Oh no... not scales again!

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HansiRHansiR Frets: 23
Sorry Guys, I'm sure this question has been posted before so I apologize for bringing it up again!  I'm feeling confused about the minor pentatonic 5 shapes. The shapes themselves I just need to memorize, and I understand that using the low e string as a guide I can easily find where to start with the 1st shape, for example, the 5th fret on the E string for A minor pentatonic, etc. but staying in A minor how do I know where to play the other 4 shapes if I want to expand and play up the neck. I've hunted high and low but nobody seems to mention this. I have charts which show certain layouts, for example, I have one showing the 5 shapes in E minor, and it shows starting the 1st shape at the 12th fret, being obviously an E note, the 2nd shape starting on the 3rd fret, the 3rd shape starting on the 5th fret, the 4th shape starting on the 7th fret, and the 5th shape starting on the 10th fret. What is it that determines where the other 4 shapes are positioned after the 1st shape is placed on the root note along the E string? Sorry if this is a dumb question but I'm trying to get my head around why something happens, rather than just memorizing shapes, etc.
Cheers, Hansi 

TO DO IS TO BE - Nietzsche   TO BE IS TO DO - Kant   DO BE DO BE DO - Sinatra
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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 1221
    I posted this on another thread just the other day:

    The way I originally “got it” is as bellow.

    Take the minor pentatonic below (its in G)


     

    Pattern 1 is a very similar "shape" to Pattern 4... learn these two patterns first.. till you know them blindfolded...

    And now for the big secret reveal... once you have learnt p1 and p4, you only have to learn the where the notes are for the second part of position 2:


    you now know the minor pentatonic across the whole neck and it’s easy to link them up.  
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  • HansiRHansiR Frets: 23
    Thanks very much Poopot for this explanation but... it's not learning the shapes that I have a problem with, it's where to put those shapes. For example, you show pattern 1 starting on fret 3, obviously the G root note for this G minor pentatonic scale, then pattern 2 on the 5th fret, pattern 3 on the 8th, Pattern 4 on the 10th, and pattern 5 on the 12th. If I look at the E minor scale it's frets 12, 3, 5, 7, and 10. If I look at the A minor it's different again... so what determines where patterns 2, 3, 4, and 5, are placed? They change with each different root note but I don't know why, or how to work out where the remaining 4 patterns are positioned up the neck... for example, if I want to play the C minor pentatonic scale, obviously pattern 1 will start on fret 8 but what frets would the other 4 patterns start on, and more importantly, why?
    Cheers, Hansi

    TO DO IS TO BE - Nietzsche   TO BE IS TO DO - Kant   DO BE DO BE DO - Sinatra
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  • JAYJOJAYJO Frets: 808
    edited July 3
    Am pentatonic. notes are ACDEG 0n the 6th string shape 1 on A   Shape 2 on C  Shape 3 on D shape 4 on E and shape 5 on G .
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  • jpfampsjpfamps Frets: 1393
    The open circles are the first note of the scale, so all you need to do is find the require note and the pattern will work around that.

    eg there is a C at the 3rd fret of the A string, so pattern 4 will work at the 3rd fret.


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  • LestratcasterLestratcaster Frets: 367
    You need to learn the notes on the fretboard to determine where the shapes will be. Those white dots signal here the root notes are which is correspondant to the key you’re playing in. So if it’s A then all of those white dots are an A. Also learn the relationship between the notes, e.g the 4th is usually the next note down and the flat 7th a tone down from the root.
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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 1221
    Ok, have a look at this pic that I have knocked up.
    Its the A minor pentatonic scale across the whole neck, starting with the open strings/nut.



    then compare the pic with patterns as below (I have changed this to be A minor also)



    You should be able to see how the various "patterns" fit with the scale.

