#1
I'm new to music theory, I'm currently learning the pentatonic scale and so far I know two patterns, the E and the D patterns. I also learned the extensions of these patterns and can play them all over the fret-board. My question is, do the other three patterns have extensions because I don't see anything about extensions for the other three patterns?
Last edited by garrett.abbott112897 at Oct 11, 2017,
#2
One way to think of it is that it's one big pattern that covers the whole finger board. But, that is too much for most people, so they call the fingering at the typical positions the "patterns". Now, depending on where you adopt your positions and how many frets you span and how much overlap you have between positions, there may be five, or seven, or even twelve positions. These adjacent position patterns may share individual notes between them on each string (connecting them), or they may share more than one note on each string (an overlap).
With the typical five positions, you should see that the extensions are really overlapping parts of patterns that don't overlap without the extensions.

So the answer is yes; all patterns have potential extensions on all strings in both directions... some are easier and more popular.
Quote by reverb66
I'm pretty sure the Bible requires that you play through a tube amp in Texas.
#4
The pentatonic scale only has five different notes in it (for example Am pentatonic: A C D E G) that repeat over and over again in different positions and different octaves.
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
#7
garrett.abbott112897 Don't confuse scales, and patterns.  A scale is a formula for picking out certain pitches at various distances (semitones) from wherever you choose to start the scale at.

E.g.  a minor pentatonic scale has the formula (using semitone distances) of (0,3,5,7,10).  So, for E m pent, if you chose your E as the 2nd fret, 4th string, you'd get the pentatonic scale notes at frets 2+0, 2+3, 2+5, 2+7 and 2+10 on that string.  

In fact, the scale formula picks out 5 different pitches, and by convention implies EVERY octave of each of these pitches is also a member of the scale.  

Here, we have the pitches E, G, A, B, D from the formula, and every occurrence of these in different octaves all qualify as scale members ... the whole instrument is implicated.  

If you change you starting choice, e.g. to F on the bass string, the scale formula then picks out pitches at (1+0, 1+3, 1+5, 1+7 and 1+10) frets on that string (F,Ab, Bb, C and Eb) and implies all possible octaves of these.

A scale pattern then is a practical way of playing some members of the scale.  There are many possibilities ... but the usual box pattern is just one example.

Scale formulae are never stated as above, using semitones ... I just did that to hopefully clarify what's going on.  Instead, the formula use interval names, or just literally spell out the pitches involved.

So, you may see the minor pentatonic formula as (1, b3, 4, 5, b7), or you see an example, for a given start note, such as (F,Ab, Bb, C and Eb)  or (E, G, A, B, D) for F m.pent and E m.pent.  Personally, I hate the latter ... it makes realising how the scale is built a lot slower to determine, until you are really familiar with pitch names and distances between pitches ... for me that's a waste of valuable brain resources better used considering other aspects of music.
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Oct 12, 2017,
#8
Quote by jerrykramskoy

Scale formulae are never stated as above, using semitones ... I just did that to hopefully clarify what's going on.  Instead, the formula use interval names, or just literally spell out the pitches involved.

So, you may see the minor pentatonic formula as (1, b3, 4, 5, b7), or you see an example, for a given start note, such as (F,Ab, Bb, C and Eb)  or (E, G, A, B, D) for F m.pent and E m.pent.  Personally, I hate the latter ... it makes realising how the scale is built a lot slower to determine, until you are really familiar with pitch names and distances between pitches ... for me that's a waste of valuable brain resources better used considering other aspects of music.

Figuring things out by Scale degrees, Note names, Semitones...

Scale degrees
This way assumes you know note names, diatonic scales, and key signatures in order to define the scale degrees of the major scale, then assumes you use the major scale with the same tonic as the particular scale of interest as a basis to define the particular scale as modifications to the major scale.
Issues
- The musician is thinking about a scale he does not want to play or hear in order to construct a scale that he does want to play and hear.
- The correspondence of accidentals applied as modifications to the major scale degrees may be confused with the existing accidentals of either the basis major scale notes or those of the resulting particular scale notes because the modification accidentals instructing to form the particular scale may call to sharp or flat either an existing sharp or flat note in the basis scale. One is basically processing a series of three sets of notes' accidentals, only the last set relating to the intended music.

