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Pentatonic neutral?

Music Theory
raptorclaws  
27 Aug 2009 22:21 | Quote
Joined: 14 Jul 2009
Canada
Karma: 1
I like to use the scales on this website. I'm curious, however, about the 'Pentatonic neutral' . Does this mean it is neither minor nor major? and, if so, when would it be used?

thanks
guitarmastergod  
28 Aug 2009 00:36 | Quote
Joined: 09 Sep 2008
Canada
Karma: 8
from what ive seen it looks like it is just a "mode" of the minor or major pentatonic. in E minor pentatonic it would be A neutral.
RA  
28 Aug 2009 14:25 | Quote
Joined: 24 Sep 2008
United States
Karma: 16
As GMG (major and minor are relative so there modes in themselves there is no "or") pointed out it is a mode of the pentatonic version of the Major scale relating to the Dorian mode(1,2,b3,4,5,6,b7) with no 3 or 6 interval. Now seeing that is has no 3rd you would be correct in that it is "neither minor nor major" but in a song major/minor might be implied(if you don't get that don't worry but if it helps think power chords).

now on how to use it. well it can be used in many different ways I will cover some basics. First lets look at the scale "steps" in its self
Pentatonic neutral - 1-2-4-5-b7
Now the chords you would play this over would be any dominate sus2 or sus 4 chords or dominate 9ths or 11ths.
but as in the blues progression(which I'm guessing you playing) "they" like to play scales over chords that wouldn't fit diatonically. for example playing a minor pentatonic(1,b3,4,5,b7) over a major chord of the same tonic/root. well what is going on is "there" making the harmony of the bar(when playing that chord) be a 7#9(dominate with a sharp 9 chord-1,3,5,b7,#9, it has been renamed with the "internet genius" a Hendrix chord).
So you ask what happens when i play Pentatonic neutral over that same chord? Good question. well remember the intervals (1,2,4,5,b7) so through that your making the harmony of the chord a 9th(dominate 9 chord-1,3,5,b7,9) but you may be asking what about the fourth interval well i forgot to mention it above but will here. The fourth can be a tricky note as Mark Levine calls it "a handle with care note" it can really jar with the major 3rd of the chord and for blues harmony it can be ignored for right now(just for right now) because the point is in the 9th tones.
So what if you don't want the sound of a #9th in the minor pentatonic give the Neutral pentatonic a swirl or if the Major pentatonic(1-2-3-5-6) with it's added 9 and 6 tones(only if your playing triads changes with major 7ths and dominate chords) is giving you a boar throw in the Neutral pentatonic. but remember this is when the scale and chord share the same tonic/root and changes if used as the blanket scale(playing the same scale over the changes EX. playing it over E then keeping it for A and B) so hopefully this will give you an idea and tell you what to look into next. like what happens when i keep the scale for the next chord? what if i use it diatonically with the given key I'm in? and so on and so on.

Ps. yes i realize the irony I'm an *** want can you do, can't take me anywhere.
carlsnow  
28 Aug 2009 15:01 | Quote
Joined: 29 Apr 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
Karma: 23
RA says:
Ps. yes i realize the irony I'm an *** want can you do, can't take me anywhere.


brouhaha!!! yer killin' me

+ a "what HE said" nice post Bro

@raptorclaws

"neutral" is as "neutral does"

if ya dig into Pentatonic scales you'll notice that there are 5 (imagine that) Pents listed in most 'theory' books and such.

heres how i plop these on my students

1 - Pent Minor = clever way to get around a few scales and chords quickly (RA went inta that kinda)

why pents? why do we have these 'stripped-down' scales eh?

whats the answer ?
its our brains .. we don't follow more than 5 separate note/tone-values very well .. in other words we aint 'all that' like we'd like ta think.

our ears/brain don't process sh!t like the 7-Tone (Ionian...) scales in full .. much less in 3-pers ..and God help us when our noggin's hit harmonic-minor....*yeow!*

its cause we watched to much damn tv when we were kids i guess, but thats the REASON fer those 5-tone scales (Hexatonic too)

2- to yer question ... RA covered it very well .. i'm just tossing a few more cents (not sense) yer way, Dig?

