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B flat??? Pentatnoic Forms

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by kasuals, Aug 18, 2001.

  1. kasuals


    Jul 20, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    My lead guitarist and I are having a discussion on forms...

    He says the following for Pentatonic in G:

    Note: G Bflat C D F
    Interval: 1 flat3 4 5 flat7
    Form: I II III IV V


    Why does it ascend to a Bflat instead of Asharp?shouldn't it go to a Asharp since you are ascending instead of a Bflat?

    If you could help us, we'd have a better understanding of intervals and forms. And any theory you could give on why this works, we'd really appreciate it.

    I know alot less than he does, but I still think, theoretically, it should be an Asharp.
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Because it's a minor pentatonic scale. In minor, the 3rd is lowered. So instead of B (the third) you'd have a Bb. In a few strange scales you can have a raised second, which would be A#.
  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    As usual, PACKARDBELL is right on the money. To that I would add that the easiest way to remember any minor pentatonic scale is in relation to its "parent scale", which in this case is G minor. Major and Minor pentatonic scales are really just major and minor scales with two notes removed.

    If you count the scale degrees of any major scale (12345678, with 8 being an octave duplication of 1), all you have to do is remove the 4th and 7th degrees to produce the major pentatonic scale.

    To produce a minor pentatonic scale, simply write out any minor scale in the same way, and then remove scale degrees 2 and 6. So the "Bb" in your example is the third of the parent scale of G minor.


  4. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    PACMAN, DURRL, you guys rock!
  5. kasuals


    Jul 20, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Yeah, you guys sure do use alot of them big words...

    All flashy and what not...

    But I bet I could whoop yer butts... if'n I foundja.


    No, seriously, thanks alot. I didn't even think about it... and once I realized it was a minor, that hit me. I just happened to have a bit to drink that night, and we couldn't get it to fit right. ;)

    Even my beginners book outlined that one. :D

    Thanks again though, you guys are a great resource!
  6. a little off topic but does it really matter what accidental is used?
  7. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification

    It might not in this discussion, but it's a good idea to get into the habit for when the key makes things look a bit weird. It's also easier to read if accidentals are used correctly. It would definately be harder to read G A# D F A then it would be to read G Bb D F A. It might seem nitpicky, but when you're reading a chart at 200 bpm, neatness counts.
  8. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon

    May 10, 2000
    Redmond, WA
    Microsoft Product Designer
    without getting into a tab vs SN thing here...

    i think it is ESSENTIAL to notate correctly.

    and standard notation is just that, the standard.

    so, when you are communicating musical ideas via scores, it DOES make a difference whether you indicate Bflat or Asharp.

    as others have said...Bb is the flatted 3rd and A# is the raised 9th.

    a mix up like that could cause a serious chord voicing train wreck.


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