Note names
This way assumes you know diatonic scales, key signatures, enharmonic note naming and interval theory.
Issues
-  Intervals are not the same as scale degrees, and causes much confusion because the "units" of interval theory are not consistently the same size within diatonic scales - so one needs to understand that they are "counting" pitch distances where the unit step may be either one or two semitones).
- Approaches that "generate" the proper note names are never used; it is easier to simply memorize all the correct note name assignments for all diatonic scales in all keys, and many consider that the fundamental foundation to be mastered before moving forward.

Semitones
This way does not assume you know the names of notes, intervals, diatonic scales, key signatures, scale degrees, etc. This is the way that maps to geometric finger board patterns, because each fret is a semitone. This is the way it looks and works visually and mechanically on the finger board, which makes it map directly to the pitches and promotes learning to play by ear.
Issues
Asking questions/answering questions about music are more difficult because this way does not require knowing some details, so casual language will mix things that are not the same things. Many questions/answers will need a preliminary entanglement of any preexisting confusion about these things in order to ask/reply a coherent question/answer... typical examples:
- Pitches and notes are not the same
- Roots and tonics are not the same
- Intervals and scale degrees are not the same
- Scales and key signatures are not the same
Quote by reverb66
I'm pretty sure the Bible requires that you play through a tube amp in Texas.
Last edited by PlusPaul at Oct 13, 2017,
#9
PlusPaul Good points there.  The semitone discussion is only useful to try and help beginners realise that note choice is based on relationships to a given start point (tonic, root) ... that alone is typically an eye-opener.  Note names: the problem here is when the theory is missing or weak.   Learning "by rote" using just note names is a much harder, much less revealing task ... bad enough for scales, way worse for chords.  Scale degrees:  useful in drawing the distiction between relationships with the scale tonic, versus relationships between notes in a chord built from the scale.  But again, more jargon than really needed.  Intervals: can be used to describe any music construct (scale, chord ...) and does truly reveal the relationships.  Easy to buid an association between an interval and a sound (or group of intervals and a composite sound)., and finger placement.  Trivial to visualise.  Closest and simplest theory concept to the sounds themselves, and their application.  Minimal mental effort so other musical aspects can be focused on.  BUT:  useless for a detailed written description of a tune to be played.
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Oct 13, 2017,
#10
Quote by PlusPaul

Scale degrees
This way assumes you know note names, diatonic scales, and key signatures in order to define the scale degrees of the major scale, then assumes you use the major scale with the same tonic as the particular scale of interest as a basis to define the particular scale as modifications to the major scale.
Issues
- The musician is thinking about a scale he does not want to play or hear in order to construct a scale that he does want to play and hear.
- The correspondence of accidentals applied as modifications to the major scale degrees may be confused with the existing accidentals of either the basis major scale notes or those of the resulting particular scale notes because the modification accidentals instructing to form the particular scale may call to sharp or flat either an existing sharp or flat note in the basis scale. One is basically processing a series of three sets of notes' accidentals, only the last set relating to the intended music.

Not really... You only need to know intervals and their qualities (and you don't necessarily even need to know note names if you just know intervals as shapes on the fretboard). Sure, the major scale is 1 2 3 4 5 6 7, but that's because when referring to scale degrees, "natural" scale degrees are either major or perfect. Flat scale degrees are minor or diminished, sharp scale degrees are augmented. You don't really need to compare anything to the major scale. In other words, you don't need to (and shouldn't) think the "b3", etc. as "modifications" to the major scale.

I also think this approach makes it easy to see the differences and the similarities between different scales, and I would say it's a good approach especially when it comes to understanding stuff like modal mixture (and accidentals in general).

But I do agree that this may be confusing when you have scales with sharps that have "flat" scale degrees in them (for example F# minor - even though it has a "flat third", i.e., a minor third, it's not an A flat, it's an A natural).
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
#11
tbf, some textbooks use purely 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 as scale degrees for both major and minor, and the major/minor quality is really dependent on context
#12
This might help. It is the chord and scale finder that I have been using for many years:

http://www.looknohands.com/chordhouse/guitar/index_rb.html

You can set the guitar tuning intervals, choose any key, many different chord notes and scales, and note names or intervals. I find it better for choosing chords than a typical chord dictionary