#1
Hi. I've been playing a lot of guitar in the last half-year, and I have few questions.

Are all pentatonic scales made of the same 5 shapes?

I'm interested in David Gilmours playing. I was told he used a mix of dorian and pentatonic to create solos.

I couldn't find a tab for "A dorian minor", only for A dorian. Do I just put all the notes in the Dorian scale that aren''t in the pentatonic scale into the penta scale?

For example, in the case of A minor, would I plop

http://www.neckdiagrams.com/sites/default/files/upload/dorian-a-pos-1-highlighting-non-pent-notes.jpg

On the fifth fret instead of the usual?

And for the other shapes, would I just use these?

http://www.guitar-chords.org.uk/modeimages/adorianpatterns.gif
#3
Yes, all pentatonics based on the diatonic scale use the same five shapes played in different places. You aren't bound by those shapes, you can play the scales any way you want, it's just that experience has shown that they form a convenient structure.

The dorian mode is minor.

Do you mean the A natural minor scale? That would have the same notes as D dorian, but with a different root.

Yes, those are the shapes you would use for A dorian.

A dorian has the same notes as the G major scale.
#4
"Are all pentatonic scales made of the same 5 shapes?"

Yes, and no.

You need to be able more up and down the fretboard with from one shape to another.

Two techniques of interest for this are here, there are more just search for them of Youtube.

;list=RDnBqqc299Ld0#t=335

#5
Any scale has a collection of intervals from its root note.

Rock/blues really only use two different pentatonic scales, the major pentatonic (1,2,3,5,6)  and the minor pentatonic (1,b3,4,5,b7).

A more "out there" variant of the minor pentatonic is (1, b3, 4, b5, b7)

Any scale (including pentatonics) on guitar (in standar tuning) can be laid out in 5 regions of the neck, covering a block of 12 frets.  These regions are marked out (roughly)_ by octaves.  This makes it reasonably easy to remember the intervals.  But scales don't have to be played in one region, then another.  It's very handy (and sounds good) to play horizontally along the neck, on 1 string, pairs of strings ...

Dorian scale adds 2 other intervals to the minor pentatonic namely 2 and 6.

A different flavour of minor pentatonic, is Dorian-like:   (1, b3, 4, 5, 6)  the 6 replaces the b7.

If you don't know intervals, you should learn their shapes and sounds ... trivial to learn, and they underpin everything.
#6
Quote by Guywithaquestio

Are all pentatonic scales made of the same 5 shapes?

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: A pentatonic scale is not made of any kind of shapes. A pentatonic scale has 5 different notes in it. Those notes are all over the fretboard in different octaves and positions. The "five shapes" are just one way of playing those notes (and they are one way of navigating on the fretboard). You don't need to use those particular shapes. But you will be using the same notes as in those shapes if you want to use the pentatonic scale. But yeah, all pentatonic scales are made out of the same intervals (look at Jerry's post above). For example the major pentatonic is always 1 2 3 5 6. If we choose C as our root, it's going to be C D E G A. If we choose A as our root, it's going to be A B C# E F#. Those notes are all over the fretboard.

But yeah, you can apply the same shapes to all scales of the same type.

I couldn't find a tab for "A dorian minor", only for A dorian. Do I just put all the notes in the Dorian scale that aren''t in the pentatonic scale into the penta scale?

There's no such thing as "Dorian minor". It's simply Dorian. But yes, all notes in A minor pentatonic are also included in A Dorian. You get Dorian from minor pentatonic by adding two notes to it - the major 2nd and the major 6th (counted from the root). In the key of A this would mean B and F#.

For example, in the case of A minor, would I plop

http://www.neckdiagrams.com/sites/default/files/upload/dorian-a-pos-1-highlighting-non-pent-notes.jpg

On the fifth fret instead of the usual?

And for the other shapes, would I just use these?

http://www.guitar-chords.org.uk/modeimages/adorianpatterns.gif

Yes, those shapes will work. But I think it would make sense to learn about scale construction. This way all of the shapes you learn will also start making a lot more sense. As I said, a scale is all over the fretboard and the shapes are just one way of playing it. You could build your own shapes from the notes of the scale.

If you want to understand scales, I would suggest learning them first on one string only. After you understand how the scale is constructed using only one string, it will become a lot easier to understand where the common shapes come from.
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
#8
jerrykramskoy 

You first post relates to something I've been wondering about for a while. You, and most others, seem to think of minor scales and modes as diatonic intervals with flatted notes, eg b3. I'm not strong on scales, and I've always thought of modes (and the natural minor) as "shifts" from the major scale, so D dorian is the C major scale starting and finishing on the D, ie the second note of the major scale. I don't know whether this is a good idea or not, but it does give yme an instant insight into which triads will work with it. Am I missing something here?
#9
Quote by Tony Done
jerrykramskoy

You first post relates to something I've been wondering about for a while. You, and most others, seem to think of minor scales and modes as diatonic intervals with flatted notes, eg b3. I'm not strong on scales, and I've always thought of modes (and the natural minor) as "shifts" from the major scale, so D dorian is the C major scale starting and finishing on the D, ie the second note of the major scale. I don't know whether this is a good idea or not, but it does give yme an instant insight into which triads will work with it. Am I missing something here?

That's the difference between relative and parallel minor. Speaking in terms of b3 b6 b7 is the context of the parallel minor, where you create a minor scale by lowering those scale degrees of the major. Relative minor is the one that you can think of more like a mode of the major scale. Either way, minor scales are generally viewed as derived from the major scale. It doesn't really matter which way the scale degrees are referred to.
Last edited by cdgraves at Jun 29, 2017,
#10
Tony Done Hi Tony.  You are absolutely right (D Dorian = C major, in terms of notes used, and hence all chords of D Dorian and C major are the same).  

