Using the pentatonic scale using Intervals.

Discussion in 'General Music & Guitar Learning' started by JamesWaldron, Jan 10, 2020.

  1. JamesWaldron

    JamesWaldron Dr. J

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    Griff,
    In a recent post a few days ago, you mentioned interval patterns for looking at the minor pentatonic scale all over the guitar neck as a minor 3rd full step, full step ,full step, etc

    I thought the progression was 1,3,4,5,7,8 which translates to minor third, full step, full step, full step and a half, full step, such as: F, G#, Bb, C,D#, F

    Did I miss something?

    Thanks for any help here
    James Waldron, jwaldron007@verizon.net
     
  2. tommytubetone

    tommytubetone New bottom feeder

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    The minor pentatonic is 1,b3,4,5,b7. Does that help?
     
  3. Paleo

    Paleo Where's the root?

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    As @tommytubetone states, the scale formula is 1 b3 4 5 b7.(y)

    And, yes, as you state, the interval pattern is: minor 3rd-whole step-whole step-minor 3rd-whole step.(y)


    However, Griff was not talking about all the intervals in the scale.:confused:

    He was only talking about the intervals between the 2 notes on each string of the Box 1 pattern.

    This does not include the intervals between notes when moving left to the next string.


    For the lower octave of the Box 1 pattern in "A" (which is right-facing:sneaky:):

    String 6: 1 to b3 = minor 3rd = step and a half = A to C
    String 5: 4 to 5 = Major 2nd = whole step = D to E
    String 4: b7 to 1 = Major 2nd = whole step = G to A

    Within the scale there is a whole step between the b3 and 4 (C to D) when moving left from string 6 to 5 and a minor 3rd between 5 and b7 (E to G) when moving left from the 5th string to the 4th.


    For the upper octave on strings 4 to 1 (which is left-facing:sneaky:) the intervals that were on the same string in the lower octave will now be on adjacent strings and the intervals that were on adjacent strings in the lower octave will now be on the same string.o_O
     
    #3 Paleo, Jan 11, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2020
  4. JamesWaldron

    JamesWaldron Dr. J

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    I think we are in agreement here: The point I was making is that going from E on 5th string to G on 4th string is a step and a half so it's not minor third, full step, full step, full step but as I originally stated minor third, full step, full step, full step and a half, full step, such as: A, C, D, E, G. A. In Box 1, going from the 5th string to the 4 string (E to G) is a full step plus half step. Then finally a full step back to A on 4th string. It's just confusing semantics about steps concerning Box 1. I was referring to distance between notes chromatically. E to G is not a full step but a full plus half step. Then finally a full step back to A.
     
  5. Paleo

    Paleo Where's the root?

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    Yes it is when describing the intervals on each string (6 to 3) in the box.

    This is also correct when describing the lower octave of the scale in box 1.


    (Keep in mind that the box contains 2+ octaves.)

    It's not a matter of semantics regarding the naming of any interval. It's a matter of talking about 2 different sequences of intervals that are both correct in their own context.

    Grif is describing a box, while you are describing a scale in the box. You are both correct. There is no discrepancy. :)


    Griff is only talking about the intervals between the lower and upper notes on each string in the box.

    This gives us the following 6 "right-facing" intervals (1 per string from the 6th to the 1st string):

    minor 3rd - whole step - whole step - whole step - minor 3rd - minor 3rd.....just as Griff describes.

    (minor 3rd = 3 frets = step and a half = full step and a half....which ever you prefer)

    **This is actually every other interval of the scale as you play through 2+ octaves in the box.**

    These intervals are only those between the notes that occur on the same string.


    All 11 intervals of the 2+ octaves of the scale in the box include the "left-facing" intervals when changing strings:

    minor 3rd - whole step - whole step - minor 3rd - whole step - minor 3rd - whole step - whole step - minor 3rd - whole step - minor 3rd

    (the "right-facing" intervals that Griff described on each string are in red)


    Yes, this is going "chromatically"/sequentially through the scale from note to note, but that's not what Griff was describing.

    He wasn't mentioning any intervals between any notes on adjacent strings.

    But I will.:sneaky:


    https://dl.dropbox.com/s/u8u09xtzla03vbn/Box Intervals.mp4?dl=0
     
    #5 Paleo, Jan 11, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
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  6. JamesWaldron

    JamesWaldron Dr. J

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    Thanks a bunch for your thorough explanation. I understand it now. It's just when you leave the 'Boxes' and play using intervals, then it gets harder since there is no box pattern to follow here; for example, you're on the 3 string, 2nd fret and you want to do 5 minor pentatonic notes from that position in the key of A. you would go from A to C (3rd string 5th fret), to D (2nd string, 3rd fret) to E (2 string, 5th fret) to G (first string, 3rd fret) then back to A (1st string, 5 fret). It looks like 2nd part of Box 2 for A minor pentatonic or box 5 for a minor pentatonic but how would one know that instinctively so far down the neck ? You need to use intervals here unless you could translate every not on the guitar into a box position. Like what to do in the key of F (4th string, 3rd fret) and follow that with 5 minor pentatonic notes in the Key of F? What box is that??
     
