#1
Ok, I'm seriously wondering why people use pentatonics. They are just the regular scales with 2 notes taken out. Is it the simplicity, or is there something that I'm just not seeing?
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#2
theyre use A LOT in all different styles, for instance, metal uses them, blues uses them, 2 pretty different genres, they fit in anywhere, and theyre a constant tone between all guitarists, when i jam with guys that know theory, its just like, hey lets warm up with a 15 minute improv with pentatonics
Quote by beadhangingOne
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#3
those two notes that you take out are what change the sound from pentatonic sound to a whole scale sound. when you remove those notes it changes the sound of what you are playing. people use pentatonics because they dont want to use those notes that create that sound. i guess you could say they aren't playing petatonics, they're just avoiding those notes to create the sound they want. but when they only want to use pentatonics its easier to just learn all the boxes of them.
#4
Oh, ok. It just clicked. I stopped using the pentatonics because I hated that constant bluesy sound that I got with solos. I'm not bashing blues, It's just not my thing.
Full scales just give me a fuller sound.
"I worked hard. Anyone who works as hard as I did can achieve the same results.” ~ Johann Sebastian Bach
#5
Well, the harmonic minor 'only' has one note raised, compared to the minor scale and it sound completely different.

As far as pentatonics go; they're great scales if used properly, but a lot of guitarists tend to use them the same, over and over again (think Kirk Hammett) which gets extremely boring after 3 solos.

I think a lot of people use them, because of the simplicity and the fact that it sounds good with anything. To me it doesn't have a lot of character so it's hard not to like the sound of it. If you compare it to something like the harmonic minor - you either love that scale or you hate it. It has a very strong character.
#6
Quote by JL_Shredder
Oh, ok. It just clicked. I stopped using the pentatonics because I hated that constant bluesy sound that I got with solos. I'm not bashing blues, It's just not my thing.
Full scales just give me a fuller sound.


You can play pentatonics without sounding "bluesy". I'll post links later to some stuff explaining ideas.
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#7
Quote by psychodelia
You can play pentatonics without sounding "bluesy". I'll post links later to some stuff explaining ideas.
Indeed.

In fact, pentatonic just means that the scale contains 5 notes, so 1 2 b3 b6 7 is a type of pentatonic, and that certainly doesn't give the classic blues sound.
#8
Quote by JL_Shredder
Ok, I'm seriously wondering why people use pentatonics. They are just the regular scales with 2 notes taken out. Is it the simplicity, or is there something that I'm just not seeing?


Ok, I'm seriously wondering why people use major scales. They are just the regular chromatic scales with 5 notes taken out. Is it the simplicity, or is there something taht I'm just not seeing?

Just messin with ya Seriously, intervallic relationships have just as much to do with the sound of a scale as the particular scale degrees chosen. Scales with augmented 2nds tend to sound eastern, regardless of the particular scale degrees in the scale, for example. So, by taking out notes you change not just the scale degrees in the scale but also the intervallic relationship between consecutive notes in the scale.
#9
I read a thing saying that pentatonic scales were what babies make sound in. Sort of a first language. Like a primal relationship to a certain group of notes.
#10
Quote by GreasedKrist
I read a thing saying that pentatonic scales were what babies make sound in. Sort of a first language. Like a primal relationship to a certain group of notes.


sorry to tell you
but babies dont speak in pentatonic scales.

but pentatonics can give you a wide range of sounds and moods, depending on how you use them. Some people also use them for their simplicity.
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#11
Okay, links:

Lesson on jazz use of pentatonics by beatallica_fan: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=132752

If you look down, there's a post that explains other jazzier uses of the pentatonic here: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=419372&highlight=pentatonic
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#12
but a lot of guitarists tend to use them the same, over and over again (think Kirk Hammett)


Kirk uses plenty of different scales.
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#14
Quote by JL_Shredder
Ok, I'm seriously wondering why people use pentatonics. They are just the regular scales with 2 notes taken out. Is it the simplicity, or is there something that I'm just not seeing?


Maybe because the pentatonics sound great for rock and blues.
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#15
Quote by theodds
Scales with augmented 2nds tend to sound eastern, regardless of the particular scale degrees in the scale.


Do you mean diminished seconds?
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#16
Why the hell do people even use the major scale and it's modes? It's just the chromatic scale with notes removed.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#17
Quote by marmoseti
Do you mean diminished seconds?


No, I mean augmented seconds Like the phrygian dominant scale with 1 b2 3 4 5 b6 b7. There is an augmented 2nd between b2 and 3.
#18
Quote by theodds
No, I mean augmented seconds Like the phrygian dominant scale with 1 b2 3 4 5 b6 b7. There is an augmented 2nd between b2 and 3.
Yeah yeah yeah, something like harmonic minor.

He means that there is an intervellic gap of a minor third (whatever you want to call it) in the scale, not that the scale goes 1 #2...

