Primary Music Theory
  Five diatonic positions

   Pentatonic scale in five diatonic positions
    Transitions between diatonic positions


 
 
The structure of the Diatonicism was discussed in the part "Diatonicism. Tonality". We have taken the G Major scale, arranged it on the E string and built corresponding modes from every degree of this scale. This way we have covered a part of the bass neck (from the second to the seventeenth fret) with notes in one tonality. In this part we will continue to examine the arrangement of the Diatonicism on the four string bass neck. Having extended every mode to the end of the position, we will get seven positions, corresponding to diatonic modes. But under the careful consideration it turns out, that diatonic modes, which are in half tone relation (the Phrygian Minor - the Lydian Major and the Locrian Minor - the Ionian Major), get into one position. Actually, only the tonic changes in these positions, the fingering remains the same. As a result, we get five diatonic positions instead of seven diatonic modes. These five positions are due to be examined. Firstly because these include entirely the tonality, secondly, all tonalities have the same structure, and these five diatonic positions exist in every tonality.
First of all you have to learn every diatonic position separately. Only then you should start next exercises to combine diatonic positions. There is a simple rule of crossing to the adjacent position. The whole point is that, if the interval (on the chosen for the transition string) is a whole step, we pass right away after having played the note on this string. If the interval on the transition string is a half step we have to play it and then pass to the next position. Stated below exercises are composed considering these rules.

The pentatonic scale consists of five notes. To play these five notes easily over the instrument's neck, we will scrutinize the pentatonic scale in five diatonic positions.

   Major-Locrian position in keys of G || Em
  Dorian position in keys of G || Em
   Phrygian-Lydian position in keys of G || Em
   Mixolydian position in keys of G || Em
   Natural Minor position in keys of G || Em
   Transition between Major-Locrian and Dorian positions
   Transition between Dorian and Phrygian-Lydian positions
   Transition between Phrygian-Lydian and Mixolydian positions
   Transition between Mixolydian and Natural Minor positions
   Transition between Natural Minor and Major-Locrian positions
Pentatonic scale in Major-Locrian position
   Pentatonic scale in Dorian position
Pentatonic scale in Phrygian-Lydian position
Pentatonic scale in Mixolydian position
Pentatonic scale in Natural Minor position
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