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Harmonic minor/pentatonic problem

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by MEKer, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

    May 30, 2006
    OK, correct me if wrong or elucidate please:

    If the harmonic minor sharpens the 7th, you've made, in effect a half minor/half major scale (more of less).

    But then, could you have a harmonic minor pentatonic utilizing that 7th (or using it only as an approach) or are you stuck thinking there is no such thing as a harmonic minor pentatonic?
    And if the true pentatonic structure is defined 1,2,3,5,6 (which I saw in a book) it would not matter either way.

    OK, what am I missing here, please. :meh:
  2. Keep in mind with minor pentatonic the 6 scale degree is en-harmonically a b7.

    Application really depends on the situation - In general, I've used what you could refer to as Dorian with the extra half-step between the b7 and the root in some instances. Heard it called a lot of things but the situation dictates the usage.

    Take out the 2nd and 6th degree of that (alternatively the b7) and I guess you would have something you could dub HM Pent... ????

  3. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    Let's define things in terms of the major scale:
    Maj scale: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
    Maj pentatonic: 1 2 3 5 6

    Min scale: 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
    Min pentatonic 1 b3 4 5 b7

    You probably know that the minor pent is the same notes as the major pent , just started on the 6th instead of the 1. Usually, "pentatonic scale" refers to this exact sequence of whole steps and 3rds as derived from the major scale.

    But in a technical sense you could string together any 5 note sequence and call it pentatonic.

    So, I've never heard of a harmonic minor pentatonic, but you could invent one I suppose, by using the major 7th:

    harmonic min: 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 7
    Harmonic Min Pent: 1 b3 4 5 7

    Not sure how useful that'd be tho.

    not quite. Minor pent =1 b3 4 5 b7
    the "6th degree" is an octave.
    the 5th note in the sequence is the b7.
  4. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

    May 30, 2006
    Hmm, thanks for the answers. Enlightening. So other than going the "any 5 notes can be considered a pentatonic" route, a harmonic minor really would not have a true pent. Just as I suspicioned. Thanks, all.

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