For example, which power chords can be used over C minor pentatonic scale?

closed as off-topic by Jacob Swanson, Neil Meyer, Tim, Shevliaskovic, MrTheBard Jul 24 '15 at 11:16

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions about transcribing or finding a particular song, including identifying chords, notes, key and time signatures, or similar elements, are off-topic since they are rarely useful to future readers." – Jacob Swanson, Neil Meyer, Tim, Shevliaskovic, MrTheBard
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • I don't see how this is "extremely opinion-based". It's a relatively clear question, which can be answered in a clear way. – Matt L. Jul 25 '15 at 7:40
  • @MattL. Clarity and subjectivity are entirely orthogonal concepts. – Matthew Read Jul 30 '15 at 4:11
  • @MatthewRead: With "can be answered in a clear way" I meant that there is one correct answer and there's absolutely zero room for subjectivity (if one made the obvious comment that passing chords don't count, because they play no role harmonically). It's just about enumerating all power chords for which the C minor pentatonic scale is part of their corresponding chord scales. People here are very quick at closing questions for obviously wrong reasons, which shows that they didn't understand the question. – Matt L. Jul 30 '15 at 9:09

The minor pentatonic scale is just the minor scale without two notes (the 2nd scale degree and the 6th). Any harmony that you can create with the notes of the minor scale also work for the pentatonic scale.

So all 6 natural power chords in C minor (C5, Eb5, F5, G5, Ab5, and Bb5) you can use with the minor pentatonic scale as there is at least one note in the scale to harmonize with them even if it is not the root as in the case of the Ab5. It's not even a stretch to include D5 even though it doesn't naturally exist in this scale as it can easily be borrowed.

Another thing to note in general a lot of players like to weave in and out of parallel major and minor pentatonic scales when soloing and may even play a major pentatonic scale over what is a more minor harmony and a minor pentatonic scale over what is a more major harmony. You can find this all the time in solos by Jimmy Page and Angus Young. It's worth trying out once you get the basics down.

  • "... play a major pentatonic scale over what is a more minor harmony ..." I agree about the other way around (as also mentioned in your answer), but I'm not sure what you mean here. The way I understand it, it's not true. You can't play A major pentatonic over an A minor chord if you want to be hired a second time. Of course you can play 4 out of those 5 notes, but that has nothing to do with the major pentatonic scale, and it only comes from the fact that these 4 notes are also part of the dorian scale. – Matt L. Jul 24 '15 at 8:59

Power chords (As in Root-fifth-octave) don't have a minor or major quality (they lack a third). Buuuut, you could imply a major or minor tonality by following the scale degrees.

The Cm pentatonic scale is C Eb F G Bb. If you want to stick to pentatonic, you could use any of the above. For example, C5-F5-G5 would do a I-IV-V progression, which is super common in many styles of music. Playing an Eb5 would imply something minor, as C-Eb is a minor third interval

  • Can't I use all the chords from C natural minor with pentatonic? That way I'll have 7 power chords? – Lena Rothstein Jul 23 '15 at 23:55
  • 1
    Of course! You could do for example D5-G5-C5 (which is ii-V-I) I was talking about pentatonic since it was the object of your question. – fp123 Jul 24 '15 at 0:08

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.