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Pentatonic Movement

Music Theory
27 Oct 2013 12:29 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
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Just discovered something I knew but didn't now I knew! If that makes any sense. Anyway, The same pentatonic shape you play for a Bm pentatonic on the 7th fret can be moved to the 9th fret C# and can also be moved to the 2nd fret F#. This works because all of these notes are from the A Maj scale.

I've been doing this for years but never knew why it worked.
31 Oct 2013 19:29 | Quote
Joined: 24 Aug 2010
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does this work also for the Am pentatonic shapes? by this I mean moving from the 5th fret to the 7th fret, or to the open strings in the same position. since it works for G major. It seems like it would.
1 Nov 2013 21:10 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
United States
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Yes. It would work for any minor pentatonic. I just used Bm as an example. In other words, you can take that pentatonic minor position and move it up 2 frets and move it back 5.

I know there's a better technical explanation for this. Anyone?
10 Apr 2014 13:10 | Quote
Joined: 10 Apr 2014
Maybe I've misunderstood you, but the notes don't match. In a proper B minor pentatonic at the 7th fret, the notes are B-D-E-F#-A, at the 9th fret the notes are B-C#-E-F#-G#, and at the 2nd fret they are B-C#-E-F#-A. So if I understand you correctly by keeping the same minor pentatonic pattern on these frets, you won't be playing the same notes all of the time.

You are correct that all of the notes played on either the 2nd or 7th or 9th fret in a B minor pentatnonic pattern do fall within the notes of an A Major scale (A-B-C#-D-E-F#-G#), but there is no C# or G# in the B minor pentatonic.

Am I not understanding you correctly?
11 Apr 2014 02:04 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Lessons: 4
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Most interesting thread, to me as possibly many self taught guitarists these kind of discoveries teach me the most. It's not been long I found that if I playing in Bminor, scale in 9fret and secondfret works like a charm. That led me to think about other scales as well and found the same thing.

After these discoveries, playing been so satisfying to give almost all the neck where I can play even without thinking anything.
12 Apr 2014 01:38 | Quote
Joined: 26 Feb 2009
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At the 9th fret it becomes C# Minor pentatonic, not B Minor pentatonic. On the 2nd fret it is F# Minor pentatonic. The reason they work is because the key of D Maj/B Minor contains both F# and C#, so you can feed in and out of those keys given the chords you are playing over. By playing in the same pentatonic shape you are forcing a new key over your progression, if you change the shape to the corresponding position of pentatonics(as opposed to moving box 1 up and down) you will be playing in the B Minor pentatonic scale still. It just changes shape to accommodate for the notes.
Basically compare the notes of all 3 Pentatonics.
B Minor - B D E F# A
F# Minor - F# A B C# E
C# Minor - C# E F# G# B

Note the similarities: (A, B, C#, D, E, F#, B)

Not every pentatonic postition shares the same notes but rather they are all going to share certain ones, and by finding those certain notes-like the 5ths of B Minor pentatonic with F# Minor Pentatonic and a 5th of that being C# Minor pentatonic. You can find certain notes that will help smooth out your key changes. You won't ever find 100% by the book theory in any good music. So don't worry about why the notes don't all match, but rather understand which notes do and find out how to go from key to key gracefully.

3 May 2014 13:41 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
United States
Karma: 21
Yeah. What Case said. Ha! I don't pretend to understand theory as much as Case and a lot of others on this site. I find things that work sonically and I share them. This particular thing I saw on a Scott Henderson video. He's a theory genius but will share simple ideas to the laymen like myself. I have to say in most cases I don't care why things work. I just care that they do.

This is a great site for the geniuses, the laymen and everyone in between!
2 Jul 2014 20:01 | Quote
Joined: 14 Mar 2010
United States
Lessons: 1
Because there are 3 major modes and 3 minor modes there are also 3 major pent shapes and 3 minor pent shapes you can play in any given key.
The reason this works is because the color tones of the modes are not present in the pentatonic shapes.

C major pent, F major pent, G major pent
A minor pent, E minor pent, D minor pent.

they all work.
1, 2, 3, 5, 6 degrees of major scale in a major pent
Lydian has a #4
Mixolydian has a b7
Ionion has all naturals.
Because there is no 4 or 7 in the major pent, you can use that scale in those same positions.

1, b3, 4, b5, b7 degrees of minor scale in a minor pent
Dorian has a natural 6th,
Phrygian has a b2
Aeolian has is the same scale that his is derived from.
the minor pent has no 2 or 6, so again, there is no conflict.

All the notes that aren't in a 7 note scale (C major for example) make up a pentatonic scale.
this is why the white notes on a piano are all C major (D dorian, E Phyrgian etc), the black notes are all F# major pentatnoic or D# minor pentatonic

TL;DR you basically discovered pentatonic modes on your own.

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