Pentatonic Guitar Scales

One of the most important pentatonic guitar scales is the pentatonic minor scale. On the guitar, this scale just lines up so beautifully, it’s perfect. Two notes per string, and lined up perfectly along a single fret as well, you can’t really ask for a more simple scale pattern.

The great thing about the pentatonic guitar scales is that you can play them over literally anything you want… as long as you’re in the right key! Pentatonic guitar scales have only 5 notes in them, as opposed to the diatonic scales which have 7, and the notes that are left out are the ones that typically cause the most clashes. Compare this to the chromatic guitar scale which uses all twelve notes!

One of the most common mistakes that people make is thinking that you must change scale patterns every single time the chords in the song change. That simply isn’t true… most especially when you’re using pentatonic guitar scales. If you take the pentatonic minor scale pattern taught in the video below for example, you can play right over all the chords in the key, and it will sound great. Guaranteed. That’s what makes these scales so cool.

To really learn your guitar scales properly, try out the 3 day free trial of our premium member’s area; it is full of much longer, in depth lessons that will really straighten out your guitar scales. Signup here.

Pentatonic Guitar Scales: Minor

Watch Pentatonic Guitar Scales on Youtube


Tags: , , , , ,

13 Responses to “Pentatonic Guitar Scales”

  1. mikehathaway April 22, 2011 at 6:05 am #

    thanks for the lesson colin. how about more in different minor keys. mike

    • Jonathan July 15, 2011 at 9:23 am #

      Hey Mike, to get the other keys, simply slide the scale pattern to a different root note. IE instead of starting it on the 5th fret for A minor, start it on the 7th fret, and you’ll get Bm.

  2. Alejandro August 24, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

    Hey Colin.
    I’ve seen some of your videos and I’m just wondering if we could have a closer view to your fingers

  3. Alejandro August 24, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

    I’m practicing on the minor pentatonic with some slow backing tracks, but for some reason I always finish with my fourth finger rather than the second one

  4. Jonathan September 1, 2011 at 8:46 am #

    Yo Alejandro… in the standard pentatonic minor pattern, you SHOULD be finishing with your fourth finger… so you’re doing it right! 🙂

  5. jephas August 16, 2012 at 5:11 am #

    i find it difficult to learn because the videos skips.
    please help me i really want to learn playing guitar

  6. Vuthy In August 22, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

    I could not move my fingers as quick as I want, how to deal with it?

    • Jonathan August 23, 2012 at 7:04 am #

       Just start as slowly as you need to… and practice at that speed until you find yourself improving. Rome wasn’t built in a day 🙂

  7. Rtb242002 December 19, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

    I need to know what your rip is on that…what finger anoter words…on what fret

  8. Ann Jacobs March 2, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

    Colin, you’re right on the money with what you are showing us -- thank you!!  Can you come up with a small DVD course and hard copy Booklet of awesome chord progressions (for acoustic too)?  It’s a bitch playing up on the short hairs with an acoustic.  It’s fine for electric, but not for us acoustic gals & guys.  Thanks Colin -- you rock!
    Ann J.

  9. Linda Fogarty July 2, 2015 at 1:56 pm #

    im learning the minor pentatonic scale in all five positions. Would that be considered the third position then? I’m a bit confused still about some aspects of the minor pentatonic. It’s been challenging try to memorize these positions, however, I’ll be there soon. The major scales will be even harder I imagine.

    • Jonathan July 14, 2015 at 11:33 am #

      Hi Linda, I personally would not even bother learning the major pentatonic scales for now, there’s really not much need for them. Just use the relative minor scale and you’ll be fine. It’s better to put your efforts into learning to make music with one or two patterns first, and then later on begin adding all the different variations…


  1. The Pentatonic Guitar Scale | My Blog - January 6, 2012

    […] Right after reading this article you should get grab your individual guitar and provides this pentatonic guitar scale a new […]

Leave a Reply