How to play Pentatonic scales with guitar?

Svetlana February 02 2022

What is the Pentatonic scale?

The Pentatonic scale is a five-note scale made up of the notes: 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6. This makes it the perfect scale to use for beginner guitarists, as it is relatively easy to learn and memorize. The Pentatonic scale can be used in both major and minor keys, making it a versatile tool for creating melodies and solos. In this article, we will show you how to play the Pentatonic scale on your guitar.

Pentatonic means "five notes", so the Pentatonic scale is simply a five-note scale. It consists of the notes: 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6. The Pentatonic scale can be used in both major and minor keys. This makes it a versatile tool for creating melodies and solos.

What is a scale?

A scale is a group of musical notes that are played in sequence. Scales are used to create melodies and solos, as well as to harmonize chords. There are many different scales that can be used on the guitar, but the Pentatonic scale is one of the most basic and easy to learn.

If you wonder whether there are different types of scales, the answer is: Yes, there are major scales and minor scales, which differ in the third note of the scale. However, the Pentatonic scale can be used in both major and minor keys, so it's a great option for beginner guitarists.

Though there are many more scales guitarists should know, the Pentatonic scale is a great place to start. In the following sections, we will show you how to play the Pentatonic scale on your guitar in both major and minor keys.

Minor scale

That is the minor key. A minor scale is any scale that has a minor tonic. In other words, the first note of the scale is a minor chord. The minor scale can be used in both major and minor keys, but it has a darker, more melancholy sound than the major scale.

Major scale

So, on the contrary, the major scale is the scale that has a major tonic. The first note of the scale is a major chord. The major scale has a brighter, more cheerful sound than the minor scale.

What gives Pentatonic scale to your music?

But why do you need to try this Pentatonic scale? What benefit this minor Pentatonic scale gives to your sounding music? The answer is simple. This Pentatonic minor scale appears in all the music of different styles all over the world. You can find it in rock, metal, blues, country, and even pop music. Besides, it is very easy to learn and use for beginner guitarists.

Such scale can be used in improvisation because it gives a lot of opportunities to create new sounds. It is very melodic and harmonic. You can hear it in the music of such great guitarists as Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, and others. So, if you want to make your music more interesting and diverse, try using the Pentatonic scale.

In the following sections, we will show you how to play the Pentatonic scale on your guitar in both major and minor keys.

How to play guitar pentatonic scale?

Now that you know a little bit about the Pentatonic scale, let's learn how to play it on your guitar. In this section, we will show you two ways to play the Pentatonic scale: in its basic form, and in a bluesy variation.

Basic form

The basic form of the Pentatonic scale is simple to play. It consists of the notes: 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6. You can play this scale in any key by starting on the appropriate root note. For example, if you want to play the Pentatonic scale in the key of C Major, you would start on note C. If you want to play it in A minor, you would start on note A.

Feel your guitar, find the 6th string, and put your first finger at fret number 5. That is the root note of the scale, so it will always work for any key. From there, just follow the sequence of notes: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6. You can also practice playing the scale in reverse by starting on note 6 and following the sequence backward: 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Bluesy variation

The bluesy variation of the Pentatonic scale is a bit more challenging to play, but it sounds great when used in blues and rock solos. This variation consists of the notes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. You can play this scale in any key by starting on the appropriate root note. For example, if you want to play the bluesy Pentatonic scale in the key of C Major, you would start on note C. If you want to play it in A minor, you would start on note A.

The Pentatonic scale is a five-note scale that is often used in Blues and Rock music. There are two types of Pentatonic scales: major and minor. The major Pentatonic scale consists of the notes C, D, E, G, A. The minor Pentatonic scale consists of the notes A, C, D, E, G.

Both major and minor Pentatonic scales can be played on the guitar. In this lesson, we will show you how to mix major and minor Pentatonic scales together to create unique-sounding solos.

Minor Pentatonic

If you want to learn how to play minor Pentatonic with your guitar, here is a full instruction:

Step1. fret the 6th string at the 5th fret with your first finger. This is the root note of the scale, so it will always work for any key.

Step2. Play the note on the 5th string at the 3rd fret with your third finger.

Step3. Play the note on the 4th string at the 2nd fret with your fourth finger.

Step4. Play the note on the 3rd string at the 1st fret with your fifth finger.

Step5. Play the note on the 2nd string at the 2nd fret with your third finger.

Step6. Play the note on the 1st string at the 3rd fret with your fourth finger.

That's it! You've now learned how to play the minor Pentatonic scale in any key.

Now that you know how to play the Pentatonic scale in both major and minor keys, try using it in your guitar solos. The possibilities are endless!

