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The Basic Scale
Using the key of E as an example, the notes of the major scale are E, F#, G#, A, B, C#, D# and again the tonic, E. To make this a minor scale, the 3rd, 6th and 7th notes of the scale are lowered by one-half step yielding E, F#, G, A, B, C, D and again the tonic, E. To further boil this down to a minor pentationic scale, use only the first, third, fourth, fifth and seventh notes followed by repeating the tonic on top yielding E, G, A, B, D and again the tonic E.
Referring to the chart below, the black circles are holes that are covered with your finger(s), the white circles are holes that are open. You will see that the third hole from the top stays covered all the time.
|E major scale|
|E minor scale|
|E minor pentatonic scale|
|Fingering the Flute|
This is what a pentatonic scale on the Native American flute sounds like. From Waking Spirits Flutes.
Listen to Carlos Nakai play a simple variation of the basic scale. From Flutopedia.