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Pentatonic scales
by Toni Moretti

This lesson I would like to talk about pentatonic scales, the major and the minor one.

To help you start thinking the tonality of C major.

As you should know, the pentatonic major scale has these intervals: 1, 2+, 3+, 5 and 6+. We don’t consider the 4 (Lydian scale) and the seventh (major and minor chords).

What do we have now?
We have the possibility to play on major chord the relative pentatonic scale. We are not worried about the chord position or if the seventh is major and minor.
Easier to do considering that the majority of solos and riff of bass use this scale!

For the minor scale we have these intervals: 1, 3-, 4, 5, 7-.
We don’t consider the second and the sixth (major for Doric and frigia scale and eolia in the minor one).
Also in this case we can use the pentatonic minor scale for all the minor seventh chords excluding diminished and half-diminished chords.

ore for you today!

Tale the C major pentatonic scale: C, D, E G and A and also the a minor: A, C, D, E, G.

e have the same note!

This is really good because if you want to do a solo you can play with major chords the minor scale and the opposite for the minor chords!

Using major chords start with the sixth note of the chord, using minor chords start for the third.
If you remember my first lesson about starting with third chords, would be easy for you to do this second lesson.

Now I want to tell you again this important note: if you want to do a solo and you play on chords, the best thing to do is to start from the third or from the seventh and to end on the third note of the next chords. You can also play the pentatonic of the chord or the relative minor.

Have fun trying all different solution and musical effect!

If you are play with other instrument and is not a solo, things are different.

Is better to start from the first note of the chord.

Exercise: play this chords: C7+, A-7, D-7, G7. (click to listent  )

Play major pentatonic on major chords and minor pentatonic on minor chord.

You have also these possibilities: on C A- pentatonic, on A- C+ pentatonic, on D- F+ pentatonic, on G7 E- pentatonic (here is better half -diminished).
Play scale, ascending and descending.

Now talk about fingering.

Using 2-4/1-4/1-4 (the / symbol means to pass over the string) we get to the octave with 4 (pinky).

Using 1-1/3-3/1 (see below) we get the octave with the same finger that plays tonic note. In this case we can consider octave and tonic and go with another pentatonic.
For example try with G pentatonic and you’ll see how easy is to do two consecutive pentatonics using same fingering for octave-tonic notes.

or the minor one it is the same.
I advice you to use this fingering: 3/1-1-3/1-3
Enough for today! Bye.


Related articles:

LESSONS (electric bass): Rhythmical Patterns: other ideas coming from famous standards (Toni Moretti)


LESSONS (electric bass): Riffs for Bass: a collection of bass riffs of historical importance (Toni Moretti)

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