Major Pentatonic

For those guitarists who want to try major pentatonic here is the instruction:

Step1. fret the 6th string at the 5th fret with your first finger. This is the root note of the scale, so it will always work for any key.

Step2. Play the note on the 5th string at the 7th fret with your third finger.

Step3. Play the note on the 4th string at the 5th fret with your fourth finger.

Step4. Play the note on the 3rd string at the 3rd fret with your fifth finger.

Step5. Play the note on the 2nd string at the 4th fret with your third finger.

Step6. Play the note on the 1st string at the 5th fret with your fourth finger.

So, with this guide, you will be able to play major pentatonic in any key. As with minor pentatonic, try using this scale in your guitar solos to get a new sound.

How to mix major and minor Pentatonic scales?

Now that you know how to play both major and minor Pentatonic scales, you may be wondering how to mix them together. This is a great way to create unique-sounding solos.

Here's how to do it:

  • Start by playing a phrase in minor Pentatonic. For example, try playing the scale in A minor.
  • Once you've played a few phrases in minor Pentatonic, add a phrase in major Pentatonic. For example, try playing the scale in C Major.
  • Repeat step 2 until you've played a solo that consists entirely of phrases in major and Minor Pentatonic scales.
  • Experiment with different combinations of major and minor Pentatonic scales to create even more unique-sounding solos.

Also, you can try to mix Minor and Major Pentatonic scales together with other scales, such as Blues and Dorian scales, to create even more interesting-sounding solos.

What are the popular songs for beginners with major or minor Pentatonic scales?

There are many great songs that can be played with minor Pentatonic scales. Some popular examples include "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd, "Brown Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison, and "All Along the Watchtower" by Jimi Hendrix.

Major Pentatonic scales are also commonly used in Blues and Rock music. Some popular examples include "Blue Suede Shoes" by Elvis Presley, "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry, and "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin.

As a beginner, you can start with easier songs and then gradually progress to harder songs that use major or minor Pentatonic scales. Just remember to have fun and don't get discouraged if you don't know how to play a song perfectly. With practice, you'll get there!

There are also some other scales for your guitar that can be related to Pentatonic scales. For example, Blues scale and Dorian mode are closely related to Minor Pentatonic while Mixolydian mode is closely related to Major Pentatonic. You can learn more about these scales by doing some research online or by taking guitar lessons from a qualified instructor.

In conclusion, Pentatonic scales are a great way to start learning the guitar. They are easy to use and can be applied to many different styles of music. With a little practice, you'll be able to play solos in any key using Pentatonic scales.

Scales exercises

For guitar players who want to improve their skills with scales, there are some exercises that can be helpful. Here are a few examples:

Start by playing a scale in one key. For example, play the A minor pentatonic scale. This exercise will help you to improve your accuracy and timing. Once you are comfortable with playing the scale in one key, try playing it in other keys. This will help to improve your understanding of the scale and how it relates to different keys.

Another exercise is to play a chord progression and then play a solo using a Pentatonic scale. This will help you to apply the scale to a real-world situation. You can also try creating your own chord progressions and solos using Pentatonic scales. This will allow you to develop your own style and sound.

As you can see, there are many different exercises that can help you to improve your skills with Pentatonic scales. Just be sure to practice regularly and have fun!

What are some other tips on how to play Pentatonic scales?

Here are a few additional tips for playing Pentatonic scales:

  1. When you are first starting out, it may be helpful to use a guitar tab or notation software to help you learn the scale. This will allow you to see the scale in writing and will make it easier to understand how the scale is related to other keys.
  2. Be sure to practice regularly. The more you practice, the better you will become at playing Pentatonic scales.
  3. Experiment with different combinations of chords and melodies. This will allow you to create your own unique-sounding solos.
  4. Listen to music that uses Pentatonic scales. This will help you to hear how the scales can be used in real-world situations.
  5. Practice in different keys. This will help you to become more comfortable with the scale in all keys.
  6. Be patient and have fun! Playing Pentatonic scales can be a lot of fun, but it takes time and practice to get good at it.

Conclusion

Pentatonic scales are quite versatile and can be used in a variety of styles of music. They are a great way to start learning the guitar, and with a little practice, you'll be able to play solos in any key using Pentatonic scales.

As a beginner, you can start with easier songs and then gradually progress to harder songs that use major or minor Pentatonic scales. Just remember to have fun and don't get discouraged if you don't know how to play a song perfectly. With practice, you'll get there!

There are also some other scales for your guitar that can be related to Pentatonic scales. For example, Blues scale and Dorian mode are closely related to Minor Pentatonic while Mixolydian mode is closely related to Major Pentatonic. You can learn more about these scales by doing some research online or by taking guitar lessons from a qualified instructor.