Melodic minor pentatonic

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by ba55i5t, May 3, 2017.

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1. ba55i5t

May 24, 2006
I thoroughly enjoy using the pentatonic 'major' modes when soloing, but am slowly shedding the melodic minor modes and was wondering if there was a pentatonic scale associated with it. Sure enough there is, and it's pretty easy theoretically but totally changes the sound.

Brief article
Melodic Minor Pentatonic

C melodic minor pentatonic scale (var 1 - R, 2, b3, 5, 6)generated on 4 strings up to 12th fret:

EDIT: new variation (R, b3, 4, 5, 6)

Excuse the extra 2 strings for the above two (and the D#) - seems that we haven't got it on the bass boards as much.

Last edited: May 4, 2017
2. Bob_RossGold Supporting Member

Dec 29, 2012
Does that diagram really spell a "C melodic minor pentatonic scale" with a D# as the third degree?!?!

See, this is why we can't have nice things...

3. ba55i5t

May 24, 2006
Yes this is correct. Im not a programmer so I take what is given. The site I made it on only puts sharps instead of both. D# does not equal Eb.

TLDR: I spelled it out and had no option to make it Eb.

4. MalcolmAmos

Major scale = the R-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 scale degrees of the scale in question.
Major Pentatonic = the R-2-3-5-6 scale degrees of the scale in question. It omits the 4 & 7.
Melodic minor is the major scale with the 3rd degree flatted. So Melodic minor Pentatonic = R-2-b3-5-6.

C major scale = C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C now flat the E........ and name it.......
D# or Eb? Eb is used, in this situation, more than D#, not going to argue that. Here is the pattern I'd use:

G~~|---2---|-------|---3---|---4---| 1st string
D~~|---6---|-------|---7---|---8---|
A~~|---3---|---4---|-------|---5---|
E~~|-------|---R---|-------|---2---|--b3--|4th string

I'd probably add the 8 which is just the root in the next octave then turn around and come back down the scale -- R-2-b3-5-6-8-6-5-b3-2-R

You could catch the b3 on the A string one fret back toward the nut from the 3. Which ever one feels best to you.

Have fun.

Last edited: May 3, 2017
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5. ba55i5t

May 24, 2006
D# and Eb share the same pitch but they are not the same note. That is the reason why myself and Bob are upset at the generated chart.

In any case i used this variation over some major keys and it sounded pretty cool

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6. MalcolmAmos

ba55i5t They are not the same for you as you took the grade level test. We Yanks did not take the test so you have to cut us some slack.

I just went over to my keyboard and it is just one black key. Going up scale we call it D# coming back down scale we call it Eb.

Just kidding.

Last edited: May 3, 2017
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7. ba55i5t

May 24, 2006
Lol next time you have a blues in Eb tell the keyboardist its in D#.

8. Groove Master

Apr 22, 2011
Montreal
Author of Groove 101, Slap 101 and Technique 101
This is a great scale that can be played over many chords like Cmin6 of course but also F9 and Amin7(b5), D7sus4 (b9) or Cmin over D and anything that fits the C Major sound with a blues vibe ;-)

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9. AngelCrusherSupporting Member

Sep 12, 2004
Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
Melodic minors are great, I slide them in all the time and the pentatonic makes it real easy to play out. One trick to this is to use the 3rd of the scale as your starting point as it can really spice things up, especially when altering a Dominant 7.

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10. bench

Dec 28, 2007
Germany
actually, i think that a melodic minor pentatonic scale doesn't make much sense. the charm of the pentatonic scale (major or minor) and what makes it so easy to use and nice for the ear is the fact that it doesn't contain half steps.

major: 1-2-3-5-6

minor:1-b3-4-5-b7

so in minor pentatonic the 2 shouldn't come up as shouldn't the characteristic 7 of the melodic minor as it would create half steps...

nontheless the scale you described can of course be used

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11. ba55i5t

May 24, 2006
Interesting idea. I think that melodic minor could also be reformed as 1 b3 4 5 6 if you want to get rid of the half steps. I will try it out. I just wanted to see what it would sound like with the original major formula.

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12. bench

Dec 28, 2007
Germany
that's a possibility

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13. lsabina

Sep 3, 2008
WNY
Traditional learning from a hardcore music theory prof (years ago):
Major pentatonic-R2356
Minor pentatonic-R2b356
The minor pentatonic that is often defined as Rb345b7 is nothing more than a major pentatonic with a different starting place.
CEbFGBb is a reordering of EbFGBbC
This is of course all "theory" and may not be relevant in the real world of performance!

14. Clef_de_faGuest

Dec 25, 2011
Yes I think it is true because :

let's take Cmajor pentatonic :
Cmaj - C-D-E-G-A
Dmin - D-E-G-A-C
Emin - E-G-A-C-D
Gmaj - G-A-C-D-E
Amin - A-C-D-E-G

Nov 15, 2015
California
Wait a minute? There's more than root and fifth?

16. ba55i5t

May 24, 2006
I'm talking melodic minor here folks not natural minor pentatonic. This is different harmony altogether since melodic minor pentatonic would be based on the melodic minor scale, and minor pentatonic is based off of major scale harmony.

Major pentatonic modes are very useful however and Scott Devine talks about them in one of his recent videos.

17. 74hc

Nov 19, 2015
Sunny California
I think the confusing comes from including pentatonic in the title of the scale. I've always seen it just as C melodic minor scale. That's what confused me at first, reading your original post at the top. I just didn't see a minor pentatonic scale, thinking you were playing it in a melodic fashion. It took this mediocre bass player a couple of more minutes to get what you were conveying.

Yeah, there's chromatic and rest notes. With those four, one can join the mediocre bass player's club like me!

I think the common progression to mediocre status is:

Phase1: newbie learning driving root notes
Phase2: newbie calmed down by learning root and rest notes
Phase3: newbie inching into mediocre status by adding chromatic notes to repertoire.
Phase5: full blown mediocre worship bass player by adding major pentatonics.

Last edited: May 4, 2017
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18. Blackjac97Supporting Member

May 27, 2012
Maine
The official term for what you're describing is "relative." Eb major pentatonic is the relative major to c minor pentatonic. This is the way we talk about Western diatonic scales, and it applies to pentatonic scales.

19. J-Bassomatic

Mar 30, 2017
Canton OH

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20. InhumanResource

Dec 28, 2012
What a mess that thing is. For all the time people spend decoding these hieroglyphs they could just learn staff and where the notes are on their instrument.

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