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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: pentatonic patterns

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haggis - Posted - 03/19/2015:  04:44:01

My Dad always told me not to judge anyone on their own opinion of themselves. Modest or otherwise.

fiddlerjoebob - Posted - 03/19/2015:  08:16:48

I believe this thread was about pentatonic scales--which I was finding interesting-- not this ridiculous bragging, insults and childish taunting.  There is plenty of that elsewhere on the internet.  

phiddlepicker - Posted - 03/19/2015:  10:36:06

I'm finding it informative, entertaining, ....and a bit ironic......anybody ever read " Lord of the Flies"?laugh

fiddlepogo - Posted - 03/19/2015:  11:27:52

It does go on and on, but compared to other parts of the internet, it's extremely MILD.  It's good natured insulting going on- with some level of respect.  I'm guessing the conversations between studio musicians in their favorite Nashville bars might go something like that.

Elbows in the ribs, not fisticuffs to the jaw. 

Henry is advocating a freer, more experimental approach, Jerry a more lick based approach.

My observation about those approaches is that with a lot of people, the experimental approach is going to have some failures.... but when it's good it's amazing, and sounds original and unique.   A lick based approach avoids those failures, but is going to sound more familiar, more like something else you've heard before.  For country, blues, or bluegrass, that's usually a GOOD thing, since those genres are harking back to a tradition to at least some degree.  For jazz and contemporary music... not so much.... something NEW sounding is better.

The original poster needs to think about choosing one approach or another, based on what style they want to play, but also based on how their musical brain is wired.

On electric guitar, I use a fairly free pentatonic scale-based approach.   A pentatonic scale is actually a pretty safe option for a freer approach, since you've got two fewer opportunities for discords.  I found out pretty early on when using it though, that while I came up with some good ideas and licks of my own, some of it was pretty forgettable.  It's like fishing- throw the little fish back in, keep the big ones!  I tend to use MY OWN better licks on days where the creative juices aren't flowing that well.  So while it started OUT as free improv, some days it's actually more lick-based, except that they are my own licks.

One exception was a blues turnaround lick.  I really like the sound of some of the classic ones.   I found one tabbed out in a book, and learned it, then modified it a little.   It in turn became the basis for more experimentation- I can do a whole 12-bar blues based on the variants of the turnaround lick I came up with.  That was so productive, that sometimes I think I should learn more licks from other blues players, but that's just not how I'm wired.  I LIKE a freer approach, partly because it's more adaptable to different styles of music.   Maybe if I was always playing the same genre of music I'd be more inclined to learn some more characteristic licks for that genre.

Edited by - fiddlepogo on 03/19/2015 11:32:05

fiddlebut - Posted - 03/19/2015:  13:38:44


Originally posted by fiddlepogo


 the experimental approach is going to have some failures....


Yes, of course it does..!! And you can hear the failures in every video I posted. But this is about more than just playing 'the fiddle', this also about not 'fearing the failures'....But that would be difficult for a pro to except 'failures' because if he failed to sound good with every note he played he would get the sack. Hence their 'bag of licks' for when he is having a bad day and the creative juices are not flowing.

I am a professional teacher, not a pro performer. I can play what I like, I can play experimentally and I do that every time I play. This is a great thrill when done on the stage at a gig with a full house. And I don't use charts or rehearse which enhances this excitement. People ask me to play with them because I can do this with out the charts and rehearsals........ 

I did not post my videos in the hope that you would like them, and I am not seeking praises or encouragement, and definitely not advice from any one. There they are, like them or not................................................    

fujers - Posted - 03/19/2015:  13:47:33

Pogo, I see we peed some people off again. Don't worry folks it's just two different opinions going back and forth.

This is what happens when two opposing forces meet. Henry is ying and I am yang.

If Henry says that pentatonic scales are ying...I'll say no they ain't there yang.

If Henry says that a major ninth chord is ying...I'll say no they ain't there yang.

You see, We're just two opposing forces. But we do it in a respectful way.

Sorry we peed you off. But you know what. You might find things of interest in our post. We're liable to talk about anything under the sun. Just keep that in mind

Speaking of minds. The mind is a terrible thing....don't get one

When playing pentatonic all you do is take out the notes that don't fit.

I'm putting together some help files for you now. This should explain everything about these scales.

You're going to love this. Pentatonic is easy to play and they are fun to only use select notes so you use less fingers how easy is that.

I'll play you a demo in a couple of days. Jerry

fiddlebut - Posted - 03/19/2015:  13:53:02


Originally posted by fujers


When playing pentatonic all you do is take out the notes that don't fit.


This is one way of looking at it........these notes are the 4th and the 7th....

