Blusician

Putting Scales Together — Berklee, CAGED, Pentatonic — Major and Minor

Written on January 14, 2016   By   in Uncategorized

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I initially learned the CAGED major scales and how those tied to pentatonic scales, then took some classes at Berklee. Berklee teaches scales in a different manner, by pretty much making you know the fretboard without using patterns that fit. I got through that just fine, but when I solo to Blues, I really fall back on the pentatonic scales (based on CAGED) often and needed to rationalize how to move between my Berklee scales and pentatonic scales in both major and minor, so here is what I have come up with. First, the major scales:
Berklee Major Mapped CAGED Pentatonic

This works out great now as now I can just memorize which Berklee scale applies to which pentatonic, and inherently providing root not association, since I already know root note positions with the scale patterns from Berklee studies.
Now, it gets tricky when all this turns minor scale. With CAGED, you could just move up a pattern and that would be minor. Berklee did not teach it so clearly and instead pushed up to flatten 3rd, 6th, and 7th accordingly during modes studies. While this was an educational and challenging exercise, I still wanted a methodology.
So here is the minor scale conversion:
Berklee Minor Mapped CAGED Pentatonic

Analysis shows that if you memorize the Berklee patterns (1, 1A, 2, 3, 4), then CAGED Major patterns would be 3, 1, 4, 2, 1A. So, the C pattern would apply to Berklee pattern 3, the A pattern would apply to Berklee pattern 1, etc. If you want to play Aeolian or minor with the same scales, the Berklee patterns shift one over just like the relevant pentatonic patterns. So, the CAGED minor patterns would become Berklee pattern ordered 1A, 3, 1, 4, 2. The tricky part is that while the patterns change, the roots do not!!

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