  7. JamesWaldron

    JamesWaldron Dr. J

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  8. Paleo

    Paleo Where's the root?

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    If you go left from any 4th string root you will always be in Box 1, just as we discussed earlier in A. If you go to the right you will be in Box 2.


    You actually already started to answer your own question.:whistle:

    Still using A minor pentatonic.

    If you look at Box 1 as a lower right-facing 1 octave pattern on strings 6 to 4, it then becomes a left-facing 1 octave pattern starting on the upper note (A) on the 4th string to the A on the 1st string.

    Those are the only 2 patterns you need. One going to the right and one going to the left.

    From any note anywhere on the fretboard you can play either to the right or left using these 1 octave patterns.

    (Yes, always compensating for the extra fret on the B string. However, that doesn't affect the intervals between any of the notes.)


    Whichever you choose, your direction will reverse after completing an octave when playing vertically across the neck.

    (Actually, you reverse direction every note you play.o_O)


    Again, in Box 1 you start with a right-facing octave, then a left-facing octave above it.

    To the left of Box 1 you have Box 5. It is just the reverse.

    You have the left-facing octave on the bottom which will become a right-facing octave when you get to the A on the 3rd string.

    Whether you play Box 1 or Box 5, you still start on A on the 6th string and end up 2 octaves higher on the first string.

    (Box 5 has an "extra" G on the bottom and Box 1 has an "extra" C on top.)


    In Box 2 you will have a complete right-facing octave from the 4th to 2nd string. So you have part of a left-facing octave below and part of another left-facing octave above. They always alternate as you work vertically within a box.


    In Box 3 you have a complete left-facing octave from the 5th string to the 2nd. Which means you have part of a right-facing octave coming in from below and another continuing on above it. Note that this connects with Box 2 to the left which has just the opposite configuration.

    This will connect to Box 4, which will be most similar to Box 1 because you have the exact same right-facing pattern, but from the 5th string.
    This means you only have 1 string of a left-facing pattern below (6th string) and all but 1 string of the left-facing pattern above, i.e. you lose the A to C on top.


    As beginners we all learn the "Boxes".

    As more "advanced" players, the goal is to be able to play to the left or right from any note in any scale (or chord) anywhere on the neck.


    I find written explanations like this nearly impossible to follow.

    It's actually easier for me to make a video.

    Which I will do later after spending the rest of the day riding my bicycle on this very warm day in the Northeast.:)
     
    #8 Paleo, Jan 12, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
  9. Jacques

    Jacques Blues Newbie

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    My head hurts o_O
     
  10. JestMe

    JestMe Student Of The Blues

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    Interesting discussion going on here. One I have had with myself a number of times.

    Hopefully I don't add to any of confusion that might be going on... perhaps I may [hopefully] even help someone that had the same problems I have had.

    No doubt this is not new info and has been expressed already by others in this thread, but here it is in my own simple minded way...

    1st...
    what does b3 mean... ?
    I see it being used in 2 ways...
    1 - as an interval - a minor 3rd interval [span between 2 notes of a step and a half - A-C for example
    2 - as a modifier - that changes a note - b3 in this sense means to flat the 3rd note - lower a half step - C# to C for example​

    2nd...
    Is the minor pent pattern 1 3 4 5 7 or is it 1 b3 4 5 b7...?
    The answer [in my mind] is YES... to both!!!​

    If you are looking at the A major scale [3#s - C# F# G#]
    1-A
    2-B
    3-C#
    4-D
    5-E
    6-F#
    7-G#
    8- A​
    to define Am pent - use 1 b3 4 5 b7 - flatting the 3rd and 7th notes of the A major scale
    A C[b3] D E G[b7]​
    You end up with A C D E G - The Am pent scale

    If you are looking at the A natural minor scale [No sharps or flats]
    1-A
    2-B
    3-C
    4-D
    5-E
    6-F
    7-G
    8- A​
    to define Am pent - use 1 3 4 5 7 - no flatting of notes is needed
    A C D E G​
    You end up with A C D E G - The Am pent scale

    In my mind, the minor pent scales are truly derived from the natural minor scale as 1 3 4 5 7
    Since most of us, likely, think more about the major scale, the minor pent scale can be derived from the major scale as 1 b3 4 5 b7

    That took some thinking and typing... I hope it is useful to someone.
     
    #10 JestMe, Jan 16, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
  11. JamesWaldron

    JamesWaldron Dr. J

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    Yes this was very helpful. The problem I have is where these notes are all over the neck in ANY key when you cross strings. For example, knowing which box you happen to be in OR, more importantly, if you know intervals and translate that to string and fret position, thenknowing boxes don't matter any more. But I guess it's best to know all 5 minor Pentatonic boxes for every key.
     
  12. Paleo

    Paleo Where's the root?