    Another good way to learn and be able to "break out" of the box patterns is to learn the scale on each string going up the neck rather than a "box" across the neck... If that make sense
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  • vizviz Frets: 4865
    edited July 4
    HansiR said:

    for example, if I want to play the C minor pentatonic scale, obviously pattern 1 will start on fret 8 but what frets would the other 4 patterns start on, and more importantly, why?
    Cheers, Hansi



    poopot said:
    Ok, have a look at this pic that I have knocked up.
    Its the A minor pentatonic scale across the whole neck, starting with the open strings/nut.



    then compare the pic with patterns as below (I have changed this to be A minor also)





    I’ve embellished @Poopot’s diagram:

    http://i.imgur.com/P45ZpuJ.jpg

    Green is pattern 1, red is pattern 2, etc. Each pattern starts where the previous one left off. They share the adjoining note. So look at the 6th string. The upper note in Pattern 1 is fret 8; if you look at Pattern 2, the bottom note on the 6th string is ALSO fret 8. This is how the patterns are linked. Each pattern uses two notes per string, and each pattern shares its upper frets with the next pattern’s lower ones - this applies to every string. 

    Penta means 5, so by playing 2 notes per string and using the top frets as the next pattern’s bottom frets, you climb the whole octave in 5 patterns. In my picture you could add a black circle on the left of the green, identical to the black one one the right but an octave lower, proving that you climb a whole octave in 5 moves, using the pentatonic scale. 

    This is for A minor penta. If you start on the 8th fret for C minor penta, you just have to move everything up 3 frets. 
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  • Another good way of learning pentatonics is to learn by ear. You are only ever going up (or down) a full tone or a tone and a half, so that gives you some structure to work from. If you can hear where you are in the scale (singing helps), you don't need to know any shapes at all - you can just play without thinking. That, for me, is the aim - to get rid of thinking.

    This will take some practice, but it's not laborious in the same way as learning shapes is. Play along with something -- a song, backing track, or loop -- and see if you can move up and down the neck on a single string using the pentatonic scale by hearing before thinking where you are in the scale. Go slowly, and sing along. After a while you'll be able to speed up. Then start crossing between two strings, moving up and down. Again, try to do it without looking or thinking about shapes or intervals. I think you'll surprise yourself with your ability to pick it up pretty quickly.

    By the way, I'm not saying don't learn shapes -- shapes are really important -- but this is another approach which can be liberating. Good luck! 
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  • vizviz Frets: 4865
    edited July 3
    Another good way of learning pentatonics is to learn by ear. You are only ever going up (or down) a full tone or a tone and a half, so that gives you some structure to work from. If you can hear where you are in the scale (singing helps), you don't need to know any shapes at all - you can just play without thinking. That, for me, is the aim - to get rid of thinking.

    I agree, I’ve never learned a shape or a scale or an arpeggio in my life, which is probably always going to be a limiting factor to my accuracy and speed, but it’s just the way it is. It’s all done by ear. I go by how it sounds and I know how to move from one pitch to another, be that on the same string, a neighbouring string or a skipped string away.

    But I also know how these things join up and relate to each other. 
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  • You already know it by ear anyway. Watch this:
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9371
    viz said:
    Another good way of learning pentatonics is to learn by ear. You are only ever going up (or down) a full tone or a tone and a half, so that gives you some structure to work from. If you can hear where you are in the scale (singing helps), you don't need to know any shapes at all - you can just play without thinking. That, for me, is the aim - to get rid of thinking.

    I agree, I’ve never learned a shape or a scale or an arpeggio in my life, which is probably always going to be a limiting factor to my accuracy and speed, but it’s just the way it is. It’s all done by ear. I go by how it sounds and I know how to move from one pitch to another, be that on the same string, a neighbouring string or a skipped string away.

    But I also know how these things join up and relate to each other. 
    Same here. I learned shitloads of scales on piano, clarinet and sax, so when I got a guitar it was the last thing I wanted to do.

