Scales Lesson 1: Introducing The Minor Pentatonic

Introduction

The minor pentatonic scale, is a five note scale. It is great for improvised solos or “riffs” and one of the most commonly used scales. Compared to the natural minor scale, it just omits the 2nd and 6th interval (but don’t worry if you don’t understand this yet, check our other lessons afterwards).

Move the first note (the root) to any fret to change the “key”. For example, starting the scale on the fifth fret of the E string (A) will make the scale’s key A minor. Try playing this over an A Minor Chord.

Minor Pentatonic Tab

This is the Minor pentatonic scale, in the key of A Minor

e |------------------------------------------5--8--5----------------------------------|
B |-----------------------------------5--8-------------8--5---------------------------|
G |----------------------------5--7---------------------------7--5--------------------|
D |---------------------5--7----------------------------------------7--5--------------|
A |--------------5--7-----------------------------------------------------7--5--------|
E |-------5--8------------------------------------------------------------------8--5--|

 

Now take a look at the scale below:

Blues Minor Tab

This is the Minor blues scale, in the key of A Minor

e |------------------------------------------5--8--5----------------------------------|
B |-----------------------------------5--8-------------8--5---------------------------|
G |----------------------------5-7-8-------------------------8--7--5------------------|
D |---------------------5--7-----------------------------------------7--5-------------|
A |--------------5-6-7-----------------------------------------------------7-6-5------|
E |-------5--8-------------------------------------------------------------------8--5-|

This is the Blues scale, very similar to the minor pentatonic. The Blues scale is commonly used in Blues music but also a wide variety of Rock music and solos. For an extra bluesy sound, play this over an A Major chord, it will also fit nicely over an A Minor chord or C Major.

Homework Task

Compose a basic riff within the minor pentatonic scale:

e |-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B |-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
G |-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
D |-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
A |-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E |-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

 

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