#1
I made a thread about scales yesterday but I was really lost and confused. So im going to try this again and START FROM THE BEGINNING. I know NOTHING ABOUT SCALES OR POSITIONS!!!

What would you tell me? I read this article right here
http://ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/scales/minor_pentatonic_scales.html

I see that there is an A, B, C, D, E, F and G Pentatonic scale.

Then it shows a tab row for each letter.

So I saw the 5 positions, and you dont always have to stay inside that position right? you can do a few from this position and a few from that position?

And each scale starts with a different position? So I have to remember each scales positions all the way down the fret board. But its all the same positions.. just in different areas?


Also.. I was recommended for rock improv\blues improv to learn this.. Which ones do I need?
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#2
you should learn how to improvise with your c0ck... Then your ready for any scale that comes your way.
#3
well, what i would suggest is to learn all the different scale patterns, and where the root notes are, that is important so you can stay in key. once you have those down, when you learn different solos and riffs from songs you like you can see how they use these scales. that's my quick version of it i'm sure some other people will throw in their two cents as well.
#4
Rockey thanks i dont really understand though but..

And to the other guy.. real mature.
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#5
Quote by SexWithGod
you should learn how to improvise with your c0ck... Then your ready for any scale that comes your way.


Shut the hell up. You need to go away.

TS: If you know the notes of the scale, you'll find you can solo over the whole neck; you can learn those positions as references, but make sure you understand the theory behind the scales. For rock and blues improv, some 12-bar blues tracks will help you solo. This page has all different keys, many progressions and 3 tempos to choose from: www.torvund.net/guitar/
#6
its good to start with the boxes as it simplifies things but eventually you will need to learn the notes to be any good although sometimes i find the intervals can be a good substitute for the notes i don't know what the theory masters think of that but thats just my way

also once you learn the pentatonics start on the major scale and its modes scales are so much easier to learn if you have just come off mastering some others because your "scale sense" if you wanna call it that is already up and running at 100%
Quote by coolstoryangus
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Although i guess the OP will have to get used to reading them if he's going to buy a bugera..
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along with fire escape routes...

#7
I read that theory over and over and try and get it, but it doesnt click.

example, a whole step is 1 fret, but a half step is an open string to 1 fret? totally lost me there.

And like what exactly is the scale, the scale is this the Pentatonic A scale?
e-|--|--|3-|--|5-|--|--|8-|--|10|--|12|--|--|15|--|17|--|--|20|--|22|--|--|
B-|--|--|3-|--|5-|--|--|8-|--|10|--|--|13|--|15|--|17|--|--|20|--|22|--|--|
G-|--|2-|--|--|5-|--|7-|--|9-|--|--|12|--|14|--|--|17|--|19|--|21|--|--|--|
D-|--|2-|--|--|5-|--|7-|--|--|10|--|12|--|14|--|--|17|--|19|--|--|22|--|--|
A-|--|--|3-|--|5-|--|7-|--|--|10|--|12|--|--|15|--|17|--|19|--|--|22|--|--|
E-|--|--|3-|--|5-|--|--|8-|--|10|--|12|--|--|15|--|17|--|--|20|--|22|--|--|

So if I learned that whole scale and could play it, or play sections, that would be a start right? ALSO were are open notes played, I hear it all the time but I dont see\get it..


So would learning all these scales A B C D E F G help? I am reading the theory more and more aswell, like at least I know in a scale it doubles in HZ from like 220 to 440 to 880 etc.
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Last edited by MxPxPanic at Apr 2, 2008,
#9
there are 5 shapes which make up the entire pentatonic scale in one key in order they are

(key of a)

e|---------------------3-5
b|-----------------3-5----
g|-------------2-5--------
d|---------2-5------------
a|-----3-5----------------
e|-3-5--------------------

e|---------------------5-8
b|-----------------5-8----
g|-------------5-7--------
d|---------5-7------------
a|-----5-7----------------
e|-5-8--------------------

e|---------------------------------8-10
b|--------------------------8-10-------
g|---------------------7-9--------------
d|---------------7-10------------------
a|-------7-10--------------------------
e|-8-10--------------------------------

e|---------------------------------------10-12
b|-------------------------------10-13--------
g|-------------------------9-12----------------
d|-----------------10-12----------------------
a|---------10-12------------------------------
e|-10-12--------------------------------------

e|----------------------------------------12-15
b|--------------------------------13-15-------
g|-------------------------12-14--------------
d|-----------------12-14----------------------
a|---------12-15------------------------------
e|-12-15--------------------------------------

then it just repeats itself that is one key of the pentatonic scale

but of course learn the notes that way you can figure out the pentatonic scale on any string on any fret
Quote by coolstoryangus
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Although i guess the OP will have to get used to reading them if he's going to buy a bugera..
Quote by gregs1020


along with fire escape routes...

