It doesn't work well that way.
#19
Yeah Tonto and fingerpiking have this down.

It doesn't make sense to attempt to have a massive inventory of things until you really "get" how it all goes together.

After that, you start building a library of devices to achieve certain ends.

And yes, I do mean chord-scale theory and key changing.

I have my gripes with CST, but it's a good place to start, assuming you know what notes and chords are diatonic to every key, and know your major scales and pentatonic moderately well.

But that isn't here nor there right now.

If your'e trying to expand your chord library, your first goal should be to be able to play these in every key, E string and A string roots, root position:

Maj
Min
Dim

Dom7
Min7
Maj7
Dim7
m7b5

That's step 1.
"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