dansm's guitar scale lessons
the pentatonic minor scale
the pentatonic minor scale is a popular scale in rock and blues music. this page will tell you what the pentatonic minor scale looks like. from there, i will teach you the five modes of the pentatonic minor scale. so pick up your guitar and get ready to play some scales!
the pentatonic minor scale contains five different pitches (pent=five, tonic=tones). the pentatonic minor scale is made up of the following pattern of whole and 1 steps:




on standard musical notation, the e pentatonic minor scale looks like the diagram below. shown below that is the e pentatonic minor scale played on one string. notice the pattern of whole and 1 steps while you play this, and notice that there are no half steps:




this pattern of whole and 1 steps will be important for the rest of the pentatonic minor scale lessons. try to get an understanding of how it sounds and how it feels to your ears. don't necessarily memorize the pattern; memorizing will not help you learn. get a feeling of how it sounds and remember it that way. everything from here on will be in the key of e minor, just to provide continuity. move on to the first mode once you understand the pattern.
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