# 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".

http://www.talkbass.com/articles/articleview.php?ID=19

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

Below is the part I don't understand. Where did the numbers come from?
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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.
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Me no understand!!!

HELLLLLLPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2. ### cassanova

Sep 4, 2000
Florida

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.

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?

Cheers
Richard

Sep 4, 2000
Florida

5. ### Solid-BodyGuest

Nov 10, 2002
Exiled to Australia
<B>jblaven/Hilly:</B>
Yes, the numbers just represent the position of the notes in the scale. 1 for 1st note, 2 for second note, etc...

<B>Anyone:</B>
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
Florida
Loose & Wobbly

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

R - b3 - 4 - 5 - b7

7. ### geshel

Oct 2, 2001
Seattle
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
Seattle
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.