If you do think in terms of the notes of C major, then the difference is how much prominence you give to the notes, to bring out the sound you want.  For example, if you're playing a piece in C major, a common way of doing this is to use more of the C major triad notes (C, E and G) than the rest, and to also emphasise these notes rhythmically (strong beats, or longer beats, or syncopated, maybe using higher pitched versions of the C E and G to stand out even more), along with usually ending a phrase on one of these.

Whereas, if you want to bring out a Dorian sound, the above emphasis would be pulling away from from the Dminor triad.  Instead the emphasis switches to D F A.  In other words, the emphasis switches to the 1, b3 and 5 of the Dorian's minor triad rooted at the start note, 1, of the scale (D in this case). 

However, wrt emphasis, it really depends what is going on in any backing (chords played by someone else).  If they are effecrively emphasising the Dm (Dm7 etc). alomg with a bass, then the tonal centre D will stand out strongly, allowing more freedom for you to solo with, including playing in completely the wrong key (for a bit).  So, in this case, if you played C major triad, against a D tonal centre, that triad will form intervals of b7, 9 and 11 with the tonal centre, which is a lovely sound.  But take away he backing, and you are going to possibly sound like you are playing in C major (depending what else you mix this with).

This is hard to talk about, rather than demonstrate ... it's pretty clear to the ears.

For me, I will adopt a different line of thought, depending on number of chords per bar, and tempo (and genre)

I will often ignore the chord of the moment ... and use any note, but be careful to resolve where needed ... analagous, if you like, to how we freely use a b3 in a blues, against a major triad (with its natural 3), and maybe resolve to the 3, or not.  

You can take a similar approach against ANY scale note, but when you play a semitone ABOVE a chord tone (for the chord of the moment), there's a more definite clash that occurs, so more of a need for the ear to here that clash removed (by playing the chord tone next, or nearly next).  Bear in mind that the clash dwindles in different octaves against the chord tone.  So, playing 13 semitones above a chord tone doesn't grind as much as 1 semitone (depending on loudness).

Where it becomes useful to think of a scale in its own right (other than major or the standard minor scale), is when you have non-diatonic chord sequences, such as D-7, Eb-7, F-7.  Or Dmaj7  Ebmaj7 Fmaj7.

Now you do need to start think of using Dorian (D Dorian, Eb Dorian, F Dorian), or Lydian (D Lydian, Eb Lydian, F Lydian), and it's just simpler than having to recast back to the parent major scale, to know the intervals in the scale, and hence the emphasis notes.  When improvising, I'll see the scale pattern, the intervals in the scale, and know which of these are good to emphasis, and combine that visual knowledge with what my "mind's ear" is telling me.

Hope that helps.
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Jun 30, 2017,
#11
Quote by Tony Done
jerrykramskoy 

You first post relates to something I've been wondering about for a while. You, and most others, seem to think of minor scales and modes as diatonic intervals with flatted notes, eg b3. I'm not strong on scales, and I've always thought of modes (and the natural minor) as "shifts" from the major scale, so D dorian is the C major scale starting and finishing on the D, ie the second note of the major scale. I don't know whether this is a good idea or not, but it does give yme an instant insight into which triads will work with it. Am I missing something here?

Modes only really "clicked" with me when I started comparing parallel modes to each other - so C major, C Dorian, C Phrygian, C Lydian, C Mixolydian and C minor. Before that I really didn't completely understand what exactly makes D Dorian different from C major.

The fact that we call it "D" Dorian is important - D is the tonic. It's not C and it really has little to do with C major. So thinking "in C major" when the tune is in D Dorian is kind of weird. Also, D Dorian sounds a lot closer to D minor than to C major. In D Dorian and C major, the note G will sound way different (in C major it will sound like the fifth and in D Dorian it will sound like the fourth), but the note A in D Dorian will sound very similar to the note G in C major (both will sound like the fifth). And I think understanding this is important. All of the other notes are heard in relation to the tonic. If we are in the key of C, G will always sound like the fifth regardless of the mode we use.

This song is in E Dorian. Doesn't sound anything like D major, even though it uses the same notes as in the D major scale. It doesn't really sound that different from typical E minor, but it has a bit different flavor because of the major 6th scale degree.



But yeah, I don't think it really matters how you understand them, as long as that doesn't confuse you, and as long as you understand what makes D Dorian different from C major. Modes were originally understood as relative scales, but back then the concept of a "tonic" didn't really even exist. The "tonic triad" became a lot more important when people started thinking in chords. People realized that there are only two different types of tonic triads, so what's the point of having so many different modes when you can just have two? And soon after that modes were replaced by major and minor keys.

BTW, referring to the minor third as b3 doesn't necessarily mean it comes from the major scale. That's just a commonly used way of referring to minor intervals. I guess you could also use m3 to refer to a minor third and M3 to refer to a major third or whatever. But yeah, comparing different scales to the major scale is an easy way of understanding them, because you already have some kind of a reference point. Why major scale? Because it's the basis of western tonal music.
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
#12
MaggaraMarine 

I can see where Jerry is coming from, but your thinking is similar to mine. In fact, it was "Scarborough Fair" that got me interested in the Dorian mode. This is my interpretation, played slide, open E, but off the second fret, so F# Dorian:

http://www.soundclick.com/html5/v3/player.cfm?type=single&songid=8813367&q=hi&newref=1
#13
Every scale is the same form, the difference is if the third or fourth finger gets used.
(Infrequently a flatted third can be a stretch for the 1st finger but...)

My four fingers cover four frets.
Middle finger rested on the tonic. Move the tonic to a different finger - modal playing

Fourth finger - major
Third - minor


Obviously there is a ton more  but that is the basics in a nutshell.