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The Pentatonic Minor Scale

We now have all the intervals to create the primary scale of the Native American flute: the root note, the minor third, the perfect fourth from the root, the perfect fifth from the root, the minor seventh from the root, and the octave from the root. This scale is well-known as the pentatonic minor scale.

Most contemporary six-hole Native American flutes will play the pentatonic minor scale with the fingerings:

 Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed  Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open  Finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open  Finger diagram closed closed closed open open open  Finger diagram closed open closed open open open  Finger diagram open open closed open open open 

The Pentatonic Minor Scale

On most contemporary five-hole Native American flutes the fingerings are Five hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed Five hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed open Five hole finger diagram closed closed closed open open Five hole finger diagram closed closed open open open Five hole finger diagram closed open open open open Five hole finger diagram open open open open open. It sounds like this:

Pentatonic Minor Scale

Clint Goss. E minor flute of Spalted Maple by Barry Higgins. E minor flute of Spalted Maple by Barry Higgins

These are the notes of the pentatonic minor scale written in Nakai Tablature:

Pentatonic Minor Scale written in Nakai Tab notation

On a piano, the scale would contain the notes:

Scale with root, minor third, perfect fourth, perfect fifth, minor seventh, and octave notes

... and has the scale steps 3-2-2-3-2.

 

 
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