#1
HI.

For my relatively short time of playing the guitar on a higher level, I have usually used the minor pentatonic scales for improvising and solo writing. The way I usually go about finding out which one to use for a certain scale is to take either the popular "6th degree" and sometimes the "3rd degree" of the scale and use that pentatonic scale. Maybe I am calling these the wrong names so will explain it with an example (im not a native speaker)

For example if I wanna solo over a progression in let's say the key of
G ( G A H C D E F# ) with the chords ( G , Am, Hm, C , D , Em, and F# dim ) I either use what most people would use: the Em pent( what i call the 6th degree), or the Hm pent ( what i call the 3rd degree) and as tboth these scales obviously only have notes from the key they derived from, its all great. Needless to say i occationally throw in some blue notes or other notes "out of the box", I particularly find the raised 5th to be sexy.

Anyway I recently started experimenting with using the minor pentatonic EQUIVALENT to to key im playing over. For example for a blues song i A i play the A minor pentatonic and it sounds freakin marvelous( though not in all contexts). Very daring and naughty without being senseless. I have struggled over and over again to find a logical explanation to this and I cant

Hope you guys can help me put my mind at ease.
#2
I always thought that's waht you were SUPPOSED to do with the minor pentatonic, or that's the most simplistic way to use it.
#3
you mean the relative minor/major?
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#4
Quote by brockg1214
I always thought that's waht you were SUPPOSED to do with the minor pentatonic, or that's the most simplistic way to use it.


Noo. Just think something like lets say knocking on heavens door. All the solo stuff is out of the Em but the song is in the key of G And such is the case with milions of rock songs in history

And no im do not mean the relative major/minor stuff..... I mean if you have a song in the key of A for example that fx has a chord progression going A D E D A D E D A etc. Very simple blues progression. Then i would normally use either the F#m pent or the C#m pent for soloing, as these two only contain notes found in the afforementioned chord progression mention. But i found that using the Am pentatonic sounds great too which is kind of weird considering that the Am pent scale only has the A, D and the E in common with the notes in the key of A, whereas the C and the G has nothing to do with the key of A. So thats why it surprises me that is sounds good If you get my point. it doent make sense, but it works. and thats what bothers me
#5
No he means over say a blues progression in E (E A B), instead of using C#m pent to solo, he would use Em pent to solo. Although it looks wrong on paper and in theory (using Em over Emaj), it's what blues guitarists have been using for over a century to make powerful licks and solos.
#6
:
Quote by The_Strat_Man
No he means over say a blues progression in E (E A B), instead of using C#m pent to solo, he would use Em pent to solo. Although it looks wrong on paper and in theory (using Em over Emaj), it's what blues guitarists have been using for over a century to make powerful licks and solos.


Thnk you Thats the sort of mind'easing I was looking for. But do you have any kind of "rule of thumb" as to where it is usable and where not. I have been trying to figure one out but ive come up empty handed
#7
Quote by chrisdam
HI.


Anyway I recently started experimenting with using the minor pentatonic EQUIVALENT to to key im playing over. For example for a blues song i A i play the A minor pentatonic and it sounds freakin marvelous( though not in all contexts). Very daring and naughty without being senseless. I have struggled over and over again to find a logical explanation to this and I cant

Hope you guys can help me put my mind at ease.


Well I think if the progression is in I-IV-V (Am), using an Am pentatonic always works because the scale has the 5 criteria notes found in that chord: Root, Minor 3rd, Perfect 5th, Dominant 7th, Root Octave.

so wherever you land, it sounds definitive. This is why blues players can relay emotions with so little notes.

The same definitive notes of that pentatonic can be found in the other chords you are using.

Does that make sense?
#9
Quote by chrisdam
Noo. Just think something like lets say knocking on heavens door. All the solo stuff is out of the Em but the song is in the key of G And such is the case with milions of rock songs in history

The solo the Knocking on Heaven's Door is in G major
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#10
Quote by chrisdam
Noo. Just think something like lets say knocking on heavens door. All the solo stuff is out of the Em but the song is in the key of G And such is the case with milions of rock songs in history

And no im do not mean the relative major/minor stuff..... I mean if you have a song in the key of A for example that fx has a chord progression going A D E D A D E D A etc. Very simple blues progression. Then i would normally use either the F#m pent or the C#m pent for soloing, as these two only contain notes found in the afforementioned chord progression mention. But i found that using the Am pentatonic sounds great too which is kind of weird considering that the Am pent scale only has the A, D and the E in common with the notes in the key of A, whereas the C and the G has nothing to do with the key of A. So thats why it surprises me that is sounds good If you get my point. it doent make sense, but it works. and thats what bothers me

lol

the notes in Em and Gmajor are the SAME NOTES.


as seagul said, that solo is not in Eminor, its in Gmajor.
#11
Quote by chrisdam

Anyway I recently started experimenting with using the minor pentatonic EQUIVALENT to to key im playing over. For example for a blues song i A i play the A minor pentatonic and it sounds freakin marvelous( though not in all contexts). Very daring and naughty without being senseless. I have struggled over and over again to find a logical explanation to this and I cant

Hope you guys can help me put my mind at ease.


Playing a minor pentatonic over a major chord IS the blues. And it's also extremely
common in rock. For some people, that's nearly all they play.

It's been said theory doesn't explain blues very well, but it does pretty well.