#10
Quote by aradine
there are 5 shapes which make up the entire pentatonic scale in one key in order they are

(key of a)

e|---------------------3-5
b|-----------------3-5----
g|-------------2-5--------
d|---------2-5------------
a|-----3-5----------------
e|-3-5--------------------

e|---------------------5-8
b|-----------------5-8----
g|-------------5-7--------
d|---------5-7------------
a|-----5-7----------------
e|-5-8--------------------

e|---------------------------------8-10
b|--------------------------8-10-------
g|---------------------7-9--------------
d|---------------7-10------------------
a|-------7-10--------------------------
e|-8-10--------------------------------

e|---------------------------------------10-12
b|-------------------------------10-13--------
g|-------------------------9-12----------------
d|-----------------10-12----------------------
a|---------10-12------------------------------
e|-10-12--------------------------------------

e|----------------------------------------12-15
b|--------------------------------13-15-------
g|-------------------------12-14--------------
d|-----------------12-14----------------------
a|---------12-15------------------------------
e|-12-15--------------------------------------

then it just repeats itself that is one key of the pentatonic scale

but of course learn the notes that way you can figure out the pentatonic scale on any string on any fret


This makes some sense! yes! So there is the PENTATONIC (!!SCALE!!) and The scale has 7 different keys in which you can play it in.. THANK YOU

so if I wanted to play position one for key of a i would just do 35 35 25 25 35 35 right? or any open strings?

And just by knowing 1 key could you improv some good rock stuff? not saying I am just... curious.

Oh and since its a different key the positions are moved right? but each key has the same positions, different areas?
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#11
those are the five positions of the A minor pentatonic scale, it is A minor because the 2nd shape is the minor pentatonic root shape and the first note of the root shape starts on the A note (low E 5th fret). to make it major have the 3rd shape start on whatever note you want the key to be on, so for example if i want the key of B i would make sure that i played the scale so that the first note of the 3rd shape was low E 7th fret.

and yes almost all blues are written in the pentatonics and the blues scale (which is just the pentatonic with 2 extra notes) so you can play blues, classic rock and just about any rock with these scales, some metal bands use the pentatonics as well because the scale is made up of whole steps and whole-half steps which make for some heavy and cool sounding bends.

i hope this helps
Quote by coolstoryangus
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Although i guess the OP will have to get used to reading them if he's going to buy a bugera..
Quote by gregs1020


along with fire escape routes...

#12
Alrighty.. confused again..
My problem is I dont know crap about root notes notes etc, and I really want to blues\rock improv\metal

And the perfect time for this is spanish class.. so im curious

Do you guys know a website ( direct link if you can. ) to what I need to learn and read up on?

Im really dedicated to learning this
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#14
ok well the root note would be the note that the key is in, so if you're in the key of A then the root note is A. and to answer one of your earlier questions the difference between a half step is that a half step is where you go from one fret to the next, and a whole step is where there's a fret between the notes. for instance a half step would be the second fret of the A string to the 3 fret of the A string (or B to C) and a whole step would be the second fret to the fourth fret ( B to C#/Db). it's also important to remember that just knowing our scales isnt going to make you able to solo well, it will make you sound like a robot, it is also good to learn some solos from your favorite bands, so that way you can have a feel for what notes sound cool together within the scales (if that makes any sense).
#15
if you want to learn in a certain key your going to have to learn at least the notes on the e string. the musical alphabet goes from A to G.

A-A#/Bb-B-C-C#/Db-D-D#/Eb-E-F-F#/Gb-G-G#/Ab

then it just repeats. the notes on the E string is just that exact order starting on E. but to make it easier here it is starting from open string to 12th fret.

E (open string)-F (first string)-F#/Gb-G (third string etc)-G#/Ab-A-A#/Bb-B-C-C#/Db-D-D#/Eb

so from that we can figure out that playing the second shape of the pentatonic scale on the 5th fret is playing the A Minor pentatonic scale. to play on a different key it is all about logically placing the patterns in an order that lines up with what scale your playing. what i mean by that is if i am playing A minor pentatonic (why do i keep using A?) for the minor THE SECOND NOTE OF THE FIRST SHAPE MUST BE THE NOTE OF WHAT KEY YOU WANT TO PLAY IN and for the major THE SECOND NOTE OF THE SECOND SHAPE MUST BE THE NOTE OF THE KEY YOU WANT TO PLAY IN

i hope that helps a little
Quote by coolstoryangus
Pffffffft schematics


Although i guess the OP will have to get used to reading them if he's going to buy a bugera..
Quote by gregs1020


along with fire escape routes...

