Does the Pentatonic Guitar Scales scare you? Not to worry you already know them and don’t know it. How do I know that? Thats Easy Let Me Show You.
Watch Video First! Before you read the rest of this article.
This little music lesson is going to blow your mind.
But who’s teaching this lesson you ask? Well he just happens to be one of the finest music educators of our time. Lets find out!
The Power Of The Pentatonic Scale
Did you notice that without a word Bobby McFerrin taught everyone to play music using their voice to produce this scale and the whole audience got it right away. All he did was tap into the musical code that we all have within us and demonstrate that our brains are hard-wired for music.
For those of you who would like to know more on this subject Bobby McFerrin’s long time friend “musician-scientist” Daniel Levitin wrote a book called “This Is Your Brain on Music“. You can find it at Amazon.
If you like to read like I do then you’ll find this a fascinating read. I’m not making anything on this but rather just recommending and passing along a good book for you. Check it out!
I told you I knew something about you that you didn’t know about yourself!
Here’s what else I know.
Practice rather than talent, is the driving force behind musical expertise. But first you need to know what to practice. So lets get hopping Skippy 🙂
First Some Basics
All guitarists use scales to play melodies, solos, riffs, and bass lines. Scales are a series of musical notes played in an ascending or descending manner on the fretboard. There are several different types of scales that a guitarist can resort to including the “major scale”, the “melodic minor”, and the “harmonic minor”, but the most common, the easiest and the simplest to finger and pick is the “pentatonic scale”.
A five note or five tone scale (“penta” means five and “tonic” means tone), the pentatonic scale produces two types of tonalities – a major one and a minor one, depending on how the musician decides to use it.
Basically a group of notes that sound really good together, the pentatonic scales are great for songwriting and soloing, especially blues, pop, rock and classic rock music.
The major pentatonic scale essentially just means that it is a “major five-note scale”. The minor pentatonic scales means the same, as it also is a “minor five-note scale.”
As I iterated earlier this is the simplest scale to learn. And for beginner guitarists it’s where most guitar teachers will start you off. So in my humblest opinion you need to know and get all the information you can on how to play the pentatonic scale on your guitar. As it most certainly won’t be the only scale you learn, but will defiantly be the one you fall back on all of your career.
What They Really Are
The major pentatonic guitar scale is similar to the major diatonic scale, just without the fourth and seventh notes. So the C major pentatonic scale will consist of the notes C, D, E, G, and A.
Usually played over major chords, the major pentatonic can be heard in rock as well as country tunes.
The minor pentatonic guitar scale, on the other hand, is very similar to the natural minor scale (but without the second and the sixth note). So the C minor pentatonic will consist of C, Eb, F, G and Bb.
Commonly used in rock lead guitar riffs and soloing, the minor pentatonic is usually played over chord progressions that start with a minor chord.
Pick Your Favorite Artist – Pretty Sure They Use it Too
A favorite of many musicians from Kirk Hammett to Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix known for his outrageous electric guitar playing is known to have used this scale more than any other.
But that’s not the only reason why you need to know how to play it. The pentatonic scale as I pointed out is made up of only five notes per octave which means that it provides a very small margin for error.
It’s also faster to change from a higher to a lower position on the fret board or vice versa.
It works well with techniques like pull offs and hammer ons and are great for developing technique.
Therefore, they play an extremely important role in your development as a guitar player.
These guitar scales are a part of every beginner guitarists’ bag of tricks. So make sure that you spend some time getting them right.
Learn them well and you will be rewarded for the rest of your guitar playing days.
Wrapping This Up
If you find that this still eludes you then you should consider lessons of some kind. More than just learning them you need to know “the why, where and how”. You can find 10 Free Lessons on my Teachers Page, there also you should be able to learn the Pentatonic Guitar Scales.
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