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Learning pentatonic scales

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by bassinplace, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008
    I'm currently doing some exercises to teach myself the minor pentatonic scales. Right off the bat I have some confusion. The key signatures don't seem to match the scales. For example the E minor pentatonic scale has a G major key signature written on it. The first exercise states it is in C and G but the key signature is written as F. What gives? I'm confused. A little help? Thanks!
  2. Asher S

    Asher S

    Jan 31, 2008
    I believe you're experiencing what's known as the "relative minor", i.e. take G major, and the relative minor (down a minor third from G) is E. The 2 scales are "diatonic": they share the same notes. The same is true for C major and A minor, F major and D minor etc etc.

    I'm not sure what the "C & G" with F key signature refer to, but the minor pentatonic can be overlayed several different key signatures effectively. That's one reason why it's so popular. Actually, C & G are V and ii (major V and minor ii modes) of F major, so perhaps your source is referring to the popular ii V I progression in which the minor pentatonic (or alternatively the Dorian) may be tapped for the ii mode (G minor in this case).
  3. jrklmx(Andrew)


    Mar 31, 2009
    Every Major key has a relative minor key. Take your root note G, go to the 6th degree of the scale. g a b c d E f
    G major= Em
    E F# G A B C D. It's G major starting on E.

    Pentatonic scales are just 1, b3, 4 5 and b7 + octave. Its just a five note scale that sounds good because of the b3 and 7. Pick a note and apply that "formula". Hope this helps.
    I dont understand the second part of your question. Sorry, I'd have to see the music your playing.

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