I know how to play a blues pentatonic but i'd like to try a pentatonic more with a rock sound. What are the best pentatonics?
The "blues scale" is just a minor pentatonic scale with a
#4 (depending on how you want to spell the half step between the 4th and 5th scale degrees, I think most use
A lot of classic hard rock actual uses the flat fifth. Welcome to the Jungle and Jamie's Cryin come to mind. It's one of the evolutionary links between rock and blues.
But if you want a rock style that moves away from that blues origin, try a plain minor pentatonic scale. Basically, omitting the
b5 removes the characteristic tone that makes the bluesy sound.
IMO you can use either minor or major pentatonic in rock music. It all depends on the specific rock style.
I use a scale that is A/C/D/E/G/A/C/D/E/G/A/B# but I don't know if it is called a minor pent
A C D E G A part of that is a minor pentatonic scale.
B# at the end would be clearer as
C natural but that is another matter.
The five tones
A C D E G are what make it penta-tonic. Penta means five.
A technical definition would give the intervals above the starting note, the tonic.
- start on some tonic, that's the first scale degree
- second scale degree is a minor third above the tonic
- third scale degree is a perfect fourth above the tonic
- fourth scale degree is a perfect fifth above the tonic
- fifth scale degree is a minor seventh above the tonic
You may need some time to learn the technical terms, but this is the music theory way of describing the minor pentatonic scale.
Not sure what constitutes 'blues pentatonic' - maybe minor pent? But in general use in rock is that minor pent. Along with the major pent. which is often used alongside its partner.
The same goes for the actual 'Blues' scales, and their notes. Both minor and major blues notes are played in a lot of that style of music, mixing and matching. The more notes available, the merrier!
If you play the so, la, do, re, mi (like D,E,G,A,B in G- major) above the chords of a key that's a minor third lower (in this case E7) you have a pentatonic scale that fits well as blues or rock scale to this harmony: we have D=7th, E= root, G= minor 3rd, A= 4th, B= 5th. (you can bend the A to a b5 and create another blue note.)