Then don't forget to superimpose the inversions over the tonic.....for the bluesy and jazzy sounds

fujers - Posted - 03/19/2015:  14:03:58

Henry, I don't know how it just does. You say take out the 4th and 7th. I think I have done that all that is left I play ..right? Jerry

fiddlebut - Posted - 03/19/2015:  14:20:00


Originally posted by fujers


Henry, I don't know how it just does. You say take out the 4th and 7th. I think I have done that all that is left I play ..right? Jerry

Thats right Jerry.....but if you are gonna teach it you gotta know how to splain it.....!?

Gotta go, will post  more bout pentatonics........

fujers - Posted - 03/19/2015:  14:35:40

I can play em. I just don't know about them. Shoot I played pentatonic scales all my life. See you just opened me up knowing something I forgot. Thank you, Henry

mmuussiiccaall - Posted - 03/19/2015:  18:44:52

Again here's a roadmap



fujers - Posted - 03/19/2015:  19:57:19

Thanks but I don't need that

mmuussiiccaall - Posted - 03/19/2015:  20:34:01


Originally posted by fujers


Thanks but I don't need that

The Fiddle Hangout currently hosts 15,031 active myHangout accounts. I guess we could do a head count as to who might need it:

 15,030 and counting.

fujers - Posted - 03/19/2015:  20:52:45

I guess well have to do that won't we. Is there a particular question you want to ask me. Or do you make greeting's like this normally.

Make that 15,029 I don't need it

Edited by - fujers on 03/19/2015 20:54:28

fiddlebut - Posted - 03/19/2015:  21:07:31


Originally posted by fujers


Thanks but I don't need that

Yeah, that road map just makes my head spin, I dunno what the beginners are gonna make of it..There is a much simpler way which can be used for any key, rather than mapping out every key...!?

Such as the formulae.......( the notes in the major scale ) Major

And when you superimpose the inversions over the tonic you get.....


1.b3.4.5b.b7.8.Minor...The others have names too..



fujers - Posted - 03/19/2015:  21:12:26

Make that 15,029 is a good number perhaps you should play it in the next lottery. Good luck

I just made this up. Me playing in a pentatonic pattern. This is in it's complete infancy no nothing else put into's raw

So I know I'll have to go in and clean it up adjust my patterns and all that stuff. I might sing...god help me.

So this pattern is all about pentatonic. What you do is take the major or minor scale and take notes out of the scale. I think Henry said the 4th and the 7th that's fine with me.

What notes that are left is the notes you have to work with. I can't tell what notes to hit because I don't know. Jerry

The Mountains are Calling


fujers - Posted - 03/19/2015:  21:21:02

That b3, b6, b7 look interesting. I think I'll try that

mmuussiiccaall - Posted - 03/19/2015:  21:27:06

O.K. let's do something as simple as possible. Let's say you have a 1 4 5 song and you are only allowed to play two notes, either a 1 or a 2. Who can explain which of the two numbers must be played as the chords move through the song in order to stay in harmony with each of the three chords?




fiddlebut - Posted - 03/19/2015:  21:31:05


Originally posted by Henry





Sorry it's an error...............1.b3.4.5.b7.8. Minor Pent

fujers - Posted - 03/19/2015:  21:32:57

I got it

fujers - Posted - 03/19/2015:  21:34:49

I'm going to pick 123. That's my final ANSWER

fiddlebut - Posted - 03/19/2015:  21:55:02

Jerry, your mountains are calling is not strictly pentatonic.

The opening theme begins D.E.F$ G F$ E D E over a double tonic chord progression......D....C..

you do play a lot of pentatonic phrases,

but you include the 4th and the b7th, which makes this a mixolydian mode...

Leave those notes out and you have a true pentatonic...

fujers - Posted - 03/19/2015:  21:57:48

I'll try

pete_fiddle - Posted - 03/20/2015:  00:02:57

1-2-2 ?

fiddlebut - Posted - 03/20/2015:  02:23:19

if 1 = harmonizes over 1 and 4 chord.

if 2 = harmoizes over 5 chord..

Thats if I understand the question.....???? 

pete_fiddle - Posted - 03/20/2015:  04:23:54

depends wether  a Cmaj9 or FMaj6 or a G7sus4 sounds OK or not in the tune :) dont realy understand either?

mmuussiiccaall - Posted - 03/20/2015:  04:27:59



Originally posted by Henry


if 1 = harmonizes over 1 and 4 chord.

if 2 = harmoizes over 5 chord..

Thats if I understand the question.....???? 

Yes that's right Henry, thank you.

