What exactly is the formula for a pentatonic scale? I think i have it figured out but im not entirely sure.

I also want to know the formula for a blues scale, and what other scales are good for solos in rock and metal, besides blues and pentatonics.

Thank you.
pentatonic scale: 1 b3 4 5 b7
For pentatonic minor it's 1 3 4 5 7 of the natural minor scale.

~Taydr~
Ka pu te ruha ka hao te rangatahi.
Pentatonic Scales:

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/scales/blues_scales.html
The minor pentatonic scale is made up of the 1-3-4-5-7 of the natural minor scale.

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/for_beginners/learning_music_theory_the_beginning.html
Learn modes!
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Best theory lesson EVER!
To Gacel- What does th b3 and b7 mean?

To Taydr- What is the natural minor scale? what is its formula?

Im used to whole steps and half steps. Could someone tab out a pentatonic scale so I can see if what I'm doing is right?
Last edited by Tonganation at Jun 5, 2008,
Quote by Tonganation
To Gacel- What does th b3 and b7 mean?

To Taydr- What is the natural minor scale? what is its formula?

Im used to whole steps and half steps. Could someone tab out a pentatonic scale so I can see if what I'm doing is right?

The natural minor scale is 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7, or W H W W H W W. The standard movable box for the pentatonic minor is:
``````
[font="courier new"]
|--------------------------------5--8--|
|--------------------------5--8--------|
|--------------------5--7--------------|
|--------------5--7--------------------|
|--------5--7--------------------------|
|--5--8--------------------------------|
[/font]
``````

Hope that helps.

~Taydr~
Ka pu te ruha ka hao te rangatahi.
Remove the 4th and the 7th from the diatonic (maj scale).
The F and B note of the C maj and it'll be the C maj pentatonic. (5 notes/ pentagon)
Do the same to get the relative minor . Put the 6th as the one or tonic to get the minor pentatonic.

The b3 or b7 = play the corrosponding note flat reference from
the diatonic.

The neutral pentatonic is 1,2,4,5,b7.

Add the b5 to the minor pentatonic and you'll get the Blues Scale.
Add b5, 7 to the minor pentatonic and you'll get the Blues veriation 1.
These option note help to swing.

There are 5 Box patterns that'll fit together like a jig saw puzzle
on the guitar fretboard. Learn them will, so you'll be able to play
it any where and any key
Quote by Taydr
The natural minor scale is 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7, or W H W W H W W. The standard movable box for the pentatonic minor is:
``[font="courier new"]|--------------------------------5--8--||--------------------------5--8--------||--------------------5--7--------------||--------------5--7--------------------||--------5--7--------------------------||--5--8--------------------------------|[/font]``

Hope that helps.

~Taydr~

Will this work for any key? What are some other box shapes to know?
Quote by Tonganation
Will this work for any key?
That pattern is in A minor. If you want D, it's between frets 10 and 13, E, between 12 and 15, etc.

Quote by Tonganation
What are some other box shapes to know?
Go on google and get a scalefinder; look up "minor pentatonic."
Quote by Tonganation
Will this work for any key? What are some other box shapes to know?

``````
|------------------------2-5-------|
|-------------------3-5------------|
|---------------2-5----------------|
|-----------2-5--------------------|
|------3-5-------------------------|
|-3-5------------------------------|

|-----------------------------------------12-15-------|
|---------------------------------13-15---------------|
|-------------------------12-14-----------------------|
|-----------------12-14-------------------------------|
|---------12-15---------------------------------------|
|-12-15-----------------------------------------------|
``````
Quote by Tonganation
Will this work for any key? What are some other box shapes to know?

I know this is like a broken record here but I have found that it's pretty important. Don't just memorize the box patterns. Learn the notes you are playing in the box patterns. From what I understand, once you learn the notes of the fretboard and the intervals of the scales, you don't have to rely on the box positions as much. Don't get me wrong, the boxes are really useful and helpful as they allow you to visualize how to move the scale across the strings and up and down the neck, but once again, learn the notes of the scale also.
I know this is like a broken record here but I have found that it's pretty important. Don't just memorize the box patterns. Learn the notes you are playing in the box patterns. From what I understand, once you learn the notes of the fretboard and the intervals of the scales, you don't have to rely on the box positions as much. Don't get me wrong, the boxes are really useful and helpful as they allow you to visualize how to move the scale across the strings and up and down the neck, but once again, learn the notes of the scale also.

Right.

Learn how the scale is formed, learn its notes, and know your fretboard, then you will find the patterns yourself.

