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Question: Pentatonic Scale

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by jblaven, Dec 16, 2002.

  1. jblaven


    Nov 18, 2002
    for the last hour, I have been reading Jazzbo's article on "Introduction to Scale and Chord Theory".


    I understand everything until I get to the "Pentatonic Scale".

    Below is the part I don't understand. Where did the numbers come from?
    Let's take C major again (are we getting sick of this scale, hmmmmm?)

    C - D - E - F - G - A - B

    Start with the root, and another way to think of the scale is

    Root - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

    Okay, boring. Whatever. Look at Cminor and you'll notice where I'm going with these intervals.

    C - D - Eb - F - G - Ab - Bb

    Root - 2 - b3 - 4 - 5 - b6 - b7

    Okay! Now do you see where I'm going with this? A minor scale is just a major scale with a lowered 3rd, 6th, and 7th.

    :eek: :confused:

    Me no understand!!!

  2. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000

    The numbers are the scales intervals

    The Cmaj scale consists of:

    C - D - E - F - G - A - B - C

    its intervals are

    root (or 1) - 2- 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 -7 - 8

    By flattening the 3rd, 6th, and 7th intervals of the scale you make it a minor.

    What he means by flatten the interval is to play it one half step lower than the major scales interval would be.

    So in the case of a C minor, you have as JB stated

    C - D - Eb - F - G - Ab - Bb

    Root - 2 - b3 - 4 - 5 - b6 - b7

    Heres a link to help you better understand the intervals and what is being said here.

    cleick here to learn more about intervals
  3. Hilly


    Jan 10, 2002
    Ipswich, UK
    Aren't the numbers just a simple way of referring to the notes of the scale, with intervals being the distance between the notes?

    Or have I misunderstood?

  4. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    again click here to learn more about intervals
  5. Solid-Body

    Solid-Body Guest

    Nov 10, 2002
    Exiled to Australia
    Yes, the numbers just represent the position of the notes in the scale. 1 for 1st note, 2 for second note, etc...

    I'm not seeing how this relates to the pentatonic scale. My understanding of the pentatonic scale is that it only has 5 notes. What am I missing? The scale he/she is working with looks like a diatonic.
  6. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Loose & Wobbly

    A pentatonic is a 5 note scale and is made up of

    R - b3 - 4 - 5 - b7
  7. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Well - a minor pentatonic scale is.

    A major pentatonic scale is:

    R - 2nd - 3rd - 5th - 6th

    A way to remember pentatonic scales is: find the tritone in the scale (in a major scale, it's the 4th and 7th, in a minor scale it's between the 2nd and b6th) - then take both notes out.
  8. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Well, the way I've always understood it, is the pentatonic scale really isn't a scale all by itself, but just a scale "stripped down" so to speak. Usually when someone says "Pentatonic scale" they are referring to the minor pent scale. (and a blues scale is a pent scale with a chromatic between the 4th and 5th degrees)
  9. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Well really, a scale is any ordered collection of notes. . .there are 8-note scales (octotonic, such as the whole-half and half-whole diminished scales), 6-note scales (hexatonic, such as the whole tone), 5-note (pentatonic - two examples being major and minor). And I'm sure scales of every other length from 2 to 12 notes. They're all just subsets of the 12 tones usually available, and they are all "scales by themselves".
  10. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Yeah, the reason I said that though is I was taught to form pentatonic scales by taking degrees of a chord and playing the 1, 3, 4, 5, and 7th of it's corresponding scale. (within context of the harmonic progression of course) I also read on how you can form pentatonic riffs out of 9th and 11th chords and such.