Below I have a youtube link to a country waltz in the key of A for novices to improvise over. This link will lead to many others in different keys and tempos if you wish by you can completely "go to intervals school" on just this one. I have provided the chord chart, which I wish they all did, so as to give a visual reference to the chord movement in the song. Since it is in the key of A    A=1 D=4 E=5 and that means as Henry says that any 1, an A of course, in the key of A on my PDF chart will harmonize the A and D chords of this song. The only time you must leave the 1 is when the E chord occurs and that is where a 2, a B note in this case, is called for to stay in harmony. This "baby step method" as I call it has worked for my students over the years better than anything else I've tried. BTW the method is to master two or three intervals at a time so as not to overwhelm the brain and the musical ear. I welcome any comments or questions. (next up will be b3 3 4 if anyone wishes to explain their use)


A  A   D   A   A   A   E  E  A   A   D  A  A  E   A   A


D  D  A  A  A   A   E  E   A   A   D   A   A   E  A  *A  

*E here sometimes

andrewjamesjunior - Posted - 05/17/2015:  07:43:47

Frankly, I can't believe the moderators allow Jerry to post on this forum at all. He's like an angry child on the playground going around poking kids for attention, then going home and killing ants with a magnifying glass. Moderators, please stop the madness of this textbook narcissist hijacking otherwise interesting discussions. 

fujers - Posted - 05/17/2015:  14:13:26

Andrew what's bothering you? Is it something I said? I say a lot of things and all I say I mean.

If there's something about me that you don't like just spit it out....I'm a big boy now. I didn't use to be but time caught me

If you don't like what I write...simple don't read it

If you don't like the music I play....again simple don't listen to it

You're a funny fellow. I mean one time you say nice things about me and the next thing you do is post what you did above.


You remind of a grouchy old man that forgot to put milk in his cereal before he ate. Am I close?

Or a crouchy old man who took the time to walk all the to the fishing hole and forgot his bait.....and had to walk all the back and take a nap.

Andrew, If I said anything to I'm sorry and I promise I will never do it can forget that promise stuff

The people that know me here on the hangout....last count was only one..I think... know I will fight for what is right. I've gotten into many battles won some lost some....some are still pending

I really don't think it would be in your best interest not to go this route

I'll tell you what your facing. Nothing really I stopped arguing Jan 1st this year and I fill so much better. Thanks DR Q

I'm glad you didn't say anything bad about my fiddle....I would have to come out of retirement for that one

I request that you stop posting this and move on to other subjects of interest

You are relatively new here. We watch, We listen We learn that's what fiddling is about right....and of course many other things....last count it was 477,078,894 things to learn.

Something new everyday!

I mean no harm to no one. Jerry

fiddlebut - Posted - 05/17/2015:  16:11:33


Originally posted by phiddlepicker


easy there superman...yer scaring the children



andrewjamesjunior - Posted - 05/17/2015:  16:24:21


The only nice thing I ever have had to say about you was about your fiddling, which does seem good. Congrats. 

As far as your posts are concerned, though, I think you're like a selfish kid on the beach who goes around kicking down other kids' sand castles. Sure, you try to help on paper, but really, it's for the betterment of your own sand castle. 

We are all on here to help or be helped, or to enjoy cordial discussions about fiddling. You barge into any conversation you see, and either offer some non-sequitur (like, "You don't need to learn vibrato," when someone is clearly interested in learning vibrator), or berate someone when their playing is not up to snuff. 

You clearly have some issues with drama which should be worked out between either you and a very talented therapist, or between you and the God of your choosing. But please, take a moment to rethink your position here on Fiddle Hangout. As I said, I really am amazed that the moderators have not blocked you, because it's really gotten ridiculous. 

fujers - Posted - 05/17/2015:  16:33:52

Those are strong words Andrew and I understand. I guess it would be best for me to bow out of discussions all together.

I think I'll now just post my music on...Sound Off that's what I'm here for anyway. Sorry I posted something's that don't seem right to you....they make perfect since to me

Yeah, I think I will. Jerry

andrewjamesjunior - Posted - 05/17/2015:  16:46:06

Good idea.

Maybe go back and take a look at what a nice thread this was before you hijacked it with your aggressive negativity. People are on here for enjoyment, not to work out personal vendettas. 

fujers - Posted - 05/17/2015:  17:05:04

Now you got my goat. How about taking a minute of your time and look at all I have done good. I have posted help files, my music and have always tried to be on the positive side of things.

Then you come in here with all your negative responses. We have enough negatively around hear already and we don't need you to further it along.

Further more, If you don't like what I have to I said before....don't read it!

I don't know where you come from nor does it matter. There's a thing around here called respect. If you give respect you will get respect. Right now you're sitting at zero. Jerry

andrewjamesjunior - Posted - 05/17/2015:  17:24:25

Wow. I guess I didn't realize how little self-awareness you have. I guess I should have suspected. Post on, Jerry! Seems like you need an audience. 


fujers - Posted - 05/17/2015:  17:44:36

How little self awareness huh. Have to have an audience I don't think so. You come in here thinking you know so much about the fiddle

I'll bet that you know everything there is to know about the fiddle don't you. You're a genius! I'm here to tell you you're not

There's more thing's to playing a fiddle than you'll ever already know that don't ya. I figured since you are a genius.