    The end-game here should be to get to a point where you can play any melody you can imagine, so what you're ultimately trying to do is know what each fret within the scale will sound like. That comes from playing with the notes within the patterns, rather than thinking about the patterns and positions themselves. Try and learn where the notes themselves are (root, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th in relation to whatever key you're in) then you can play those no matter what position you're in.

    And don't be afraid to get it wrong either - knowing what sounds wrong is a big part of learning how to make it sound right before you pluck the string :)
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  • sev112sev112 Frets: 378
    To play a pentatonic anywhere on the neck ...

    Start off with just knowing how to play the first 3 strings of the pentatonic  - don’t go any further, just memorise that famous one octave pentatonic scale A to A  pattern /fingering (e.g. 5 8, 5 7, 5 7 pattern)

    once that’s memorised, which I’m sure you know already, then we are going to move it across the the other / higher strings as well, and this is the key :

    you can use that exact same pattern from ANY A on the neck (plus one little rule to remember) (or any other note for that matter)

    (the reason why the guitar neck confuses most people is the bloomin B string.
    Move from the 5th fret of the low E string to the open A next string over and they re the same note (as you know). Same with AtoD DtoG, BtoE, BUT from GtoB you have to move to the 4th fret on the G string to get the same B note.  This buggers everything up and is the cause for all these myriads of scale patterns diagrams that you have to remember and most people can’t).

    so here is how you don’t have to memorise them ...

    The only little simple rule is that : when you move from the G string to the B string, move the simple pentatonic pattern up 1 fret,
    and then just carry on from there with the standard pattern from the shifted new fret location Remember to move the pattern - this means you don’t have to remember fret numbers so just ignore them and just keep the pattern ,

    so, just a simple 3 string pattern and a simple rule for one string only.

    let’s test this : A minor pentatonic from 5th fret on low E string (you know this)
    A to A : frets 5 8, 5 7, 5 7 on the 3 strings E A and D

    so the 7th fret on the D string is also an A (because you just ended up there)

    So let’s start the same pattern from there and do A to A using our standard pattern and rule - 
    A to A : frets 7 10 D string, 7 9 G string, 8 10 B string (because we used the rule, so the pattern shifted up a fret)

    or or let’s try from the 12 fret on the A string - 
    A to A : frets 12 15 A string, 12 14 D string, 12 14 G string (no rule needed because no B string used)

    or following straight on from that one - 
    A to A : frets 14 17 G string, 15 17 B string (the rule used) 15 17 E string


    so now you can ignore trying to remember 5 patterns and where they start and on which note.  
    If you start playing that simple pattern and rule from all the A notes all over the neck you will find out a miraculous thing ....... and that is that without having to memorise them, you are already playing all the 5 shapes !


    So remember, one 3 string pattern and 1 simple rule only :)
    it reads complex the way have written it above, I think, cos I’m no good at graphics on here 
    but this simple learning point took me from playing on on,y the first 3 frets for everything to going all over the neck with major scales and all the modes of the major scale inside a day !
    good luck

    PS the same rule applies to any scale you want - take a 3 string pattern of any scale, from any note (irrespective of whether it is the root) and away you go : 3 string pattern and the B string rule 
















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  • HansiRHansiR Frets: 23
    Hi Guys, thanks again for all this information, I do appreciate your time. I have to admit that, at first, my head was swimming trying to understand all of the examples above. I knew that there had to be a formula, some sort of logical way of understanding this, and, after going over it all for some time I think I've found what I've been looking for! I see that the so-called back line in a pattern is the front line of the next pattern... I can see how the back line of pattern 1  becomes the front line of pattern 2,  thereby dictating where pattern 2 is positioned in the scheme of things... and so on for the other patterns! This is a major breakthrough for me and has cleared up something that's been driving me crazy trying to work out, so thank you all so much for all the time you spent writing out explanations and posting the charts, etc.  it will (eventually) make a huge difference to my playing. I've always played by ear on my acoustics, but now that I'm about to get my very first electric guitar after 50 + years of playing acoustic, I want to play lead guitar as well, so this is going to set me off in the right direction! Cheers, Hansi





    TO DO IS TO BE - Nietzsche   TO BE IS TO DO - Kant   DO BE DO BE DO - Sinatra
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  • HansiRHansiR Frets: 23
    sev112 said:
    To play a pentatonic anywhere on the neck ...

