Guitar Lessons

Guitar 101

Major and minor pentatonic scales, plus a blues scale

Pentatonic Scale..whether dealing with major or minor, you are only dealing with 5 notes, so it known as a 5 note scale.
The difference between major and minor pentatonic scales is simple. The answer depends on which note will be functioning as the root. Consequently the root will be determined by what you are playing.

Figure you will be dealing with a relative minor or a relative major. Both of which carry different tonalities.
Example : Take a C major and go up 6 degrees of the you have an Am. Take a G major and go up 6 degrees of the scale. Now you’ll have an Em.

Switching between the two.. Let’s look at the difference using A minor & A major.

A minor  ACDEG           1 b3 4 5 b7
A major  ABC#EF#       1 2 3 5 6

The intervals to the root are very different.

Switching between the two. This time in tab form.
This example starts in the A minor pentatonic form.


This example starts in the A major pentatonic scale, moving your pinky to the 5th fret as your fingers go down.


Blues Scale

Take a minor pentatonic scale and add 1 note and you have a blues scale. Just by adding one note you’ll give it color, that gives this scale it’s signiture sound.
The blue note will be in parenthesis. For the example I’d like to use the A minor petatonic to display this. I want to be clear that the blue note is not part of the minor pentatonic, so don’t get these scales mixed up. They are seperate, even though they look very similar.

e   l—-5————-8—-
B  l—-5————-8—-
G  l—-5—–7—–(8)—
D  l—-5——–7———
A  l—-5–(6)–7———
E   l—-5————8—–


Blues Scale Extension In A minor


Cool little blues lick in Am

e   l—-12-Pull off–10—-0——8–slide–10—0
B  l——————–10—–

Quick Tip !! A couple of the most widely used chords in blues is E7 & A7.


January 12, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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