Playing the fiddle takes fingers you do have few don't you and you have to place them a certain areas you can get out a ruler to figure these out if you want to.

If insults is what you're after then I can dish a few. If learning is what you're after I can dish a few. There is no need for us to bicker back and forth we came here to learn. Jerry

andrewjamesjunior - Posted - 05/17/2015:  17:50:51

I thought you were going to bow out of discussions. 

fujers - Posted - 05/17/2015:  17:58:34

I didn't say I promised. But I'll try

fujers - Posted - 05/17/2015:  21:12:17

Let me tell you something else. I teach how not to do stupid things. Like how not to challenge people that could possibly know more than you. Go figure there are people that know more than what you do...never thought about that did ya.

Now I ain't the smartest kid on the block but I know how to fiddle. After two strokes and having to learn this thing two times not just once but two times. Can you tell me that your any better than me. No you can't

I do nothing but to help fiddlers on there journey. I would hope you would do the same. Jerry

fiddlebut - Posted - 05/17/2015:  21:27:24

You posted many examples of your fiddling, and some of it is pretty good.........

But......can you tell us....teach us how you play the fiddle like you do.....??

We're all here to discuss and share our ideas how we do it.....

fujers - Posted - 05/17/2015:  21:45:07

Henry, I'm trying to do the best I can to teach not very good so far.

There's elements here that want to believe in only what they believe

It's hard to go beyond ther're believe's and discover something new.

I am discovering something new every time I practice. Might be little things, but little things lead to bigger things.

I don't think that the FH is my best place to be. For now I'm just going to post in the Sound Off forum that's where
I'm most comfortable. Come see me when you can

andrewjamesjunior - Posted - 05/18/2015:  05:00:34


Originally posted by fujers

I don't think that the FH is my best place to be. For now I'm just going to post in the Sound Off forum that's where

I'm most comfortable. Come see me when you can

Thunderous applause!

Lee M - Posted - 05/18/2015:  05:10:22

Here are the Hangout Rules and guidelines.. Have you guys ever read them?  

  • Personal Attacks: If you don't agree with what someone posts, debate their post... not the person who posted it. Criticizing a concept is ok--criticizing the person is not.


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andrewjamesjunior - Posted - 05/18/2015:  05:30:39

Here are just a few of the ways that Jerry has violated the first rule, Personal Attacks. I call him out on this stuff, and draw analogies to his selfish behavior, because he must be stopped. 

You talk a big game. Now lets see how you play.

Henry, I would prefer that you just not post anything. I've already heard you and that was enough for a thousand lifetimes.

But I know how to fiddle...and you don't.

You said you have been playing some 43 or 44 years. Does it show? No

I would think after playing that many years you would have learned more....but you didn't....who's fault is that...yours



fujers - Posted - 05/18/2015:  08:44:12

Andrew, There you go posting the negative again. You forgot something though. The million and one positive posting's I've done. Always trying to post something good with respect. I'll give you enough rope to hang yourself. Nothing comes from negative...nothing. You go ahead and post what you might come back to bite you. Warning: Jerry

fiddlenbanjo - Posted - 07/24/2015:  21:45:49

Here's a pentatonic exercise I wrote out a few years ago on a similar thread.  It's a couple of common melodic patterns run through all 12 keys.  It's a good warmup or woodshed exercise.  If you play bluegrass or music with improvisation you'll probably recognize the fingerings. 

The exercise is written out in mandolin tab which is the easiest fiddle tab for me.  Even though I never use all 12 keys, I've found slogging through the exercise to be good for my ear as well as widening my "comfort zone".  If you're playing a country or bluegrass tune in a strange key, all you really need to do is to get in the pentatonic scale/grip/zone of that key and wing it from there. 



Edited by - fiddlenbanjo on 07/24/2015 21:49:04

bluesmode - Posted - 09/03/2015:  02:45:46

I like scales, modes and arpeggios, like Chops Butcher was saying. I like diminished & whole tone scales, among others. I like the modes, my fvourites are Lydian and Phyrgian, perhaps because they are less common and I like the feeling they generate over the right chord patterns. I like arpeggios, in particular the Locrian arp (min7b5) They have an 'outside' sound and can be used over any other mode, if the Locrian arp is in the correct key with the chosen mode. and I like working a lot of this stuff into a basic 12 bar blues. a lot of different things can be played over the IV chord and such.

I haven't posted on this site for 3 years or so, cuz I was interupted by a medical condition and off line for a while. This was the first thread I looked at.... seems quite lively!

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