This could be tedious to do all at once, but if done methodically and over time, in a short period of time you will get it..
I know this is like a broken record here but I have found that it's pretty important. Don't just memorize the box patterns. Learn the notes you are playing in the box patterns. From what I understand, once you learn the notes of the fretboard and the intervals of the scales, you don't have to rely on the box positions as much. Don't get me wrong, the boxes are really useful and helpful as they allow you to visualize how to move the scale across the strings and up and down the neck, but once again, learn the notes of the scale also.

I know this, thats why i asked for the formula and what scale the minor pentatonics are built from. The problem is that i dont know the notes on the guitar and only have a basic knowledge of theory from playing instruments in high school band. I thought knowing box shapes would help.

And I read in a book I have that the natural minor scale was made up of all the notes of the major scale, but starts on the 6th note of the major scale. Is this right?
And thanks everyone for the info, I really appreciate it.
Quote by bangoodcharlote
There's more to it, but that is correct.

Please read the theory lesson in my signature.

Explain how to me how the one using the formula and the one that starts on the 6th note of the major scale are both correct please.
Quote by Tonganation
Explain how to me how the one using the formula and the one that starts on the 6th note of the major scale are both correct please.

Well, the major scale is 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 which is WWHWWWH.
So the natural minor scale is 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 which is WHWWHWW.
The natural minor is also the same as 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 which is also WHWWHWW.

So 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 is the same as 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 so they are both the natural minor scale.
Ok, I get it. and the b3 means its the 3rd note of the major scale flattened right? Or does it mean the interval is a minor third, which is 3 half steps?
Quote by Tonganation
Ok, I get it. and the b3 means its the 3rd note of the major scale flattened right? Or does it mean the interval is a minor third, which is 3 half steps?

It means both - relative to the 3 of the major scale the note's been flatted, for example you have E in C major but an Eb in C minor. The b3 also means it's a minor third between the root and the third, which you're correct in saying is three half steps.
Quote by 12345abcd3
Well, the major scale is 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 which is WWHWWWH.
So the natural minor scale is 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 which is WHWWHWW.
The natural minor is also the same as 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 which is also WHWWHWW.

So 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 is the same as 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 so they are both the natural minor scale.

Wait, wouldn't the notes be different if you built the natural minor scale from the formula instead of by starting on the 6th note of the major scale.
Quote by Tonganation
Wait, wouldn't the notes be different if you built the natural minor scale from the formula instead of by starting on the 6th note of the major scale.
No. A is the 6th in the C major scale, so Am is called the relative minor of C major.

Unless you mean C minor and A minor having different notes, in which case, they absolutely do.
Quote by Tonganation
I know this, thats why i asked for the formula and what scale the minor pentatonics are built from. The problem is that i dont know the notes on the guitar and only have a basic knowledge of theory from playing instruments in high school band. I thought knowing box shapes would help.

And I read in a book I have that the natural minor scale was made up of all the notes of the major scale, but starts on the 6th note of the major scale. Is this right?
And thanks everyone for the info, I really appreciate it.

