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Pentatonic Minor Frameworks


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Pentatonic Scales: Boxes & Frameworks

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This time we'll look using the pentatonic fretboard patterns to play the minor sounding modes. Note that there are 3 "minor sounding" modes, primarily because they have a minor 3rd scale degree.

1. Aeolian - which is synonymous with the minor scale.
2. Dorian - which is like the minor scale except with a raised 6th scale degree (or a "major 6").
3. Phrygian - which is like the minor scale except with a lowered 2nd scale degree (or a "flat 2").

So we can use our major and minor pentatonic "frameworks" and "plug back in" the appropriate scale degrees to get the mode we are after. Study the diagram, play the patterns and listen carefully until you get the idea.

The Locrian mode (minor with a lowered 2nd and 5th scale degrees - "flat 2" & "flat 5") is a special case because of the flat 5. This is because the 5th scale degree is fundamental to the pentatonic "frameworks". But of course, once you get this basic idea you can alter the shapes to play the Locrian mode as well.

Or any other scale you care to try! But again, the essential idea here is to use the pentatonic "frameworks" (or "box shapes") as a visual aid to see familar patterns on the fretboard. And then use them as a springboard to understanding scale degrees and why scales sound the way they do.

Eventually, all this is aimed at being able to create the sound you want with your guitar. And ultimately to make your music sound better.

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