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  1. #1
    Bekaybe Guest

    Default C Major Pent over a G chord

    So, I was thinking... The C Major and G Major scale are exactly the same but for the F/F#

    So, it seems to me, since neither Major Pent. contains the F or the F#, we could get away with playing a C Major Pent over a G chord and a G Major Pent over a C chord

    Can anyone explain to me what's going on theoretically, though? I've sorta worked out the intervals, figured out what's missing, and what's there... but I don't know what to "call" it... that is, I don't know how to relate to a sound I already know.... (Hope that makes sense, what I mean is I know what D Dorian sounds like over a D... I can give you an example by pointing to a song... )

    If we're playing a Cmajor chord then the Notes in G Major will be the following intervals (as they relate to the C Major)

    G A B D E
    5 6 7 2 3

    Thus, there is no Root, and we add the 7th

    Reorder it,
    2 3 5 6 7

    Coversely, if we play a G Major chord, then the notes of the C Major scale will be the following intervals (as they related to G Major)
    C D E G A
    4 5 6 1 2

    Thus, there is no 3rd, but we add a 4th

    Reorder it:
    1 2 4 5 6

    Did I get that right?

    Any help on this would be great.... I wish I had a guitar here at the office so I could just play this and hear for myself... Oh well... day will be done soon enough, I guess

  2. #2

    Default

    This is a HUGE ball of wax.....using pentatonics from notes other than the root can yield some great results - plus, they have the added allure of being familiar to your fingers.

    BUT

    It's important to do as you've done - analyze the resulting harmony rather than just running through your existing pentatonic licks (that's fun too, though!).

    Without getting too in depth, I'll throw this out there:

    C Major scale contains:

    C Major Pent
    F Major Pent
    G Major Pent
    A Minor Pent (relative minor of C)
    D Minor Pent (relative minor of F)
    E Minor Pent (relative minor of G)


    In other words, you can play all 6 of those scales and never leave the C Major Scale.....of course, it's 'really' only 3 scales, as each pair of major/minor relatives are identical.

    BUT

    Thinking A minor will yield different results than thinking in C major, so I like to think of it a 6 different scales.

    Here's a fun experiment:

    Set up a loop/jam track/whatever to a C Major groove. Try improvising some melodies from C major pent.....then try E Minor Pent....then try D Minor Pent. You can hear how each scale 'lives' in a different part of the chord....

    C Maj and A Min, being the 'same', will yiled a C6 sound....E Minor brings the B (7th) and D (9th) into the mix, so you end up with a nice Cmaj9 sound....The D Minor will fully extend the harmony to a C Major13.

    J

  3. #3
    Bekaybe Guest

    Default

    Thanks, Josh.

    I was thinking about this some more, and it occured to me - rather out of the blue, actually - that I already "know" how to do this... I just didn't really realize it. If you take the A form, from the CAGED system, you get what I was outlining.

  4. #4
    Bekaybe Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bekaybe
    Thanks, Josh.

    I was thinking about this some more, and it occured to me - rather out of the blue, actually - that I already "know" how to do this... I just didn't really realize it. If you take the A form, from the CAGED system, you get what I was outlining.
    On more reflection, this isn't correct.... G Maj pent doesn't have the 4th (C)

  5. #5

    Default

    Furthermore, as you spend more time doing this sort of thing you will be able to hear which pentatonic scales work well and which do not. For example, the Cmaj pentatonic played over the Gmaj7 chord might not sound as good as the Dmaj pentatonic played over the Gmaj7 chord. This is because the Cmaj pentatonic contains the problematic perfect 4th (C). This becomes less of a problem if your using these pentatonic scales over a simple G chord.

    Also by superimposing different pentatonic scales over a chord you can imply different tonalities. An example would be playing the F# minor pentatonic (Amaj pentatonic) over a G chord which would imply a lydian sound because it includes the sharp 4th (very hip) and major 7th.

    Steve Khan has an excellent book on this subject called Pentatonic Khancepts.

    Frank Gambale also covers this concept extensively in the Frank Gambale Technique Books 1&2.

  6. #6
    Bekaybe Guest

    Default

    Good info, I'll see about obtaining those books.

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