Pent begins its modal journey as a 'Minor' (odd but..) and then to the "Major" + three variations
these are really shortcuts around the 7 (or 48) main scales/modes we have. think of pents as either musical highlighter-pens or ...
tonal travel agents.

its the travel agents you should get know !
instead of the silly little 'box forms' try moving from place to place with them .. say yer riffing in G ; a simple pair of Maj-2nds (1-2-3)
over another Maj-2nd (the Five and the Six to the root G in this case. to the root) will land ya on an E in a very ear-friendly manor.
this travel agency has a Ker-Jillian stores all over the fretboard.
find them and go traveling ;~)

[B]heres a crude tab of a Pentatonic 'travel agent'

stacked up (from G) so ya kin see the movements/destinations

it may be ugly as hell but it'll get ya there


|--------------10---12-------
|----------8---10---12---
|---------7---9---------
|------5--7--9------------
|------5--7------------
|---3--5--7---------

(aint a fan of "stacking" a scale buuuuuuut

and hey! add a d5 (or 4aug) and you get the Hexatonic scale(s) called the "blues Scale" fer some inane reason, by some white cat at a piano in the 1940's
after Alan Lomax found the arc

RAWK!
Cs

raptorclaws  
28 Aug 2009 19:02 | Quote
Joined: 14 Jul 2009
Canada
Karma: 1
Thanks for the very informative responses (bookmarked!) All of this is actually making sense. I don't have a great 'ear' but the more theory I learn, the more innovative I've become. Uses for these scales, modes, etc. gives a bit of a shove to be more spontaneous.

RA, i really appreciate the 'why'...it makes this stuff more rational and thus easier to learn. When studying theory from books I'm often left wondering if some quirk is based on actual sound to the ear or is it more based on musical convention.

Carlsnow: True...I was getting 'boxed in' (excuse the pun) with pentatonic positions on the fret board. Above I mentioned that learning theory allows for more innovation but the reverse can also be true...it can stifle experimention. It's good to 'think outside the box' but to know where the box is when you want to jump back into it. (ok...no more puns)

Learning scales and modes isn't drudgery when they make sense. I'll practice a bit but always end by clicking on one of the less common scales and playing around with it for a while.
raptorclaws  
28 Aug 2009 20:14 | Quote
Joined: 14 Jul 2009
Canada
Karma: 1
Just spent some time with that 'travel agent' and transposing it to a a few other keys....nice way to move around the neck and be able to introduce a few new voicings in a blues piece.
RA  
28 Aug 2009 20:37 | Quote
Joined: 24 Sep 2008
United States
Karma: 16
yeah i don't have a great ear neither, but it does get better everyday little by little just keep pushing it and looking back. and all books have holes in them. Ted Greene listed two pages of recommend books and after said that it was just the beginning of a good understanding.
also as people always point out, theory usually comes after the music so never give up on your ears it takes your mind, ears, and fingers to make good music but sometimes it's fun to let one of them run with it. you can come up with some crazy *** just trusting your ears.

@carl- man you coin the best sayings. musical highlighter-pens that there is best going better than a Hard-days night.
carlsnow  
29 Aug 2009 06:37 | Quote
Joined: 29 Apr 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
Karma: 23
raptorclaws says:
Just spent some time with that 'travel agent' and transposing it to a a few other keys....nice way to move around the neck and be able to introduce a few new voicings in a blues piece.

GREAT! ... and remember you can 'book' more destinations than Blues-land with these Pentatonic Travel Agents!
You can use them in Pop (play th intro to "I Dig a Pony" using above tab starting on fret #1) Rock ("Castles Made Of Sand")
and all points away and in-between...
"Jazz" or
anything tonal can be taken with you as you learn thease; think of them as carry-on luggage.

RA says:
@carl- man you coin the best sayings. musical highlighter-pens that there is best going better than a Hard-days night.


why thank YOU Suh!

...and Kudos for your in-depth spot-ons!


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