#16
A scale is a series of notes grouped together in some logical fashion. When someone states a scale with numbers, like, 1-2-3-4-5, that is what is called the intervals. These are the building blocks of scales, writing them as numbers allows one to learn the intervallic structure of the scale, so that you can play them anywhere on the neck. Most of these are based off the major scale which has a structure of 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8(the 8 would be the same as 1 but an octave higher) so the C major scale, following that theory would be C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C, now lets say you want to make a F major scale, you take that formula, and start out on the F, so F-G-A-A#-C-D-E-F. Now for the minor pentatonic scale, it has a formula made up of 5 notes from the major scale(penta=5). So lets take that F major scale again and get an F minor pentatonic scale. The formula is 1-b3-4-5-b7


1 - b3 -  4 - 5 - b7
F - G# - A# - C - D#

Now you could play these notes anywhere on the neck in any order and it would still be the same scale. As people have stated, there are five positions of the pentatonic scale(there are seven for the Major scale) these different positions are called the modes of the scale. Basically they are the same notes of a scale just started on a note which is not the actual root not of the scale.
For example:
Take your F pentatonic scale
F - G# - A# - C - D#

And start it on the G#

Pentatonic(mode 1): F - G# - A# - C - D#
Pentatonic(mode 2):     G# - A# - C - D# - F

Notice they have the same notes, but we just start on the 2nd note of the scale.


The ones that aradine has posted are actually all in the same key. The only difference is what note you are starting on. Notice how they contain the same exact notes, they just start on the next note of the previous one you started on. They will sound different only because the note which you start on.

Sorry if I couldn't explain it very well, its around 3:30 am here and I'm dead tired.
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#17
Quote by MxPxPanic
Alrighty.. confused again..
My problem is I dont know crap about root notes notes etc, and I really want to blues\rock improv\metal

And the perfect time for this is spanish class.. so im curious

Do you guys know a website ( direct link if you can. ) to what I need to learn and read up on?

Im really dedicated to learning this

You have to learn the notes otherwise you're not going to be able to make any sense of this.

The first thing you need to do before any scales is simply learn the notes on the fretboard. Think of it as learning a language, before you can learn to spell words you need to know the alphabet.

Once you know the notes then learn the major scale...read Josh Urban's "The Crusade" articles too, they'll help a lot.

^
Malarkatron...he's not talking about modes, just the 5 box positions. Best to leave the modal talk for the time being, that's just going to make things even more confusing.
Actually called Mark!

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Last edited by steven seagull at Apr 2, 2008,
#18
Alright thanks steven. So learn the notes as in, first fret low e.. second fret.. third fret.. etc the n first fret a.. second.. third etc?
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#19
Quote by MxPxPanic
Alright thanks steven. So learn the notes as in, first fret low e.. second fret.. third fret.. etc the n first fret a.. second.. third etc?


Yup, like this...
Quote by me

There's only 12 notes on the guitar, they just keep repeating...it's only difficult if you don't take the time to break it down.

Here...

1 - learn the open strings...E, A, D, G, B, E
2 - familiarise yourself with the pattern of intervals along the open string, you don't even need to learn it by heart yet, just have it for reference.

3 - realise that the 12 fret is the octave of the open string, and therefore the same note.
4 - realise that the pattern of intervals is constant, so 12 th fret onwards is identical to open string onwards.

... as far as working out notes goes you are currently never more than 6 frets away from a reference note. However, counting along 6 frets is kind of clunky and not particularly easy, but it's a start.

5 - learn the notes that correspond to the next open string, so 5th fret on the E, A, D and B strings, 4th fret on the G

...all of a sudden you're never more than 3 frets way from a known reference note. All of a sudden working out the notes you don't know became a lot easier...almost twice as easy, in fact.

6 - locate the other octaves of the open notes, first the ones on the next string... 7th fret on the A, D, G and high E strings, 8th fret on the B string. Then the octaves two strings away so 2nd fret on the D and G strings, 3rd fret on the B and top E.

7 - in the same way, locate the octaves of the notes you learned in step 5

...all of a sudden you're now never more than 1 fret away from a known reference note!


it's not necessarily vital to be able to identify every note immediately on sight, you just want to be able to work out whatever note your playing relatively painlessly
Actually called Mark!

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#20
Thanks! I will definately be reading about this alot today. And hopefully later I can figure out what I need to do next.
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#21
for starters try learning the pentatonic starting at the note that the key is in. like if you play in the key of A, then play it starting on the 5th fret...and then also try by ear, dont get stuck within the walls of pentatonic scales, use more than that...
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#22
This isnt making any sense yet.. Unless this is something I should really keep reading about, wouldnt it be easier to just look up a chart of the notes like open are E A D G B E, then just look at what the first fret notes are called?
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#23
You just need to know the pattern that the notes on the guitar follow, for the sake of argument and excluding enharmonics just use.

