Pentatonic Scales

author: reaper2751 date: 10/13/2008 category: the basics
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Pentatonic Scales
The Pentatonic scales are the basic building blocks to soloing. There are 5 scales that are considered the basic pentatonic scales; although there are more then just one set of pentatonic scales. This is a tab of the 5 basic scales:

F minor Pentatonic: I (1st scale)


e|---------------------1-4-------------|
B|-----------------1-4-----------------|
G|-------------1-3---------------------|
D|---------1-3-------------------------|
A|-----1-3-----------------------------|
E|-1-4---------------------------------|

G# Major Pentatonic: II (2nd scale)

Notice how the 2nd pentatonic scale starts on the second note of the 1st pentatonic scale before it.
e|---------------------4-6-------------|
B|-----------------4-6-----------------|
G|-------------3-5---------------------|
D|---------3-6-------------------------|
A|-----3-6-----------------------------|
E|-4-6---------------------------------|

A# Dorian Pentatonic: III (3rd scale)

Notice how the 3rd pentatonic scale starts on the second note of the 2nd pentatonic scale.
e|---------------------6-8-------------|
B|-----------------6-9-----------------|
G|-------------5-8---------------------|
D|---------6-8-------------------------|
A|-----6-8-----------------------------|
E|-6-8---------------------------------|

C Phrygian Pentatonic: IV (4th scale)

Notice how the 4th pentatonic scale starts on the second note of the 3rd pentatonic scale.
e|--------------------------8-11-------|
B|---------------------9-11------------|
G|----------------8-10-----------------|
D|-----------8-10----------------------|
A|------8-11---------------------------|
E|-8-11--------------------------------|

D# Mixolydian Pentatonic: V (5th scale)

Notice how the 5th pentatonic scale starts on the second note of the 4th pentatonic scale.
e|-------------------------------11-13-|
B|-------------------------11-13-------|
G|-------------------10-13-------------|
D|-------------10-13-------------------|
A|-------11-13-------------------------|
E|-11-13-------------------------------|
F minor Pentatonic starts over at the 13th fret again See how the 13th fret and 1st fret are the same notes, the 12th fret is the octave of the open notes as well as the 13th fret is the octave of the 1st fret.
e|-------------------------------13-16-|
B|-------------------------13-16-------|
G|-------------------13-15-------------|
D|-------------13-15-------------------|
A|-------13-15-------------------------|
E|-13-16-------------------------------|
If you notice that each pentatonic scale is connected to two other scales. Each pentatonic scale is an inversion of the others. Basically each scale starts and ends on a different note than the other pentatonic scales, but still uses the same notes as the rest of the pentatonic scales. For example:
  • F minor pentatonic consists of these notes in this order: F, G#, A#, C, D#, and F again (octave)
  • While G# major pentatonic consists of the same notes, they start and end on a different note making it a major and not minor scale: G#, A#, C, D#, F, and G# again (octave) Each of the pentatonic scales consist of the same notes depending on the place you play them on the guitar neck. The only difference between each scale is which note they start and end on. The scales above are two octaves starting with F and ending with G#. F minor pentatonic scale in two octaves starting with F and ending with G# go in this order: (first octave) F, G#, A#, C, D#, F, G#, A#, C, D#, F, G# (two octaves higher). I hope this helps you begin your adventure into soloing and defining your self as a musician. If you have any questions or complaints please email me at: reaper2751@yahoo.com Enjoy!
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