    Start off with just knowing how to play the first 3 strings of the pentatonic  - don’t go any further, just memorise that famous one octave pentatonic scale A to A  pattern /fingering (e.g. 5 8, 5 7, 5 7 pattern)

    once that’s memorised, which I’m sure you know already, then we are going to move it across the the other / higher strings as well, and this is the key :

    you can use that exact same pattern from ANY A on the neck (plus one little rule to remember) (or any other note for that matter)

    (the reason why the guitar neck confuses most people is the bloomin B string.
    Move from the 5th fret of the low E string to the open A next string over and they re the same note (as you know). Same with AtoD DtoG, BtoE, BUT from GtoB you have to move to the 4th fret on the G string to get the same B note.  This buggers everything up and is the cause for all these myriads of scale patterns diagrams that you have to remember and most people can’t).

    so here is how you don’t have to memorise them ...

    The only little simple rule is that : when you move from the G string to the B string, move the simple pentatonic pattern up 1 fret,
    and then just carry on from there with the standard pattern from the shifted new fret location Remember to move the pattern - this means you don’t have to remember fret numbers so just ignore them and just keep the pattern ,

    so, just a simple 3 string pattern and a simple rule for one string only.

    let’s test this : A minor pentatonic from 5th fret on low E string (you know this)
    A to A : frets 5 8, 5 7, 5 7 on the 3 strings E A and D

    so the 7th fret on the D string is also an A (because you just ended up there)

    So let’s start the same pattern from there and do A to A using our standard pattern and rule - 
    A to A : frets 7 10 D string, 7 9 G string, 8 10 B string (because we used the rule, so the pattern shifted up a fret)

    or or let’s try from the 12 fret on the A string - 
    A to A : frets 12 15 A string, 12 14 D string, 12 14 G string (no rule needed because no B string used)

    or following straight on from that one - 
    A to A : frets 14 17 G string, 15 17 B string (the rule used) 15 17 E string


    so now you can ignore trying to remember 5 patterns and where they start and on which note.  
    If you start playing that simple pattern and rule from all the A notes all over the neck you will find out a miraculous thing ....... and that is that without having to memorise them, you are already playing all the 5 shapes !


    So remember, one 3 string pattern and 1 simple rule only :)
    it reads complex the way have written it above, I think, cos I’m no good at graphics on here 
    but this simple learning point took me from playing on on,y the first 3 frets for everything to going all over the neck with major scales and all the modes of the major scale inside a day !
    good luck

    PS the same rule applies to any scale you want - take a 3 string pattern of any scale, from any note (irrespective of whether it is the root) and away you go : 3 string pattern and the B string rule 
















    Thanks Sev for this three string pattern, I had been doing something similar without actually realising why, I just put it down to potluck if it sounded in tune, sometimes it worked and other times... ugh! I didn't realise that those few notes belonged to part of a minor pentatonic pattern, so another piece of the jigsaw has fallen into place. Thanks for your help. Yes, life would be a lot simpler without that B string!

    TO DO IS TO BE - Nietzsche   TO BE IS TO DO - Kant   DO BE DO BE DO - Sinatra
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  • HansiRHansiR Frets: 23
    edited July 4
    Here's a little chart that I put together showing how the back line of pattern 1 forms the front line of pattern 2, and so on with the rest of the patterns...


    TO DO IS TO BE - Nietzsche   TO BE IS TO DO - Kant   DO BE DO BE DO - Sinatra
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  • vizviz Frets: 4865
    HansiR said:
    Here's a little chart that I put together showing how the back line of pattern 1 forms the front line of pattern 2, and so on with the rest of the patterns...

