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Old 08-12-2017, 11:09 PM
Irish Pennant Irish Pennant is online now
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Default Question about a five note scale.

I have a question about a five note scale. Please help educate me on this.

I was noodling around and came up with a 10 bar piece that I put on a looper. The guitar is capo'ed at the 7th fret. I'm playing D, Bm, D, Bm, D, Bm, E, G, D, D (Chord shape with capo on 7th fret G, Em, A, C) then the loop starts again. The scale that I'm using to improv over this is an E scale and I'm leaving the 3 and 6 note out of the scale, so E major or minor scale will have the same 5 notes. E, F#, A, B, D.

All my notations has that a "Standard" pentatonic scale leaves the 2 and 6 note out of the scale.

With leaving the 3 and 6 note out of the scale what do I call this scale?

Thanks for any and all help on furthering my education. Please keep it at a layman level, I have no formal education in music, just what I've been able to pick up from home study.


Edit: After further study, I've found that these notes are also in a "Standard" Bm Pentatonic.
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Last edited by Irish Pennant; 08-13-2017 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 08-13-2017, 08:31 AM
FwL FwL is offline
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Or D major pentatonic. Depends on how you're phrasing your lines.

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Old 08-13-2017, 09:19 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Pennant View Post
Edit: After further study, I've found that these notes are also in a "Standard" Bm Pentatonic.
Exactly - aka D major pentatonic, as FwL points out.

Of course the scale works in different ways on different chords, depending on how many (and which) chord tones it contains, and which extensions it contains.

It's most "inside" on D and Bm chords, as you might guess. It contains all 3 chord tones, plus two good consonant extensions (6th and 9th on major, 4th and 7th on minor).
(And that's in whatever key you find those chords, because they both occur in the keys of D, G and A. The pent is diatonic to all those keys, always sounds right on those chords.)

On a G chord, it contains the 3rd and 5th (B-D), adds 6th and 9th (as above, E-A in this case), but replaces the root with the maj7 (F#). So it gives a kind of sweet wistfulness to a G chord.

On an Em chord, it contains root and 5th (E-B), adds 4th and 7th (A-D), and provides the 4th (A) in place of the 3rd. This gives it an "E7sus4" sound - although only on an Em (or E) chord.
The lowest or starting note of a scale has no bearing on the modal or chord sound on the chord; the chord rules that. That's why it's important you don't regard your scale as any kind of "E" scale - unless you're improvising on an E-root chord. It's just the notes A B D E F# (alphabetical order), which work differently on each chord, regardless of which pattern you use. Soundwise, they relate to the chord root (and other chord tones), not to your starting note or the lowest note of your pattern.

It's worth exploring all the other ways it works on various chords (in keys of D, G and A).
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Old 08-13-2017, 10:21 AM
Irish Pennant Irish Pennant is online now
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Originally Posted by FwL View Post
Or D major pentatonic. Depends on how you're phrasing your lines.

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Here's the noodle
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Old 08-13-2017, 10:25 AM
Irish Pennant Irish Pennant is online now
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Originally Posted by JonPR View Post
Exactly - aka D major pentatonic, as FwL points out.

Of course the scale works in different ways on different chords, depending on how many (and which) chord tones it contains, and which extensions it contains.

It's most "inside" on D and Bm chords, as you might guess. It contains all 3 chord tones, plus two good consonant extensions (6th and 9th on major, 4th and 7th on minor).
(And that's in whatever key you find those chords, because they both occur in the keys of D, G and A. The pent is diatonic to all those keys, always sounds right on those chords.)

On a G chord, it contains the 3rd and 5th (B-D), adds 6th and 9th (as above, E-A in this case), but replaces the root with the maj7 (F#). So it gives a kind of sweet wistfulness to a G chord.

On an Em chord, it contains root and 5th (E-B), adds 4th and 7th (A-D), and provides the 4th (A) in place of the 3rd. This gives it an "E7sus4" sound - although only on an Em (or E) chord.
The lowest or starting note of a scale has no bearing on the modal or chord sound on the chord; the chord rules that. That's why it's important you don't regard your scale as any kind of "E" scale - unless you're improvising on an E-root chord. It's just the notes A B D E F# (alphabetical order), which work differently on each chord, regardless of which pattern you use. Soundwise, they relate to the chord root (and other chord tones), not to your starting note or the lowest note of your pattern.