But in that case, how do you explain why the classic minor pentatonic scale often sounds bluesy, not Eastern, even though the scale has a minor third interval?

BTW, that is an actual question, not a test. I'm not sure of the answer, though I think I have an idea.
#19
i think players use it because it's suposed to sound close to how a person sings. usually people dont sing those extra two notes. the blue note is used in singing as well as going up to a note, like bending. the pentatonic sounds good with bends so that works out nicely as well. so with the bends and the two notes taken out it makes it more human like and more "emotional" sounding. blues players like BB king try to make their guitar sound like it's singing and it wouldnt sound like that as much if they used those other notes. and yes, its just easier to learn as well.
#20
Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
i think players use it because it's suposed to sound close to how a person sings. usually people dont sing those extra two notes. the blue note is used in singing as well as going up to a note, like bending. the pentatonic sounds good with bends so that works out nicely as well. so with the bends and the two notes taken out it makes it more human like and more "emotional" sounding. blues players like BB king try to make their guitar sound like it's singing and it wouldnt sound like that as much if they used those other notes. and yes, its just easier to learn as well.


People use it because the wide intervals and small number of notes make it easy to use. Scales like the major scale and it's modes take more thought and theory to use effectively because you have to know which notes will sound dissonant against the progression. There is more room to screw the more notes you have.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#21
Well i read that thing about babies in a legit music philosophy journal written by a professor of music, it wasn't something just written on the internet. It's easy to ridicule my point, because i know it wasn't expressed very well as it's been a while since I read the journal and I have no reference for it either. I'll try to find it - but in the meantime I would think that something said by a music professor in a journal from my university is worth more than some random off the forums who has who knows what credentials, if any. Was firing it out to see if anyone else had heard of the research. Bottom line is you probably don't know what you're talking about but it was an opportunity to poke fun at someone else when their point is a little out of the ordinary and an easy target.
#22
Quote by Archeo Avis
People use it because the wide intervals and small number of notes make it easy to use. Scales like the major scale and it's modes take more thought and theory to use effectively because you have to know which notes will sound dissonant against the progression. There is more room to screw the more notes you have.


sure but im pretty sure i read the pentatonic and blues scale is based on of people sing. they got it from africa i believe. when you think about it it makes sense. if i were to match on my guitar what someone is sining, ive never had a time where i wasnt just playing the pentatonic scale. maybe here and there there were some added notes but for the most part you can match a vocal melody with the pentatonic or blues scale.
#24
Quote by Neogioh
Maybe you should listen to some more music.

Seriously.

Because that is very untrue. At least when applied to the music I listen to (which is pretty much everything).

Seriously.


well in the world of blues and rock(classic rock, blues rock), my statement is pretty true. one of the places pentatonics are found is in african american spirtuals. which is usually just vocals. that later turned into blues. of course the pentatonic has been around forever and probably wasnt created to sound like singing, but that is one reason why it is used. im speaking more from a blues point of veiw. adding those other notes make it sound too classical and proper while the pentatonic sounds more "soulful", "emotional", and so fourth because blues players can get the idea of the guitar "singing" through with this scale. im not just making this up, it was in a book i read. but it does seem to make sense. im not saying they were invented because of this, im just saying its a reason why people use it. to say its not its pretty stupid and assuming of you. i use it for exactly this reason. are you going to tell me im wrong?
#25
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Yeah yeah yeah, something like harmonic minor.

He means that there is an intervellic gap of a minor third (whatever you want to call it) in the scale, not that the scale goes 1 #2...

But in that case, how do you explain why the classic minor pentatonic scale often sounds bluesy, not Eastern, even though the scale has a minor third interval?

BTW, that is an actual question, not a test. I'm not sure of the answer, though I think I have an idea.


I know the answer, but it's hard to phrase it exactly. Part of it is the fact that augmented 2nds and minor thirds, while they are the same distance, denote different functions. If a note has its #2, then the step-and-a-half interval sounds like it is the next scale degree up from it. Conversely, as in the minor pentatonic scale, the distance is actually a minor third, which sounds more like you are skipping a tone.

This might sound a little confusing, and it probably seems like I'm playing a semantics game. Afterall, what I CALL the distance doesn't have an effect on the sound. So, in addition to what I said above, the difference between what makes it a #2 or a b3 "sound" is how the notes are distributed across the scale. Pentatonics feel and are spread out more like arpeggios than actual scales, so you aren't going to have the augmented 2nd characteristic popping up in it (The pentatonic scale actually IS a _m11 arpeggio). Phrygian dominant is spread out and runs more like a traditional scale, so the augmented 2nd actually sounds like the next highest scale degree and not like a skip.
#27
Quote by mr. broken
(think Kirk Hammett) which gets extremely boring after 3 solos.


He uses a lot of different scales actually. A lot of it has to do with the fact that most Metallica songs are in E minor.

If that were true, he wouldn't have more than three good solos, which he does.