The formula for forming this scale is W+H, W, W, W+H, W (whole and a half step, whole step, whole step, whole and a half step, whole step). It is derived from the natural minor scale. Because it’s a minor scale, it follows the following pattern of whole & half-steps: If we apply this formula to the chromatic intervals on the guitar, you can see how the minor scale is built. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here. This site contains affiliate links. A minor pentatonic contains scale degrees 1, b3, 4, 5, and b7. I have a whole lesson on extending the pentatonic scale, but for this lesson I’m just going to focus on one extension pattern spanning three pentatonic positions. Playing Over Minor Chords. Using the scale musically helps you to further understand the scale and prevents you from getting stuck in a rut playing straight up and down the scale patterns. As an Amazon Associate and Guitar Tricks affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.This helps cover costs of maintaining this website. If you are stuck in the pentatonic box then this is the way out of it. The second A minor pentatonic position connects to the first position via the following notes/intervals: As you can see, the second position contains two root notes, found on the 7th fret of the 4th string and the 10th fret of the 2nd string, forming a common octave shape. The tab for the lick is below. On the 8th fret of string 5, the ♭6 (F note) is played, which is part of the parent A minor scale. In this lesson we’ll take a deep dive into the scale and explore some examples of its many uses. The A minor scale is a 7-note, diatonic scale made up of the notes A, B, C, D, E, F, & G. It’s the only minor scale that doesn’t contain any sharps or flats. You may nave noticed this lick contains one note that’s not part of the minor pentatonic scale. As the name implies, a pentatonic scale is a scale made up of five (penta) notes (tonic). The major pentatonic scale contains 5 notes of the major scale, and the minor pentatonic scale contains 5 notes of the minor scale. The A minor pentatonic scale is one of the most widely used guitar scales of all, particularly in the blues genre. Note that the fingerings shown in the diagrams below are recommended based on how these scales shapes are typically used in music. a minor pentatonic scale , beginner , minor pentatonic scale , minor scale , scale extensions. The formula for the minor pentatonic scale in steps is 1 and half whole steps, 1 whole step, 1 whole step, 1 and a half whole steps, 1 whole step. A shape for the C major pentatonic scale can be: *Notes played: C, D, E, G, A. However, we can combine these notes into note groupings to form memorable scale patterns, or positions. It’s a pretty basic lick, but it gives you an idea of how the scale extension can be used in context. The part of the solo we’re going to look at uses the fourth position of the A minor pentatonic scale and is played over the Am chord. This note can clash, but you can bend the minor third up a half step to a major third, which is a common tactic by blues guitarists. To find out more about cookies, privacy and how we use advertising, please read our Advertising Disclaimer, Contact Info - Privacy Policy - Cookie Policy, Copyright © 2007 - 2020 Learn more about Mailchimp’s privacy practices here. The diagram below shows all positions of the A minor pentatonic scale connected across the entire fretboard. It’s the opening lick of the guitar solo. Start and finish on the root notes. Since pentatonic scales contain 5 notes, we need to remove two from the minor scale in order to get the minor pentatonic. The additional tone, scale-degree four, is the simple-interval equivalent of tension eleven, which is always available as a tension on a minor seventh chord. Click on the required key for scale notes and fret position diagrams in each key, Pentatonic Scale Fluency: Available on Kindle and Paperback, Master the minor pentatonic scale using the whole fretboard, If you are stuck in the pentatonic box then this is the way out of it. This lick uses almost all of the notes from the extension and can be played over an A minor chord progression. Use the minor pentatonic scale over minor chords. So now that you know the notes, intervals, and scale positions of the A minor pentatonic, let’s start applying it in a musical context. The minor pentatonic scale has a minor 3rd (or b3) while the major chord as a major third. Alternatively, you could use the middle finger in place of the index on the notes played on the 8th fret of the 6th, 2nd, and 1st strings. Root notes help provide a reference point to quickly identify and navigate between scale positions. We looked at how the scale was built, dissected each position of the scale on the fretboard, and took a look at some real world uses of the scale. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';fnames[4]='FREQ';ftypes[4]='radio';fnames[3]='FLOCATION';ftypes[3]='text';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Tags: You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. The third position of the A minor pentatonic scale connects to the second with the following notes/intervals: The third position again contains two root notes, found on the 2nd and 5th strings. Likewise, if you start in the first position, you can transition to the second position to finish out the scale. The notes for the A minor pentatonic scale are found all over the fretboard, as shown in the diagram below. The tab for the lick is below. That is, a natural minor scale without degrees 2 and 6. This scale is most commonly broken up into what's known as the five pentatonic positions as shown in the diagrams below. We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. The chord progression over which the lick is being played is straight from the key of A minor: Am – G – F. This lick is played using position 1 of the A minor pentatonic scale. When going through each scale position, it’s important to note the location of the root notes. The essential guide to complete fretboard mastery at Udemy, This website earns advertising commissions. Sometimes it's easier to think of a major pentatonic scale that starts and ends on degree 6. Minor Pentatonic Scale Formula: 1 b3 4 5 b7; C Minor Pentatonic Scale Diagrams ... Master the minor pentatonic scale using the whole fretboard. The next example comes from Buddy Guy’s take on the Bill Withers classic, Ain’t No Sunshine. The minor pentatonic scale is a five note scale based on the natural minor but without the 2nd and and sixth scale degrees. Learn how to play up and down the neck with ease and break out of those box patterns . The formula describes the interval distances between each note of the scale. The fingering in this diagram is one option and uses just the index, ring, and pinky fingers. The image below Learn how to play up and down the neck with ease and break out of those box patterns, Author: Lee Nichols Creator of, Like GPS for your guitar! Use these notes as the starting points for playing across the scale. Using the circle of fifths as a tool we can see how this works in a sharp direction. As this lesson is a bit lengthy, here is a table of contents for what will be covered: Before we hop into the A minor pentatonic, let’s first take a look at its parent scale, the Am scale, to see how the scale is formed. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. The Major scale formula = 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 C major scale = C D E F G A B The Minor Pentatonic scale formula = 1 b3 4 5 b7 C Minor Pentatonic = C Eb F G Bb So you play the first note of the major scale, then the third note lowered by a half step, the fourth note, the fifth … We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Sometimes it's easier to think of a major pentatonic scale that starts and ends on degree 6. Receive The Book of Scales when you sign-up for lesson & site updates. The first position of the A minor pentatonic starts with the A note on the 5th fret of the 6th string. The minor pentatonic scale is a five note scale based on the natural minor but without the 2nd and and sixth scale degrees. Minor Pentatonic Scale Connections How to connect the common first pattern of the minor pentatonic scale to parts of the neighboring scale patterns for a wider range of notes to use in the scale. The song is written in the key of A minor and follows the typical 1 – 4 – 5 blues chord progression. The unused notes are faded. Also, while this extension spans three scale positions, you can easily use it as two separate extensions, one for positions 5 and 1 and another for positions 1 and 2. The minor pentatonic uses the 1st, minor 3rd, 4th, 5th and minor 7th notes of a major scale or 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 7th of the natural minor scale. The two notes removed are the 2nd and 6th intervals. The only thing that changes is the root note from which the scale is built. C’s relative minor pentatonic scale, A minor pentatonic, begins on the 6 th scale degree of the major pentatonic scale (shown above).

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