1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Lost again guys

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Synthax, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. Synthax


    Nov 20, 2011
    SW PA
    Hello again everyone, I seem to be stuck again , this time on the Pentatonic Scale. I've been practicing regularly a few hours a day between job 1 and 2 etc... doing muting exercises , chromatic scale, major and minor scale, maj minor chord arpeggios etc. I have done some of the major and minor pentatonic scale, but I also have an exercise for a two octave one. Is one better than the other, should i be using the two octave pattern rather than the single octave one since its got 2 in it? Kinda confused on the pentatonic scale and which way i should be practicing / applying it etc. Thanks for any and all advice you may have.

    A seriously confused newbie.

  2. The thing I find about scales is that they're all relative patterns that have to be used in the proper context.

    Really,there's no reason not to learn the 2 octave scale. It is the same scale as the one octave scale, but repeats itself up an octave higher.

    You ask why one is better than the other? They're the same thing. The 2 octave scale will familiarize you with a larger pattern and 2 octaves of notes... allowing you more room to venture when you actually apply it.

    Say you're jamming in E Minor Pentatonic... and, since you're new at it, you'll probably only play within the box pattern. If you use the 2 octave scale, you will have twice as many notes/fret positions to play.

    The next step would be to learn 2 octaves (as much as you can) on each string. Then learn every octave across the fretboard. If you have a 24 fret 4-string bass and start on E minor Pentatonic, you will have 3 octaves and 3 half steps that you will be able to use. That's a lot more range than just the one octave.

    In the meantime, challenge yourself to learn all of the notes of the scale (for example, E, G, A, B, D, is E Minor Pentatonic). Associate these with a fret and string.

    You seem like you're doing good work learning your chord and scale types... but do you know why you're learning them? How they are constructed? How to apply them? This is the next step. Once you get this part down, of course.

    Keep up the good work!
  3. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Start with all the roots and fifths. Pick a key. Understand the box pattern first. Then, move up to the next box pattern.

    Draw a freat board and mark roots and fifths all the way up and across. Then, visualize where the 2nds, 3rds, and 6ths are around them. The lack of the other notes on the chart helps you see where the main part is easier. That's the way I see it. That way I can picture either major or minor, or blues.
  4. Give some thought to how you will be using the pentatonic scale. If you are playing the chord's pentatonic over a chord progression - that progression may have both major and minor chords so you need both major and minor pentatonic in your bag of tricks. Here is something to take into consideration: iBreatheMusic.com - Pentatonic Madness by Eric Vandenberg Then at the bottom of the page check out "Licks, Licks, Licks". Notice what is on the bottom of that page - keep going - wanted you to see how pentatonic scales have a place in what we do. .

    As a fill or run one octave is probably enough, however, two octave patterns are not all that hard, why limit yourself with just one octave.

    As has been mentioned already, yes, take the pentatonic (major and/or minor) up the neck. That is of little help with your bass lines, however, is useful with melodic improvisation. Plus its a right of passage thing. Helps us learn our fretboard and the good notes from the bad notes.

    You may want to check out Pentatonic KHANCEPTS by Steve Khan. Amazon.com: Pentatonic Khancepts (0654979038726): Warner Bros. Publications: Books

    It deals mainly with which pentatonic to use over which chord. Based upon the theory of like notes being necessary for harmonization to take place, it is a little more in depth than the obvious C major pentatonic over the C major chord and C minor pentatonic over the Cm chord. For example:

    Over the Fmaj7 (F-A-C-E) chord here are the options listed in the book.
    F major pentatonic F-G-A-C-D Three chord tones for harmony and two safe passing notes for color.
    A minor pentatonic A-C-D-E-G
    E minor pentatonic E-G-A-B-D Notice only two chord tones. Is that enough for harmonization? Yes, but, what does your ear say?
    D minor pentatonic D-F-G-A-C
    Your ear is the judge of which fits best in this specific case.
    Normally you will not be using the pentatonic's notes in pentatonic note order. You will use those notes to make licks or melodic phrases. This is where the art of music comes in, yea, the hard part. But, we have to start somewhere......

    Yes, I know that's advanced stuff. I found it helpful in the study of pentatonic scales. So while you are learning the patterns why not learn why some pentatonic notes work and others do not.

    Good luck.
  5. nickk


    Jan 9, 2008
    Wow, I like.. I'll sit and work it out and pencil it out.
  6. Synthax


    Nov 20, 2011
    SW PA
    Thanks guys, it clears things up a bit and give me an idea as to what i need to spend more time on. Thank you all for the input and taking the time to help a lost newbie like me out



Share This Page