So, after re-watching George Urbaszek’s video about the modes of the minor pentatonic scale, I worked out the finger patterns and scale degrees (using the names as they’d appear in the major scale) for all of the modes in C (C minor pentatonic). They’re below.
- The first chart shows the finger patterns using 1-2-3-4 as index-middle-ring-pinkie. These are closed, moveable patterns.
- The second shows the patterns as scale degrees, and then the “formula” for each pattern using scale degrees.
- Finally, the last shows the actual notes for all of the modes of C.
- I’ve included the notes for D as well, because I worked it out to confirm that the patterns worked in other keys – and it did!
Mode 1 is the regular minor pentatonic. Mode 2 is playing from the 2nd note to the 2nd note an octave higher. Mode 3 starts on the 3rd note and ends on the 3rd note an octave higher, and so on for Mode 4 and Mode 5. As an aside, Mode 2, when played in A, gives us “My Girl,” but I think its the guitar part.
Here’s the 3rd of the minor pentatonic scale vids that I watched about a month ago. This one comes from George Urbaszek, who runs the website creativebasslessons.com. I learned that scales each have their own modes some time ago, either from Talkbass or from a book, but this is the first that I’ve seen the ones for the minor pentatonic scale in play.
George explains that in this session, he’ll show us the modes of the minor pentatonic scale and how to use them. He lets us know that a mode is simply playing a scale from a particular scale degree and finishing on that same degree, an octave higher. So, instead of starting on the 1 and ending on the 1 an octave higher, we could start on the 2 and end on its octave, etc. Being that the minor pentatonic has 5 notes, it then has 5 modes.
Here’s the 2nd of the minor pentatonic scale videos I spoke about last week. This one comes to us from Denmark, from Lasse of contemporarybasslessons on YouTube.
About a week ago, I watched a few videos on Youtube about the minor pentatonic scale that I wanted to share. The first comes from Yonit Speigelman, whose Time and Feel Exercise for Bass Guitar I shared last week. Here’s her video about using the (minor) pentatonic scale to construct bass lines:
The 5th video for the 6th, and final, lesson of Coursera’s online Developing Your Musicianship class is the last actual lesson video. The final one for the lesson is going to be the student ensemble performance, as usual.
5. Practicing What You Know and Moving Forward (4:00)
In his final video, Professor Russell opens by thanking us for joining him on this six-week journey and sends hope that all of the information that we learned will be applicable to our musical situations. One way to do this, he says, is by continuing to practice for 15 minutes every day. So, what should we practice? His suggestion is that we take everything that we did in the key of C and transpose it to another key. He reminds us that there are 12 keys, and they we started in the key of C because there are no sharps or flats. He then shows us the G major scale and tells us that there’s one sharp in the scale: F#.
Specific items he suggests practicing include:
- The I, IV and V major & minor triads in the key of G (G, C, D)
- 7th chords for the I and IV (G Maj7, C Maj7)
- Dominant chords for the I, IV and V (G7, C7, D7)
- The 735 voicing for the dominant chords
- The minor pentatonic scale in G
We’re in the home stretch. This is one of the last 3 videos for Coursera’s online Developing Your Musicianship class. Its video #4 for Lesson 6. Some of the other videos upped their game, when it came to subtitling the lessons, with relatively few errors. Here, however, we’re treated to a marathon of utterly ridiculous misspellings for an instructional class. I almost think that its an inside joke that I’m not in on.
4. Composing a Blues Riff Tune Using the Minor Pentatonic Scale (5:52)
Our now fancily-attired Professor Russell begins this one by reminding us that another scale we learned about in the course was the minor pentatonic scale. He demonstrates its construction by playing and singing the “one, flat-three, four… five, flat-seven, one” song that he had the Berklee students sing in Lesson 3.
After playing a brief piece to illustrate the sound, he says that we’re going to take the minor pentatonic scale and create a riff blues. He plays a 12-bar blues in C to show us a blues progression and then says that one way to create a riff blues is to create a melody that’s 2 bars long, skip the melody for the next 2 bars, play it again for the following 2 bars, skip the next two, vary it for 2 bars, and then close with no melody.
It looks like this:
In Lesson 3 of that online Coursera class, we learned the Minor Pentatonic Scale. There was some singing involved, on the part of the Berklee students, which spelled out the formula for the scale. Anyway, I was looking at it earlier today, and then checked an old post I wrote about the Blues Scale. I found that my suspicion about it was correct – its the blues scale with one less note – the b5. So, here’s what they each look like, spelled out:
And here are fingerings for each:
Here are the scale degrees in the same format as the fingering, based on differences with the major scale: