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Metal => Interzone => Topic started by: born for banning on September 24, 2007, 04:23:13 PM

Title: Pentatonic scales are for slackers
Post by: born for banning on September 24, 2007, 04:23:13 PM
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Another way to think about major pentatonics is that their are derived by eliminating (from the 7-note major scale) those scale degrees that vary between the various major modes (Ionian, Lydian & Mixolydian).

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 2 3 4 5 6 b7
1 2 3 #4 5 6 7

So eliminate the 4/#4 and the 7/b7 to get the major pentatonic: 1 2 3 5 6

Likewise the minor pentatonics are derived by eliminating (from the 7-note minor scale) those scale degrees that vary between the various minor modes (Dorian, Phrygian & Aeolian)
.
1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7
1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7


Take out all the notes that can go wrong and you have good scales for children.

http://acapella.harmony-central.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1750499

Anyone else here play guitar? I'm OK but improving.
Title: Re: Pentatonic scales are for slackers
Post by: kontinual on September 24, 2007, 04:38:01 PM
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The Little Minstrel, and The Kinder Lyre, are designed to be fun and easy to play. Because the notes of the Pentatonic scale all harmonize with one another, there are no wrong notes! These instruments can be played together to create a small band and there will be no discord. You can add drums and other percussion instruments, and enjoy making music together. The notes of the scale are D E G A B


http://www.harpsoflorien.com/pentatonic.html
Title: Re: Pentatonic scales are for slackers
Post by: K on September 24, 2007, 04:42:44 PM
I play, but know almost no music theory. Never could afford lessons, and my school didn't have a music program.

Can anyone properly sweep pick? (I mean to do arpeggios) I've been trying to figure that stuff out for the better part of two years and haven't quite been able to synchronize my right and left hand movements.
Title: Re: Pentatonic scales are for slackers
Post by: Hound_of_Culann on September 24, 2007, 04:44:38 PM
Pentatonic scales can work in certain situations, but more often than not they're used because it's hard to mess up.

I've played guitar for about 5 years now.  I'm good at rhythm, but I'm awful at lead.  I've gotten into a bad habit where I just play random notes to form riffs/follow patterns that I already know to work.  Do yourself a favor and try to form as much of a riff in your head before getting it out on the guitar.  It's good practice, and the alternative is moronic.
Title: Re: Pentatonic scales are for slackers
Post by: shadowmystic on September 24, 2007, 06:17:37 PM
Pentatonic scales are incredibly boring to play.  They're what guitarists use to sound good when they don't have the skill to play anything more interesting *coughhammetcough*.  I stopped using them almost immediately after I learned them because they don't allow any room for interesting playing or experimentation.  My advice to beginner guitarists, use them when you start out to get the feel of playing, but then learn to play in modes and my favourite metal scale, the diminished.

I've been playing guitar for a while now, I play reasonably well and have a pretty solid grounding in theory but both of these skills are merely tools to allow me to write music, which is my main focus.  I've never been in a band and don't have any plans to start one, although I've almost written enough material for a full length, I'm working on arranging it at the moment.
Title: Re: Pentatonic scales are for slackers
Post by: shadowmystic on September 24, 2007, 06:19:24 PM
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I play, but know almost no music theory. Never could afford lessons, and my school didn't have a music program.

Can anyone properly sweep pick? (I mean to do arpeggios) I've been trying to figure that stuff out for the better part of two years and haven't quite been able to synchronize my right and left hand movements.


The best way to learn anything like that on guitar, is to start practising really slow so that you play it perfectly, and then speed up a little, but never play any faster than you can play without mistakes.  Eventually the speed will come, but it's secondary to technique.
Title: Re: Pentatonic scales are for slackers
Post by: ice-t on September 24, 2007, 06:57:02 PM
Pentatonics become denatured gestural shorthands in the hands of a hack, but so is pretty much every cliche. Be creative with the tool.
Title: Re: Pentatonic scales are for slackers
Post by: oscar the cat on September 25, 2007, 02:55:49 AM
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Pentatonics become denatured gestural shorthands in the hands of a hack, but so is pretty much every cliche. Be creative with the tool.


