The pentatonic scale pattern appearing on this page begins here. When you play back down the scale, you'll need to change position again, when you reach the third string. The pentatonic scale is used both for soloing, and for basing song riffs around. I'm going to show you each position of this scale and break it up a little so it will be easier to visualize. Then, shift your index finger back to the fifth fret on the first and second strings. Keep doing this until you can play the scale pattern by memory. The two should sound like they fit. One of the beauties of the pentatonic scale on guitar is that the major and minor versions of the scale have the same shape, they're just played in different locations on the fretboard. Play this scale slowly and evenly, backward and forwards, until you've memorized the pattern. Let’s play the lower octave version of the A minor pentatonic scale, beginning on the low E string (the one closest to you, if you’re looking down at your guitar). Note: To use this pattern as a minor pentatonic scale, the root of the scale is played by your fourth finger on the sixth string. This 12th and 14th fret pattern changes once again on the G string before switching things up yet again on the B string. Learning the major pentatonic scale is easy once you've learned the minor pentatonic scale - the two scales share all the same notes! You’ll play the D note on the seventh fret with your pinky. The two notes removed are the 2nd and 6th intervals. Note: To use this pattern as a minor pentatonic scale, the root of the scale is played by your first finger on the fourth string. Here is why it was important to learn the pentatonic scale on one string. Now, play the scale back down the fretboard, until you arrive again at the fifth fret. Then, you’ll play two notes on each string, moving across the fretboard. Experimentation and practice are the keys here. In order to play the fifth position of the minor pentatonic scale, count up to the fifth note of the scale on the sixth string. Now, try playing the scale again, except this time, when you get to the 17th fret, try playing up the scale one note higher. browse Fender Play's chord library, learn about chord types, and find tips on how to master them. Take a look at the diagram below to see the similarities and differences between playing the A minor pentatonic scale in the 5th position versus the 12th position.Then, play it and hear the difference for yourself. To start, place your first (index) finger on the 5th fret of the low E string. All Rights Reserved. If you're not a member yet, sign up for a free Fender Play trial! What if you wanted to take the five notes in the A minor pentatonic scale and expand them into full chords? The A minor pentatonic scale is a versatile scale that’s a useful asset for beginners looking to expand their arsenal. Fender PlayBLACK FRIDAY SALE: Get 50% off an Annual Plan.UNLOCK THIS OFFER. These diagrams represent the neck of your guitar. You're comfortable with some scale memorization. Once you get comfortable using the pentatonic scale patterns, you'll want to try and start incorporating them into your solos, to allow you to solo in one key all over the fretboard of the guitar. Now, we're going to use the pattern we just learned for the minor pentatonic scale, except in this case, we'll start on the second note from the pattern. So, slide your finger up the string two frets to the seventh fret, and play that note. This corresponds to the first note on the bottom left of the accompanying diagram. If you're having trouble, try playing the root note, sliding up on the sixth string to the second note, and playing the second position pattern. Stretch your pinkie to the 8th fret of the same string. This is a G minor pentatonic scale because the first note we play (sixth string, third fret) is a G note. Try sliding from note to note in the scale, or bending notes, to help find inspiration. Like the C major scale, the A minor pentatonic scale contains no sharps or flats. For this lesson, we’ll learn how to play using charts. BLACK FRIDAY SALE: Get 50% off an Annual Plan. Now, slide up two frets, and play that note. You should be at the 17th fret (the note "A"). The numbered dots show where to place your fingers on the fretboard to play the scale. On the B string, you’ll play the 13th fret, followed by the 15th. You've been trying to play some "lead guitar", and are looking to learn more. Slide up three frets, and play that note. Play both and listen to the differences in tone. Above you see the scale boxes for the minor pentatonic scale as they progress up the guitar neck. Now, let’s play the A minor pentatonic scale in a higher register. To play the minor pentatonic scale, start with your first finger on the fifth fret of the sixth string. The first position of the pentatonic minor scale that we'll learn, will be the A minor pentatonic scale … For the shorter gap between 5 and 7, using your index finger and ring finger should feel more natural. Then, play an A major chord, and follow it with the A major pentatonic scale. You're now playing an A major pentatonic scale. This differs from many "traditional" scales, which often have seven (or more) notes. Slide up three final frets, and play that note. With C major (the relative major of A minor) being one of the most commonly used in popular music, the A minor pentatonic scale provides a nice, basic template for lead guitarists to create riffs and improvise solos. The minor scale sounds more blues-y, whereas the major pentatonic has a more country sound. We are going to learn the scale in the key of A, so, the A minor pentatonic scale. Once you're comfortable with the fingering, try sliding back and forth between the A minor and A major versions of the scale using this mp3 of a 12-bar blues in A as your background rhythm track. To play an A minor pentatonic scale in the fourth position, start at "A" on the fifth fret, then count up three frets to the second note of the scale, then up two frets to the third note of the scale, then up two frets to the 12th fret, where we'll begin to play the above pattern. When you've finished playing the scale forwards, play it in reverse. Start with the root note of A, then play C, D, E, G, and then a higher A. We’ll still start on the low E string, but instead will use the 12th fret as a starting point. You've just played an A major pentatonic scale. The minor pentatonic scale is quite possibly the most used and, suffice it to say, over-used scale on the guitar. Those five notes are: These five notes can also be found among the seven notes making up the previously mentioned C major scale. The D minor (Dm) chord contains the root note of D, the minor 3rd of F, and the perfect 5th of A.