It's worth exploring all the other ways it works on various chords (in keys of D, G and A).
Thank you for your help and for your time.

It will take a little bit for me to digest this. I will study it.

The way in which I'm playing this noodle, tonally, at least to my ears, I can't fit the C# note in from the D major pentatonic scale.
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Old 08-13-2017, 12:31 PM
Llewlyn Llewlyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Pennant View Post
I was noodling around and came up with a 10 bar piece that I put on a looper. The guitar is capo'ed at the 7th fret. I'm playing D, Bm, D, Bm, D, Bm, E, G, D, D (Chord shape with capo on 7th fret G, Em, A, C) then the loop starts again.
As pointed out by others, the tune seems to be in D major (= B minor). So I'd use a D major scale to improvise.

The only chord which is out of the scale is that E. It should be Em (that is, with a G) but instead is E major (i.e. with a G#). This means that when you are improvising on the D scale, you should not sound the note G in the bar of E but you should add the G# instead in that scale.

If that sounds hard, the excellent workaround is to use the D pentatonic, which doesn't contain either G or G# so you are good to go throughout the whole chord progression.

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Old 08-13-2017, 04:34 PM
SunnyDee SunnyDee is offline
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Originally Posted by Irish Pennant View Post
Thank you for your help and for your time.

It will take a little bit for me to digest this. I will study it.

The way in which I'm playing this noodle, tonally, at least to my ears, I can't fit the C# note in from the D major pentatonic scale.
D major pentatonic (Bm pentatonic) doesn't have a C#, just D E F# A B, afaik.
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Old 08-13-2017, 05:18 PM
Irish Pennant Irish Pennant is online now
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Originally Posted by SunnyDee View Post
D major pentatonic (Bm pentatonic) doesn't have a C#, just D E F# A B, afaik.
I'm not understanding.

Isn't a Dmaj scale D,E,F#,G,A,B,C# and a Dmaj pentatonic D,F#,G,A,C#?

and a Bm scale B,C#,D,E,F#,G,A, and a Bm pentatonic B,D,E,F#,A

I can see that the 7 note scales have the same notes but the pentatonic scales seem to be different between the Dmaj and the Bm.

Thanks again for all the input and for making me think music.
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Last edited by Irish Pennant; 08-13-2017 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 08-13-2017, 06:16 PM
SunnyDee SunnyDee is offline
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Originally Posted by Irish Pennant View Post
I'm not understanding.

Isn't a Dmaj scale D,E,F#,G,A,B,C# and a Dmaj pentatonic D,F#,G,A,C#?

and a Bm scale B,C#,D,E,F#,G,A, and a Bm pentatonic B,D,E,F#,A

I can see that the 7 note scales have the same notes but the pentatonic scales seem to be different between the Dmaj and the Bm.

Thanks again for all the input and for making me think music.
No, I think you are confusing the formula for major with the one for minor. Major pentatonic is 1, 2, 3, 5, 6. Minor pent is 1, 3, 4, 5, 7. They have the same notes, because major pentatonic is just dropping out the half steps from the major scale and the minor is the same just starting on a different note.

In solfege, which is how I think of scales, that's dropping the fa and ti. I think this makes it easier to see how they are related. Major - do re mi (fa) so la (ti), Minor - la (ti) do re mi (fa) so
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Last edited by SunnyDee; 08-13-2017 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 08-13-2017, 06:31 PM
Irish Pennant Irish Pennant is online now
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Originally Posted by SunnyDee View Post
No, I think you are confusing the formula for major with the one for minor. Major pentatonic is 1, 2, 3, 5, 6. Minor pent is 1, 3, 4, 5, 7. They have the same notes, because major pentatonic is just dropping out the half steps from the major scale and the minor is the same just starting on a different note.

In solfege, which is how I think of scales, that's dropping the fa and ti. I think this makes it easier to see how they are related. Major - do re mi (fa) so la (ti), Minor - la (ti) do re mi (fa) so
Thanks for clarifying this, yes I was getting the major pentatonic scale wrong. This helps a lot.
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Old 08-13-2017, 06:35 PM
SunnyDee SunnyDee is offline
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Originally Posted by Irish Pennant View Post
Thanks for clarifying this, yes I was getting the major pentatonic scale wrong. This helps a lot.
You're welcome. I've just learned theory in the past couple years myself. I remember the confusion.
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