Why not use a tool that doesn't limit creativity so much? If you want to speak in pidgin, go ahead, but there's no shortage of scales and modes out there I can use, and they're better than a scale designed for hacks by hacks.
Title: Re: Pentatonic scales are for slackers
Post by: ice-t on September 25, 2007, 05:45:25 AM
Awesome, so the oldest scale in the world is actually "pidgin" used by "hacks". Heptatonic modes are pretty hacky too. Fuck, the full chromatic is child's play, we should all use Harry Partch's 43-pitch-per-octave microtonal scale... or maybe we could stop making useless generalizations about scales of all things. Getting the most out of limited materials is a pretty common feature in our finest music, not running roughshod with everything in the palette, which was my original point. Debussy did it, Bartok did it, it's sad that a lot of rock guitarists can't.
Title: Re: Pentatonic scales are for slackers
Post by: chrstphrbnntt on September 25, 2007, 10:16:53 AM
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Awesome, so the oldest scale in the world is actually "pidgin" used by "hacks". Heptatonic modes are pretty hacky too. Fuck, the full chromatic is child's play, we should all use Harry Partch's 43-pitch-per-octave microtonal scale... or maybe we could stop making useless generalizations about scales of all things. Getting the most out of limited materials is a pretty common feature in our finest music, not running roughshod with everything in the palette, which was my original point. Debussy did it, Bartok did it, it's sad that a lot of rock guitarists can't.


This topic actually made me think of Harry Partch. I listened to Delusion of the Fury a few nights ago. Very abstract, very intense.
Title: Re: Pentatonic scales are for slackers
Post by: wEEman33 on September 25, 2007, 10:24:58 AM
There is nothing inherently good/bad or better/worse about any of the scales and modes.

The success of these devices lies entirely in the context within which they are used.

Hence, the reason why the pentatonic leads sound terribly out of place in the early Metallica efforts, and yet, can be quite powerful in the context of a piano sonata.

Also, to paraphrase Schumann:

All aspiring musicians should start by learning to play simple things well; you will find that the skills and confidence that come from this are much more beneficial than playing difficult pieces poorly.
Title: Re: Pentatonic scales are for slackers
Post by: Thamuz on September 25, 2007, 11:03:08 PM
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Why not use a tool that doesn't limit creativity so much? If you want to speak in pidgin, go ahead, but there's no shortage of scales and modes out there I can use, and they're better than a scale designed for hacks by hacks.

You don't know much about music, do you?
Title: Re: Pentatonic scales are for slackers
Post by: oogaa on October 03, 2007, 11:46:02 AM
Well, If pentatonic scales are for slackers then so is sweep picking, legatos , economic picking and tapping.
Title: Re: Pentatonic scales are for slackers
Post by: born for banning on October 03, 2007, 02:21:01 PM
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There is nothing inherently good/bad or better/worse about any of the scales and modes.


I don't agree. Some are shortcuts while others give a broader palette to work with, and as a result require more effort.

There's always a minimum cutoff... for some it's the three-minute pop song, and to my mind, the pentatonic is that.

Yes, it's probably the world's oldest scale and most widely used. Think hard on that for a moment.
Title: Re: Pentatonic scales are for slackers
Post by: ice-t on October 03, 2007, 04:59:42 PM
Once more. Great music is very often optimized and pitch materials are no exception to this. Itís getting the mostest with leastest, to mangle my one General Forrest quote. A bad musician will have nothing with limited tools and an especially overpolished nothing with every resource at his command. Has fuck all to do with the limits of the musical parameters. If you canít see that, youíre lacking in musicality or imagination - work at it or pick a different hobby.
Title: Re: Pentatonic scales are for slackers
Post by: born for banning on October 03, 2007, 06:38:56 PM
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Once more. Great music is very often optimized and pitch materials are no exception to this. It’s getting the mostest with leastest, to mangle my one General Forrest quote. A bad musician will have nothing with limited tools and an especially overpolished nothing with every resource at his command. Has fuck all to do with the limits of the musical parameters. If you can’t see that, you’re lacking in musicality or imagination - work at it or pick a different hobby.


Like all human discourses these days, this continues with "No, you don't understand..."

Each scale has parameters. They are not interchangeable. A scale designed for harmonic flexibility sacrifices other aspects of musical design.

You might as well say that music made of all drums is equal to music made with melody, because it's a different tool for a different task. But not all tasks are worth doing.

Title: Re: Pentatonic scales are for slackers
Post by: oogaa on October 03, 2007, 06:59:40 PM
But don't you think all scales are merely just vehicles for achieving a greater goal - quality music?

Give an ammature †some of the most exotic scales , all they'll come up with is a bunch of notes with no musical equivalence to it and give a good guitar player a pentatonic scale and they'll still be able to come up with a meaningful piece of music. Sure, pentatonic scales are easier and safer than other scales, that doesn't mean they're good or bad by default. It's the player's ability to mould that scale into something good or bad.

Title: Re: Pentatonic scales are for slackers
Post by: AttheGates1996 on October 04, 2007, 10:52:04 AM
i never thought of pentatonics as ways of eliminating the difference in similar minor and major modes. this is interesting but im still against pentatonic. not so much because its 'easier' but simply because it limits one to playing more creative melodies and such. what if i had an ionian based rhythm and wanted to play lydian lead, then transfer to mixolydian lead, then resolve both the rhythm and lead to aeolian. not to be arrogant, but im sure that would sound a hell of a lot better than pentatonics over the rhythms i just suggested in my example.