Fun with Pentatonics
The pentatonic scale is a versatile and easy scale to practice. It’s a great scale for learning how to improvise and compose as well and for ‘jamming’.
What is the Pentatonic Scale
It is a five-note scale (in Greek Pente=five and Tonic=note). Though there are a number of different five-note (pentatonic) scales we will focus here on the minor and major pentatonic.
The formula for this scale is as follows:
minor 3rd – tone – tone – minor third – tone
Eg E minor Pentatonic = E – G – A – C – D
This forms a popular pattern on the guitar that incorporates all of the open strings in the first position as shown here:
You can paly any other pentatonic scale by deciding on a starting note on the 6th string and then using this pattern, for example G minor pentatonic:
The formula for major pentatonic is:
tone – tone – – minor third – tone – minor 3rd
Eg G – A – C – D – E
Here is the scale pattern in the first position
and if you start on the 6th string:
How to practice
Here are a few pentatonic patterns you can practice: