Pentatonic scales

joshuag5732

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Mar 31, 2020
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The major and minor pentatonic scales appear to be exactly the same. Am I wrong?
 

Alan Carter

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Nov 11, 2019
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Physically, they can be exactly the same shape in the same position. The difference is the root note.

ie. the e-minor pentatonic is the same shape and position as the g-major pentatonic.

If you look at the notes say on the high (or low) E string, fret 12 is the E, fret 15 is the G. So a simple way to play lead over a major chord is to use find the major chord note on the E string, move three frets back, and play the "minor" pentatonic shape over it, it will sound good.
 

Chris Johnston

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Nov 11, 2019
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The major and minor pentatonic scales appear to be exactly the same. Am I wrong?
Hey Joshua!
You're technically not wrong at all. It all depends on the context.

For example, if I were to plot out the C Major Pentatonic & A Minor Pentatonic on the guitar neck, the shapes made would be identical - Because both scales share the same notes.

But whether the sound your making with the shape is treated as a Minor or Major Pentatonic depends on the Harmony or Chord your playing over. It will sound minor over an A minor chord and Major over a C major chord etc. Because the notes you will hit in the scale will have a different relationship to the notes in each chord.

Hope this helps! 😊
 

joshuag5732

Member
Mar 31, 2020
6
3
10
Guitar Experience (years)
1
Hey Joshua!
You're technically not wrong at all. It all depends on the context.

For example, if I were to plot out the C Major Pentatonic & A Minor Pentatonic on the guitar neck, the shapes made would be identical - Because both scales share the same notes.

But whether the sound your making with the shape is treated as a Minor or Major Pentatonic depends on the Harmony or Chord your playing over. It will sound minor over an A minor chord and Major over a C major chord etc. Because the notes you will hit in the scale will have a different relationship to the notes in each chord.

Hope this helps! 😊
Thanks!
 
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