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    Learning the Boxes first is a means to an end, not an end in itself.

    The goal is to be able to find any note you need in any situation, anywhere on the fretboard.

    If you can do this by knowing the intervals on and between strings, there is no need to work "backwards" and relate them to a Box.

    However, they will still be useful when communicating with other musicians who do rely on those patterns.

    Or if you occasionally get lost.
     
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  13. JestMe

    JestMe Student Of The Blues

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    The more ways you can 'see' or relate to the pentatonic scale the better. I think we all likely learned them as the 5 'Boxes' That's a good start but there are other ways to view them that can be helpful in seeing them.

    For instance the pentatonic scale consists of 5 notes [for Am Pent - ACDEG]. So you can learn the 5 note shapes [Left side and Right Side], and for extra credit the intervals associated with the 5 note shapes. This would be, as Paleo previously discussed... going left and going right...

    Using Am Pentatonic

    1. Right side [Like box 1 notes 1-5]
    6th string 5th fret - A [Root]
    6th string 8th fret - C
    5th string 5th fret - D
    5th string 7th fret - E
    4th string 5th fret - G

    2. Left side [Like box 5 notes 2-6]
    6th string 5th fret - A [Root]
    5th string 3rd fret - C
    5th string 5th fret - D
    4th string 2nd fret - E
    4th string 5th fret - G

    These 2 shapes are repeated [alternating] all over the fretboard... a right side is followed by a left side then a right side... so each box contains 2 full shapes.

    The only other thing to keep in mind is to compensate for the 2nd string, due to standard tuning. That dang "B" string. Shift the shape 1 fret when transitioning to or from the B string.

    So if you know the notes of the fretboard and the 2 shapes ... it can be helpful in finding your way around the neck and pentatonic scales.

    Griff discusses [and shows this] much better than I have in his courses. I believe BGU and Pentatonic Scale and Technique Mastery both discuss this very well.

    Check out Griff's "Blues Guitar Scale Trainer" for some fun and challenging practice.
    http://bluesguitarunleashed.com/blues-scale-guitar-trainer/
     
  14. JestMe

    JestMe Student Of The Blues

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  15. BoogieMan

    BoogieMan Blues Junior

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    For me, the most important thing is to be able to connect the boxes working my way up the fretboard hopping from one root to the next (sixth, fourth, and second string root then fifth, third, and first string roots). The shape you play is exactly the same from each root, adjusting for the B string. The best video that I've found that explains this is Ian Stich's NeverLost System...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHKjSBV0n3w&t=397s
     
  16. Paleo

    Paleo Where's the root?

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    Excellent point and something that usually doesn't get discussed, especially by someone who freaks out at the mention of the word "interval".

    Intervals on the same string are pretty straightforward.

    As Griff described in the video for each pair of notes on each string:

    A whole step (Major 2nd) is up 2 frets.

    A step and a half (minor 3rd) is up 3 frets.

    (A Major 3rd is up 4 frets, a Perfect 4th is up 5 frets, etc.)

    These relationships will be the same no matter what note that string is tuned to.

    For the A minor pentatonic scale the question now becomes "How do I go up a whole step or minor 3rd when crossing to the next string while staying in position (i.e. to the left on the next string)?".


    For that we have to realize that in Standard Tuning each string is tuned a Perfect 4th (5 frets) above the previous one.

    (Except the B string which is a Major 3rd above the G string.)

    This means that for any note on the 6th string from A on up, you can find the same note 5 frets down on the 5th string.

    (Same for all string pairs except G to B, which will only be 4 frets.)


    To go up a whole step on the 6th string you go up 2 frets.

    To go up a whole step crossing strings to the 5th fret you will go down 3 frets.

    For a minor 3rd, you go up 3 frets on the same string, or down 2 frets on the next string.

    (And, yes, this seems pretty counter-intuitive that you can go up to a note by going down the next string.:confused:)


    Applying these relationships and staying in 5th Position, you will end up with the Box 1 pattern.

    However, you'll be several steps ahead of someone who knows the Box 1 pattern, but doesn't know any of the notes, scale degrees or intervals or even that there are 2 octaves of the scale within that Box.

    (Which is considered a pattern or shape or form or position by some and is even designated by a different number by some.o_O)
     
    #16 Paleo, Jan 18, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
  17. Paleo

    Paleo Where's the root?

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    @JamesWaldron (if still interested:))

    A quick demo of the intervals when crossing adjacent strings.

    Briefly, a minor 3rd on the same string will be 3 frets up and 2 frets down on the next string.

    A whole step will be 2 frets up on the same string and 3 frets down on the next.

    (1 fret less for any interval when crossing to the B string.)

    https://dl.dropbox.com/s/e4z1exnh4dti5xr/crossing strings.mp4?dl=0


    Oops! At 6:45 "up another whole step which in down 3".
     
    #17 Paleo, Jan 20, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
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  18. JamesWaldron

    JamesWaldron Dr. J

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    Thanks again for your help. Appreciate it.