I suggest you first know the major scale, and understand intervals, until then you are not ready to start learning the formulas for builing a scale. b3 means flat 3rd, the 3rd note of the major scale is (ironically) called the 3rd, for the pentatonic minor taking the flat 3rd means moving the note one fret/semitone down (in A minor pentatonic, from C# to C). Learn intervals and the major scale, they'll open a lot of doors and things will start to make more sense. And just for the mean time if you want to learn the pentatonic boxes, there are 5 basic "box" positions of the minor pentatonic starting on the low E string.

``````-------------------------5-8------------
----------------------------5-8-----------------
-----------------------5-7----------------------
------------------5-7---------------------------
-------------5-7--------------------------------
--------5-8-------------------------------------``````

edit computer crash, i'll edit the other boxes later, sorry for inconvenience lol
Last edited by Helpy Helperton at Jun 12, 2008,
Quote by Tonganation
I know this, thats why i asked for the formula and what scale the minor pentatonics are built from. The problem is that i dont know the notes on the guitar and only have a basic knowledge of theory from playing instruments in high school band. I thought knowing box shapes would help.

And I read in a book I have that the natural minor scale was made up of all the notes of the major scale, but starts on the 6th note of the major scale. Is this right?
And thanks everyone for the info, I really appreciate it.

There are two methods to this so I'm going to talk about modes. The minor scale is also known as an Aeolian scale. it roots on the 6th degree of the major scale (Ionian scale). This is known as the inversion method. Any degree you root on from the major scale is a mode. If you root on the 2nd degree of the major scale you have a Dorian mode. Root on the 3rd and you have Phrygian mode and so on.

The modulation method is simply altering a scale. I'm not good at explaining this but it usually involves substitutions and key changes in a song.

Pentatonic scales are 5 notes derived from the scales. They can be made by removing the half-steps or stacking the fifths but also by altering notes so it sounds more melodic or harmonic.
After learning the major scale interval . I had to methodically transfer
it the fretboard. I kept it within one octive to simplify it.

I started with something I was familar with and build on that a little at a time
..such as X5 chord.
I look at the root note and how the 5th's placement is in relation to root note.
The 5th is 2 frets down and one string down...simple enough.
The octive is directly beneath the 5th.

Then i just did the triads...just three notes for ear training purpose and
the placement of the 3 or the b3.

example
For maj, I remember the 3rd is one string down and one fret up from the root.

D----------------2------------5---
A-------------------3---------------
E----------------------------------

For min, the b3 is one string down and two frets up.

D----1--------------------5-----
A-------------3------------------
E---------------------------------

For dim..I just played minb5

D----0-----------4----------
A------------2---------------
E----------------------------

Then i simply did as pin head said..Play these triads using different root notes using the maj interval.
I remember I,IV,V (,1,4,5) = maj
ii,iii,vi = min
vii= dim.

Then just played these triads...keeping the root on the A string..persay.
I use my middle finger as for the root note.
Then I slide it up the down the neck accordingly...this will also help me
to make laterial movement using the maj invertval (parent scale)

E min traid (iii)...the root is on A string 7 fret.
Then F maj ...the root on the 8th fret
Gmaj the root on the 10th fret....and so on and so forth.

Then i simply added the other 2 notes of the penatonic...maj or min accordingly.
For the minor...I opt to play the b3 on the same string as the root.

so...I get this from simple counting

D min penta

E-------------------------------
B-------------------------------
G-------------x----------7-----
D-------------x----------7-----
A-------------5---------------8
E--------------------------------

If I continue to add two more notes to get the dorain
It'll just look like this

E--------------------------------
B--------------------------------
G--------x--x-----------7------
D-----------x-----------7------
A------------5----------x---8--
E--------------------------------

okay...I memorized the 5 pentatonic patterns that fits together like a jig saw
puzzle. Using the root note on the A string as a refference piont. I can simply
shift every up or down the neck to play in a desire key or pitch.
From A min to Dmin...it'll be as if the I'm playing the same pattern of
the 12 fret or nut of Amin at the 5th fret for Dmin....and so on and so forth.

The same concept apply with doing the diatonic system when filling 2 more
notes.

I also practice doing like this... doing it in a stationary posistion..
D min, D maj, ...D whatever

example:
D maj penta
-----------------------------------------
-----------------------------------------
-----------4-----------------7-------
-----------4-----------------7--------
----------------5------------7----------
-------------------------------------------

D ionian (major or diatonic)
---------------------------------------
---------------------------------------
-----------4------------x----7-------
-----------4---x-------------7-------
---------------5--------------7-------
----------------------------------------

D mixolydian
---------------------------------------
--------------------------------------
-----------4----x-------------7-----
-----------4----x-------------7-----
-----------------5-------------7-----
--------------------------------------

D aeolian
--------------------------------------
--------------------------------------
--------------5--------------7------
--------------5--------------7--x---
--------------5--------------x---7--
-------------------------------------

D harmonic minor
-------------------------------------
-------------------------------------
-----------------------6----7-------
--------------5-------------7----x-
--------------5-------------x----7--
--------------------------------------

D phrygian domiant
-------------------------------------
-------------------------------------
------------5-------------7-------
---------x--5-------------7--x----
------------5----6----------------
-----------------------------------
Last edited by Ordinary at Jun 12, 2008,
Quote by Tonganation
Wait, wouldn't the notes be different if you built the natural minor scale from the formula instead of by starting on the 6th note of the major scale.

Well, for the one starting on 6 you start with the relative major scale (do you know what it is?) then build from 6 to get the minor.

For the one starting on 1 you start with the major scale with the same first note as you desired minor scale (eg, start with A major to get A minor) and modify the scale acordingly.
For metal: depends what kind, really.

Like power and speed metal, most musicians use the natural minor with some locrian stuff.

For CoB-style stuff, heavy emphasis on the b2 of the Locrian and Phrygian along with diminished licks/riffs to link the song together. A good example would be CoB's "In your Face"
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