# Scale?

SlickString
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Joined: 05/31/09
Posts: 156
08/14/2009 7:52 pm
Hi all

This is probably a noob type question but here goes...

While messing around on the fretboard I came across a scale that I liked the sound of. The thing is I'm not sure how I go about finding the name of the scale.

It 'starts' on the 6th string 7th fret 'finishes' on the 1st string 10th fret and goes like this -

B, D, E, G, A and so on B, D, E, G, A, B, D.

Any help with a shortcut would be much appreciated.

Jim
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ChristopherSchlegel
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Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,405
08/14/2009 9:00 pm
Originally Posted by: SlickStringThe thing is I'm not sure how I go about finding the name of the scale.

B, D, E, G, A

You can determine the nature of any scale by picking one as the root, then identifying it's intervals (the distance from one note to the next).

B (1.5 steps) D (1 step) E (1.5 step) G (1 step) A (1 step) B

Therefore:

B (1st - root)
D (minor 3rd)
E (4th)
G (minor 6th)
A (minor 7th)

Therefore what you have is a pentatonic minor scale with a minor 6th instead of a 5th. Now, if you pick the note E as the root:

E (1.5 step) G (1 step) A (1 step) B (1.5 steps) D (1 step) E

Therefore:

E (1st - root)
G (minor 3rd)
A (4th)
B (minor 6th)
D (minor 7th)

So, you could also say you've got the E minor pentatonic scale, but you're starting on the 5th, the B.

Make sense?
Christopher Schlegel
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SlickString
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Joined: 05/31/09
Posts: 156
08/15/2009 8:20 pm
Originally Posted by: CSchlegelYou can determine the nature of any scale by picking one as the root, then identifying it's intervals (the distance from one note to the next).

B (1.5 steps) D (1 step) E (1.5 step) G (1 step) A (1 step) B

Therefore:

B (1st - root)
D (minor 3rd)
E (4th)
G (minor 6th)
A (minor 7th)

Therefore what you have is a pentatonic minor scale with a minor 6th instead of a 5th.

I'm not sure if I'm getting this....

Now that I've compared it to a B Major scale I see that the scale I'd come across resembles a Bm (That's if I'm right in thinking a minor scale pattern is like a major but with flattened 3rd 6th & 7th) but that seems to not fit into what you've said above so I'm guessing I've gone wrong somewhere in my logic?

Thanks Christopher
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ChristopherSchlegel
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Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,405
08/15/2009 11:57 pm
Originally Posted by: SlickStringNow that I've compared it to a B Major scale I see that the scale I'd come across resembles a Bm (That's if I'm right in thinking a minor scale pattern is like a major but with flattened 3rd 6th & 7th) ...

You've got the idea. Let's look again in more detail.

B (1.5 steps) D (1 step) E (1.5 step) G (1 step) A (1 step) B

Therefore:

B (1st - root)
D (minor 3rd)
E (4th)
G (minor 6th)
A (minor 7th)

This is a group of 5 notes, therefore pentatonic. This group of notes has minor 3rd, minor 6th, minor 7th scale degrees (instead of major scale degrees), therefore it is a minor scale.

So, you are right, that group of notes (B, D, E, G, A) is found in the B minor scale. It is 5 specific notes from the B minor scale.

B minor diatonic:
B - (C#) - D - E - (F#) - G - A

I also pointed out that you can regard any note as the root note and then proceed to figure out the interval distance from that root note to each of the other notes in the group.

Doing this shows that your group of 5 notes can also be part of other scales.

E minor diatonic:
E - (F#) - G - A - B - (C) - D

E minor pentatonic:
E - G - A - B - D

G major diatonic:
G - A - B - (C) - D - E - (F#)

G major pentatonic:
G - A - B - D - E

C major diatonic:
(C) - D - E - (F) - G - A - B

Make sense?
Christopher Schlegel
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SlickString
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Joined: 05/31/09
Posts: 156
08/16/2009 3:02 pm
That's really helpful Christopher and a bit clearer for me, thanks!

I think I was being a bit hard and fast in my thinking but now I realise that there are many ways of looking at a set of notes and their relationships.

The journey continues..... :)
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