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The pentatonic scale originates from the diatonic scale (7 notes), and has two fewer notes than its parent scale. Sometimes it's easier to think of a major pentatonic scale that starts and ends on degree 6. It helps to know the pentatonic scales before working with the major scales. Note that the major pentatonic took 5 notes of the major scale, as we have already commented, and these were degrees 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6. This note is borrowed from the Dorian mode. There are both Pentatonic Major and Minor – the Minor is slightly more often used. Minor Pentatonic Scale: The minor pentatonic scale is 1, 3, 4, 5, 7 of the natural minor scale. Roll your mouse over the pattern number below to see what the pattern looks like. The pentatonic scale is a five-tone scale which consists of five notes. Any Pentatonic Scale can be divided into patterns. The C minor pentatonic scale can be broken down into ‘boxes’ that we can play in, and each box is composed of the same notes played in a different order. The Pentatonic Scale is frequently used in lots of popular music styles. F major pentatonic scale: F - G - A - C - D A minor pentatonic scale: A - C - D - E - G E minor pentatonic scale: E - G - A - B - D. While the pentatonic scale notes can be played in order, try leaping between notes, repeating the same note more than once, and adding non-scale notes to write memorable melodies, riffs, and solos. The only difference is that the tonic (first note of the scale) of the minor pentatonic is 3 semitones (half steps) below the tonic of the major pentatonic. When to use the Minor Pentatonic scale. A major scale will have seven notes in the scale, but the major pentatonic scale removes the 4 th and the 7 th intervals to make it a five-note scale. That is, a natural minor scale without degrees 2 and 6. E minor pentatonic scale: Notes: E - G- A - B - D The second box above uses the same five notes as the first box, but it starts from the ♭3 (A flat) instead of the 1. The minor pentatonic scale sounds great over songs in a minor key. The notes for C major pentatonic are C – D – E – G – A, while A minor pentatonic is A – C – D – E – G. Clearly these are the same 5 notes except for the starting note … The F Minor Pentatonic Scale can be divided into patterns. To find this scale, we’re going to start with a minor pentatonic scale and add in another note: a ♯6. For example, to play the A minor pentatonic scale with the Santana note, you’ll play A, C, D, E, and then F♯, and G. The third box in the figure uses the same notes, but it begins at the 4 (B flat). Compare these scales (C pentatonic and A minor pentatonic) with the scales of C major and A minor, respectively. The red dots indicate a root note and the black dots indicate a note in the scale. 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