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-The Parallel Major and minor scales share the same Scale Shape & Tonic.  This is important as it is the Tonic note which defines the scale.  This Tonic note is the focal point of the scale and the note of resolution.   It is the “Home Base” of a solo and you must know its location within the scale while improvising so that you can exploit it to give the scale a Major or minor sound.

The PARALLEL is an important Scale which can be easily located by simply shifting the minor Pentatonic Scale “3 Frets Down” or the Major Pentatonic Scale “3 Frets Up”.

The scale pattern remains exactly the same as does the Tonic note and when played produces the Major Pentatonic scale.

Take the Am Pentatonic Scale shown on top:

Parallel Major and minor ScalesFig.1. The “A minor Pentatonic Scale”(top) is moved 3 frets down to find the “A Major Pentatonic Scale”(bottom)
The “A Major Pentatonic Scale” is played off the 5th fret “A Note” using the Pinky.
The “A Major” Pentatonic Scale is the “Parallel Major” scale of the “A minor” Pentatonic Scale.
Both scales use the same SHAPE.
The minor Scale begins on its Tonic “A note” (6th string shown in green) using the Index Finger.
The Major Scale begins  on it’s Tonic “A note” (6th string shown in green) with the Pinky.

Video 1. The “A minor” and it’s Parallel “A Major” Pentatonic Scales played with their Tonic Chords.

Video 2. Here’s a common Country riff which uses notes from the A Major Pentatonic scale.
Note: The 3 finger roll on the 5th fret uses the Middle Finger which is not a note of the Major Pentatonic scale.
This note fits in because it leads up to the next note (much the way a slide would) and is known as a Passing Note.

-Note: The PARALLEL major and minor Scales are often incorrectly called RELATIVE Scales.  Be aware that they are not.  If you are still unsure then review the previous post about Relative Scales.


 

 

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