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PENTATONIC SCALE

Introduction: The pentatonic scale consists of 5 different notes (hence, the name pentatonic). The major form consists of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 6th notes of the full scale (the full scale contains 7 different notes, plus the octave). The minor form is a "relative" of the major form and consists of the same notes, except they are arranged in a different order when played 4 frets lower (i.e., in pitch as opposed to direction) on the fretboard.

Major
Minor

Chord Compatibility

The major and minor pentatonic scale can be played over the Major Triad and Minor Triad chord family respectively. The major pentatonic also works well with the Major 7th chord family while the minor pentatonic works well with Minor 7th chord family.


Legend

vertical lines = strings (thickest line represents low E)
horizontal lines = frets
numbers = fingering

1 = thumb
2 = index finger
3 = middle finger
4 = ring finger
5 = pinky

Red numbers = Root note of the scale. For example, play the major form with your middle finger (3) on the 6th string, 8th fret for a C major pentatonic scale. Play the minor form with your index finger (2) on the 6th string, 5th fret for an A relative minor pentatonic scale. You can slide these scales up or down the fretboard to play in any key.


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