The Major Pentatonic Scale On Guitar (And Minor)

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Guitar pentatonic scales are among the easiest to learn. Do you intend to improve your soloing? Then start off with them.

1. What’s a pentatonic scale?

Pentatonic means 5. Does that signify there are 5 notes in it? Yup. As minor and major scales, the 1st, 3rd and 5th degrees are still here. But 2 notes are lacking. Which ones? Well, that depends. For the major pentatonic scale, the fourth and seventh are missing. For the minor, it’s the second and the sixth.

Are there mediant and dominant? Not really. All degrees sound nice when played. When you’ll try it out, you’ll see.

1.1. Major Pentatonic scale.

Here’s a representation of a G Pentatonic Major scale:

G – A – B – D – E

G Major Pentatonic Scale
W = Whole Step = 2 semitones – W+H = Whole step + Half-step = 3 semitones

Know that it will always be this pattern: W W W+H W. The frets on your guitar are here to separate semitone intervals. For example, from case 1 to 2, there’s only 1 semitone. And from case 0 to 12? One octave.

1.2. Minor Pentatonic Scale.

Now let’s see an E Pentatonic Minor scale:

E – G – A – B -D

E Minor Pentatonic Scale

The pattern will always be W+H W W W+H.

It’s essential to get how pentatonic scales function before moving on to the next part. Are you confused? Re-read from the start. I will also make an article on scale explaining more in details.

2. Guitar Pentatonic Scales Positions

So what are the different positions on the fretboard for a G Pentatonic Major Scale? Let’s first look at your fingerboard from case 1 to 12:

G Major Pentatonic Scale
Yellow = Tonic
Red = Other degrees

How many positions on the finger board? 5. The first one is probably the easiest:

G Pentatonic Major Scale Position 1
1 = Index / 2 = Major

The digits designate your fingers. It shows you how to place them on the different cases.

Do you want to see the other positions? It’s available here.

3. Other scales.

As pointed out before, knowing your fretboard is huge. It will develop an array of new possibilities for you. This website will help you a lot in that matter.

To switch to the other guitar scales articles, click on the following links :

2 comments

  1. Hi! Very interesting post. I guess I have to take up my old guitar and start playing again 🙂
    Btw, do you know any good places where you can learn playing guitar online?
    //Patrik

    1. Hi Patrik. I’m glad you found this post interesting. You can start learning here, you will have access to a few beginner lessons. If you need any help as well, I can provide you some advice. Otherwise, you will find tons of guitar lessons online, on YouTube or other places.

      I recommend you justinguitar.com if you want a great online guitar teacher.

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