    Chart is missing
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  • HansiRHansiR Frets: 23
    edited July 5
    Tried several different ways to post the chart, I've followed all the instructions, but no success...

    TO DO IS TO BE - Nietzsche   TO BE IS TO DO - Kant   DO BE DO BE DO - Sinatra
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  • vizviz Frets: 4865
    HansiR said:
    Tried several different ways to post the chart, I've followed all the instructions, but no success...
    Which picture-hosting site have you uploaded it to?
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  • HansiRHansiR Frets: 23
    I tried the suggested imgur site, but it looked nothing like the images shown on the help page, maybe because I use a Mac? Anyway, I then posted on Facebook. The problem I seem to be having is after entering the URL on this site in the 'attach image/file' just above this window. I copied the URL from FB and pasted it into the 'attach image/file' box above. I click on the file icon above, a box opens, I enter the URL but the box stays open, I tried posting my message like that but no luck, the image wasn't attached, so I tried closing the box and sending, still no luck... 

    TO DO IS TO BE - Nietzsche   TO BE IS TO DO - Kant   DO BE DO BE DO - Sinatra
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  • HansiRHansiR Frets: 23

    TO DO IS TO BE - Nietzsche   TO BE IS TO DO - Kant   DO BE DO BE DO - Sinatra
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  • JAYJOJAYJO Frets: 808
    edited July 5
    I found the easiest way to link these shapes was to see the tonic notes as octaves and use the caged system to order them.shape one would be E  2 would be D and so on.(referring to Vizs diagrams.Look for the chord shapes also. caged imo helps to organise rather than looking for the box shape overlapping. Just decide if you are Major or minor the root shapes are the same.
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  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 746
    JAYJO said:
    I found the easiest way to link these shapes was to see the tonic notes as octaves and use the caged system to order them.shape one would be E  2 would be D and so on.(referring to Vizs diagrams.Look for the chord shapes also. caged imo helps to organise rather than looking for the box shape overlapping. Just decide if you are Major or minor the root shapes are the same.
    That's the way I view things as well. Knowing the intervals of the notes in the shapes (relative to the root note) helps me to have an integrated view of chords and scales.
    It's not a competition.
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  • ModellistaModellista Frets: 800
    JAYJO said:
    I found the easiest way to link these shapes was to see the tonic notes as octaves and use the caged system to order them.shape one would be E  2 would be D and so on.(referring to Vizs diagrams.Look for the chord shapes also. caged imo helps to organise rather than looking for the box shape overlapping. Just decide if you are Major or minor the root shapes are the same.
    I'd endorse that too.  Seeing a pentatonic scale as based around the chord shapes of Em, Am, and Dm simplifies things a lot.

    There's no way I could have ever learned those diagrams by rote - even though they are correct, they are offputting even when you know off the top of your head what they are describing. (With the caveat that everyone has their own leaning style)

    If I was learning this I'd consider the fact that if I knew the three basic chords above, worked out the root notes, then considered the 7ths and then the 4ths, I already knew the notes of the minor pentatonic scale.  And then that's the starting point to somehow making some music with them!
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  • machakmachak Frets: 4
    Instead of memorizing those, you also might start using interval approach, see explanation and links to interactive diagrams in my reddit post [1]. This guys explains it quite well, just take a few minutes to watch it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3DCpJlGQFA&feature=youtu.be&t=126


    [1] Reddit post  https://www.reddit.com/r/Guitar_Theory/comments/8c1s9i/pentatonic_shape/

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  • machakmachak Frets: 4
    Instead of memorizing those, you also might start using interval approach, see explanation and links to interactive diagrams in my reddit post [1]. This guys explains it quite well, just take a few minutes to watch it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3DCpJlGQFA&feature=youtu.be&t=126


    [1] Reddit post  https://www.reddit.com/r/Guitar_Theory/comments/8c1s9i/pentatonic_shape/

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  • machakmachak Frets: 4
    Hmm fairly new to this board, cannot see how to delete double post
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