Minor Pentatonic Scale (1) [7-6-2012]

Minor Pentatonic Scale (1) [7-6-2012]

Minor Pentatonic Scale (1) [7-6-2012]. (Copyright 2018 James Mansfield Nichols. All rights reserved.)

(a) I’ve adapted the above “box pattern” graphics from “Fretboard Knowledge for the Contemporary Guitarist,” Vivian Clement (Alfred Publishing Co., 2003), p. 11. I’ve put note names where the book’s originals have black dots. I do so fully realizing that the patterns depicted by the dots are moveable up and down the fretboard, and that “freezing” a depiction into specific notes gravitates against the moveability.

(b) This is a process I personally have to go through, however. The uses to which we put our sources are highly subjective. My own urgent need is to become more aware of the notes I play. In serving this need I will invariably translate any pattern of dots that I see in a guitar book into the names of notes.

(c) The book by Clements promises to be quite useful. I’ve owned it for several years, but have not given it a good look until now. Clements’s presentation of the “warped W” pattern for locating notes couldn’t come at a better time. I’m absorbing it with delight. It may render obsolete some of the fretboard views that I’ve posted!

(d) Back to the “box patterns” depicted above: Clements observes that, common and useful as these scales are, it can take a long time to memorize them because “there are no memorable visible repeating patterns.” She provides a remedy in the pages that follow, and I’m engrossed in that material now.

(e) I noticed that each of the five box patterns has a different root. I’ve added to each box pattern the major scale for its root, and the minor pentatonic scale that can be derived from that major scale using the formula 1-b3-4-5-b7. (This formula is provided by Clements in a “theory nugget.”) I use the asterisk (“*”) to mark the root note, also called the tonic note, in each box pattern.

(Copyright 2018 James Mansfield Nichols. All rights reserved.)

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day, and watch Netflix and Prime Video for entertainment. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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