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Pentatonics other than major and minor

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by loopfinding, Oct 30, 2020.

  1. loopfinding

    loopfinding Tele-Holic

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    Hey all, what are your favorite pentatonics to use other than the basic maj/minor we all use?

    I find myself using these a lot:

    1, 2, 3, 5, b7 over dominant

    1, 2, b3, 5, 6 over min6
     
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  2. EddieLocrian

    EddieLocrian Tele-Afflicted

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    Personally never use pentatonics on purpose, I prefer to be free to use the whole scale, on the other hand I am pretty crappy at playing guitar :-0

    But that's me just having a Friday feeling.
     
  3. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    My favorite pentatonics:

     
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  4. notroHnhoJ

    notroHnhoJ Tele-Meister

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    Interesting. Now see to my mind, these are arpeggios.
     
  5. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Skipping the '2' will make them arpeggios.
     
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  6. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    The first choice looks like what could be called a Mixolydian pentatonic. The second looks like a pentatonic scale derived from the Dorian mode. I use the Dorian mode frequently to make my blues interesting and use it for jazz as well, but never confine myself to a simple pentatonic. I use passing notes and landing notes heavily in soloing.
     
  7. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    This is a lesson on pentatonics you can use over an altered chord. Over G Altered, Jens uses:
    Bb minor pentatonic (this is the most obvious one): Bb Db Eb F Ab
    Ab minor 6th pentatonic (= Ab minor pentatonic with the b7 lowered a half step): Ab B Db Eb F
    Eb major b6 (=Eb major pentatonic, with the 6th lowered a half step): Eb F G Bb B

     
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  8. loopfinding

    loopfinding Tele-Holic

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    cool yeah, exactly, more like this!

    yeah, i've heard the first referred to as mixolydian or dominant pentatonic. the second one is basically a mode of the insen scale. i've heard both used by coltrane (though probably more the first). i think the latter pops up in a bunch of modal things too.

    was reminded by this video:


    i think they can be nice colors to use when jumping around the intervals, or for doing interesting repeating patterns. they can also be nice frameworks for lines with a lot of passing tones since the chord tones are all outlined really well.

    just wondering if anyone else has some standby figures like this that they like to whip out on the regular, instead of more vanilla stuff (e.g using an Em pentatonic over Cmaj7).

    one that comes to mind that i hear some players use a ton in classic rock is a mixolydian type sequence, 1, 3, 4, 5, b7.

    the okinawan scale (like the above but with a natural 7th) works really well for ambient-y stuff over a maj7th where you want to poke the 11th in there.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2020
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  9. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    I have a book I bought some years ago that delves into a number of pentatonic scales created to work over various chords. It goes by a different name now but it was originally called 'Power Pentatonics' with a long haired hard rock looking dude on the cover. Very good book though for exploring other pentatonic sounds. The one I use most often from that book is a 'rootless' pentatonic scale. It's constructed like this- 2,3,5,6,b7 when played over a dom7 chord. It also works over a min7b5...the same note arrangement then would be spelled - 1,b3,4,b5,b7. So over an A7 we would have B,C#,E,F#,G and the same scale would be used over a C#m7b5.

    The nice thing for me about this way of creating pent scales is that, in general, you have the root of the scale matching the root of the chord it would be used over. For me, that's just much easier than trying to memorize that a Bb pent goes over chord 'X' to create 'Y' sound and a Cm pent over the same 'X' chord to create a 'Z' sound. My little brain finds that too much work.


    Here's the book in it's new form...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2020
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  10. notroHnhoJ

    notroHnhoJ Tele-Meister

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    Only if an “arpeggio” doesn’t have chord extensions.
     
  11. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    IMO, the OP's 2 examples are just mixing major and minor, which you can do over any dominant chord, because it has a major and minor feel at the same time.
    I tend to see things three ways-
    pure major, as in over major 7 chords, so no minor 3, 6, or 7
    pure minor, as in any song that is in a minor key, so no major 3, 6, or 7
    dominant, which includes blues in a major key, and most rock that isn't in a minor key- so everything works, except the minor 6, and the major 7 only works over the 5 chord, where it's the 3 of that chord.
    There are exceptions, such as dorian which is just minor with a major 6, and makes the 4 chord major instead of minor
    And mixolydian is already covered in what I called my dominant approach.
    I'm a pretty simple player, so I don't really use other modes than those two.
    I tend to play over the chords a lot, to give me more melodic possibilities to work with, without repeating myself too much, 'cause I have limited chops.
     
  12. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Eh? ... 1 3 5 7 9 11 13
     
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  13. heltershelton

    heltershelton Tele-Afflicted

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  14. loopfinding

    loopfinding Tele-Holic

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    in the examples i posted it's like taking the 9th and putting it between the 1st and 3rd (first would be like a dominant 9th chord, second would be like a minor 6/9), sort of like how a minor pentatonic would be 1, 3, 11(4), 5, 7 (a minor 11th chord with no 9th). we generally don't refer to a min pentatonic scale as an arpeggio, i guess because the 4th is viewed like a passing tone between the 3rd and 5th and makes it feel scalar. likewise a maj pentatonic would be a maj 6/9 chord with the 9th brought down - 1, 9(2), 3, 5, 6, but the 2nd i guess is viewed like a passing tone between between the 1st and 3rd.

    i think in sequences where you have at least two places where degrees are separated by less than thirds it's more useful to conceptualize them as scales rather than arpeggios of inversions.

    i would think of a repeating sequence of CEGB as an arpeggio.
    i would think of a repeating sequence of CDEGB as a scale (but if i were playing piano maybe i would feel differently).
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2020
  15. notroHnhoJ

    notroHnhoJ Tele-Meister

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    Right so the “9” is the octave of the “2”.
     
  16. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    OK, now I get where you're coming from. That's why we play it after or above the 7th. That way we don't have three scale tones in a row. An arpeggio, academically speaking, has to skip a scale tone. If it doesn't we just call that a pattern. For example the classic John Coltrane pattern: 1 2 3 5, 2 3 4 6, 3 4 5 7, etc. - three scale tones and then a skip.
    Obviously anyone can play (and name it) whatever they want but definitionally, and for communication consistency, it's pretty specific.
     
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  17. JRapp

    JRapp Tele-Meister

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    See Slonimsky for additional pentatonics...
     
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  18. aeyeq

    aeyeq Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Great lesson.
     
  19. loopfinding

    loopfinding Tele-Holic

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    ah thanks, i had remembered something about coltrane and a book of his but i never really investigated it.
     
  20. notroHnhoJ

    notroHnhoJ Tele-Meister

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    Alright, interesting.....I think I tend to think through songs in a circular and chordal fashion. Making a scale seems....inefficient maybe? I can see where I can expand my ear in someway, because running these pentatonic concepts and to my ear and abilities, everything sounds like a dominant chord. It would be a challenge for me to hear these concepts as something other than resolving to some kind of tonic.
     
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