The "Blue Notes" are b3, b5, and b7. The minor pent has the b3 and b7. When you
add the b5 you get the blues scale.

The best way to think about this vis-a-vis theory might be this: The pent minor scale
over a major, really doesn't contain the 3rd. Consider the b3 as a #2. It's SO common
to add the major 3 to this scale because the 3 of the chord is probably THE most
defining note of any harmony.
#12
Quote by Peaceful Rocker
lol

the notes in Em and Gmajor are the SAME NOTES.


as seagul said, that solo is not in Eminor, its in Gmajor.


Quote by steven seagull
The solo the Knocking on Heaven's Door is in G major


Your right . i meant theyre out of the Em PENT but in the key of Gmajor. But I think thats quite obvious. And as you said yourself the notes are the same, and the point was that it WASN'T in Gm. So your comments are of total irrelevance. Please stop filling my thread with irellevant stuff, that serve the mere purpose of making yourselves look good. I'll promise you it doesnt work on the people you actually want it to.
Last edited by chrisdam at Oct 16, 2008,
#13
Quote by edg
Playing a minor pentatonic over a major chord IS the blues. And it's also extremely
common in rock. For some people, that's nearly all they play.

It's been said theory doesn't explain blues very well, but it does pretty well.

The "Blue Notes" are b3, b5, and b7. The minor pent has the b3 and b7. When you
add the b5 you get the blues scale.

The best way to think about this vis-a-vis theory might be this: The pent minor scale
over a major, really doesn't contain the 3rd. Consider the b3 as a #2. It's SO common
to add the major 3 to this scale because the 3 of the chord is probably THE most
defining note of any harmony.


Wow. Simply and precisely put Thank you very much. Now it makes sense
#14
Quote by chrisdam
Noo. Just think something like lets say knocking on heavens door. All the solo stuff is out of the Em but the song is in the key of G And such is the case with milions of rock songs in history

:

The relative minor key is the 6th degree of its relative major
Eminor is the relative minor of G major
Knocking on heavens door = I V IV = G D C
G major scale- G A B C D E F#
E minor scale- E F# G A B C D
Notice they have the same notes and that E is the 6th degree of G major and the 1st degree of E minor.
This is called relative minor/major. Any rock song can use the relative minor pentatonic scale. This is why millions of songs have a Major key and a minor pent solo. This is also why you had the notion whereever it came from to use the 6th degree minor or whatever it was you were saying.
#15
Quote by /-\liceNChains
The relative minor key is the 6th degree of its relative major
Eminor is the relative minor of G major
Knocking on heavens door = I V IV = G D C
G major scale- G A B C D E F#
E minor scale- E F# G A B C D
Notice they have the same notes and that E is the 6th degree of G major and the 1st degree of E minor.
This is called relative minor/major. Any rock song can use the relative minor pentatonic scale. This is why millions of songs have a Major key and a minor pent solo. This is also why you had the notion whereever it came from to use the 6th degree minor or whatever it was you were saying.


I get that, and that has as I already wrote, been said before jsantos and edg already gave perfectly good explanations to my confusion I realize i might have wrote it a bit cryptic, but the relativity between major/minor pents are quite familiar to me But thanks for your indepth definition anyways others might find it handy
Last edited by chrisdam at Oct 16, 2008,
#17
its cool At least you really took your time with the definition and had very good info
#18
Quote by chrisdam
Your right . i meant theyre out of the Em PENT but in the key of Gmajor. But I think thats quite obvious. And as you said yourself the notes are the same, and the point was that it WASN'T in Gm. So your comments are of total irrelevance. Please stop filling my thread with irellevant stuff, that serve the mere purpose of making yourselves look good. I'll promise you it doesnt work on the people you actually want it to.

My comments were perfectly relevant, you weren't making any sense because you picked an example that had nothing to do with the point you were trying to illustrate...therefore I assumed you didn't know what you were on about and corrected you so you wouldn't make the same mistake in future.

Knocking on heaven's door is in G major, therefore you'd expect the solo to be in G major and it is, the fact that the solo isn't in G minor is irrelevant...it isn't in a lot of scales. You should have picked a song that uses the parallel minor over a major key because that was what you were trying to illustrate, the fact that blues and rock tends to feature solos in the parallel minor scale over a major key.
Actually called Mark!

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Last edited by steven seagull at Oct 16, 2008,
#19
Quote by steven seagull
My comments were perfectly relevant, you weren't making any sense because you picked an example that had nothing to do with the point you were trying to illustrate...therefore I assumed you didn't know what you were on about and corrected you so you wouldn't make the same mistake in future.

Knocking on heaven's door is in G major, therefore you'd expect the solo to be in G major and it is, the fact that the solo isn't in G minor is irrelevant...it isn't in a lot of scales. You should have picked a song that uses the parallel minor over a major key because that was what you were trying to illustrate, the fact that blues and rock tends to feature solos in the parallel minor scale over a major key.


The only point to that example was that the song is in G major, but the solo is NOT in Gminor, simply to dismis this confusing statement:


Quote by brockg1214
I always thought that's waht you were SUPPOSED to do with the minor pentatonic, or that's the most simplistic way to use it.


As i see it my example is pefectly fine, and whether it is in Gmajor or Eminor is perfectly irellevant, and a mere slip of "tongue" on my part, that does not change the point.