Pentatonic Scales

The Pentatonic Scale is a scale consisting of 5 notes (Penta =5, tonic = tones). There is a Minor Pentatonic Scale (which I'll show you first), and there is a Major Pentatonic Scale. You may ask why you should use a scale with such a small amount of notes. The reason is that Pentatonic Scales provide a small margin for error when you are playing over a chord progression of the chords that go with the scale (the chords are shown in the chart below). Another reason to use the scale is if you are looking to find that rock sound. Jimi Hendrix used this scale more than any other. Now, it is hard to find a rock song without pentatonics in it. B.B. King also uses the Pentatonic Scale. He uses the Minor Pentatonic scale for its bluesy quality. Enough chit-chat, let's get to the info.

You should learn the patterns below all the way up the neck so you can use this scale at any time when you are playing. I'll go into more detailed uses of the Pentatonic Scales in later lessons, but for now just learn the scales.

Minor Pentatonic Scale

Description: A Bluesy sounding scale
Quality: Bluesy
Musical Styles: Blues, Rock, Heavy Metal, Jazz, Fusion
Chords: Minor, Minor Sevenths, Dominant Sevenths
Intervals: (W - Whole Step, H - Half Step)
Root -b3-4-5-b7-Octave
W+H-W-W-W+H-W

 

Full Pattern: D# Minor Pentatonic Scale

Full Pattern: D# Minor Pentatonic Scale

 

Major Pentatonic Scale

Description: Country Flavored Scale
Quality: Bright Sounding
Musical Styles: Country, Blues, Rock, Jazz, Fusion
Chords: Major, Major Sevenths, Dominant Sevenths
Intervals: (W - Whole Step, H - Half Step)
Root -2-3-5-6-Octave
W-W-W+H-W-W+H

Full Pattern: E Major Pentatonic Scale

Full Pattern: E Major Pentatonic Scale

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