E F F# G Ab A Bb B C C# D Eb

all the notes on the guitar follow that pattern, after Eb it just goes back to E.
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#24
Quote by steven seagull
You just need to know the pattern that the notes on the guitar follow, for the sake of argument and excluding enharmonics just use.

E F F# G Ab A Bb B C C# D Eb

all the notes on the guitar follow that pattern, after Eb it just goes back to E.



hmm, why did you use flats and sharps? just wondering not saying its wrong or anything...
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#25
In all honesty that's just the way I learned and it stuck, it'd probably make more sense to use all flats or all sharps

More correctly, that's what I learned the barre chords on the low E as, which I learned corresponded to the notes - I kind of discovered the two things together.
Actually called Mark!

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#26
Thank you.. Now I did get something from that.. The 5th fret of every string and 4th fret of the G string match the open strings octaves..

So E F F# G Ab A Bb B C C# D Eb

would be fret 1, 2 , 3 ,4 ,5, 6, 7 all the way to 12 then E again then f.. then F sharp..

Right? would it be the same for every string?
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#28
Alright starting fresh so i now know.

5 frets/ 4th fret G string = octaves of open strings. ( usually how I tune my guitar.. )
The notes from fret 1 to 12 are:
E F F# G Ab A Bb B C C# D Eb
Then they repeat back at the begining with E

Now is there anything else I should know or what should I do? Seems like everyone else gets it but like i never will..
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#29
Quote by MxPxPanic
Thank you.. Now I did get something from that.. The 5th fret of every string and 4th fret of the G string match the open strings octaves..

So E F F# G Ab A Bb B C C# D Eb

would be fret 1, 2 , 3 ,4 ,5, 6, 7 all the way to 12 then E again then f.. then F sharp..

Right? would it be the same for every string?


On the E strings the E is the open string, F first fret, F# second fret etc etc, all the way to the 12th which is E again.

For the other strings the PATTERN is exactly the same, it just starts at a different point eg on the A string it's

A Bb B C C# D Eb E F F# G Ab
Actually called Mark!

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#30
Thanks .. mark? that made sense.

Each string has 12 notes. And it starts on its root note, so e would be open then 1st fret F on and on. There all exactly the same just, starts in different areas. DAMN FINALLY GOT IT!

I see what you mean now by if you know the names of the notes it would be easier because theres only 12, just in different orders.

So would the D string be open: D then 1st fret Eb then E then F then F#?


So scales are the same way? theres so many positions, and each scale ( A B C D E F G pentatonic ) have those exact same positions in it, but just in different orders?

So now should I learn like scales? instead of just notes?
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#31
Quote by MxPxPanic
This makes some sense! yes! So there is the PENTATONIC (!!SCALE!!) and The scale has 7 different keys in which you can play it in.. THANK YOU

so if I wanted to play position one for key of a i would just do 35 35 25 25 35 35 right? or any open strings?

And just by knowing 1 key could you improv some good rock stuff? not saying I am just... curious.

Oh and since its a different key the positions are moved right? but each key has the same positions, different areas?


Theory lol!

The pentatonic scale is a set of 5 notes. Hence the "pent" part. The pentatonic scale can be used in any key.

There are 12 keys:

A, A sharp (B flat), B, C, C sharp (D flat), D, D sharp (E flat), E, F, F sharp (G flat), G and G sharp (A flat).

Once you learn the pattern of notes, you can move (transpose is the proper word) the scale to suit the key of the song you're playing in. To do this you need to know the ROOT NOTE. The root note is the note that the scale starts on in BOX ONE (FIRST POSITION). So, for the scale to be in A, the first note in box one would have to be an A. Which (because all the patterns start on the E string) means that you could play the scale starting at the 5th fret or the 17th fret (both being an A).

Got all that? Good, now we can see how to apply it.

To solo in a song, you need to know what key it is in. Some people can do this by ear; I just listen to the song and know the root note, then find out what it is on my guitar. If you can't do this you need to find out what key it is in. Tip: Its USUALLY the first chord played in most modern rock and blues.

So say we have a piece in A. You now need to know whether it's MAJOR or MINOR. this is easy; if the piece is happy sounding it's major. If it's sad sounding its minor. OK, so this is where it gets a little heavy. If the piece is in a major key you need to move the scale back 3 semitones (3 frets) from it's root. Why? because you have learned the MINOR pentatonic. If you're getting overloaded, you might just want to take that as a rule without explanation and skip this next part:

---

If you have a minor scale and you want to use it in a major key, you need to find it's relative. All minor and major scales are relative to one another, and the rule to find the relatie is easy. If you want to find the relative minor from a major scale then you need to move three semitone down from the major keys root note. So the relative minor of B major is (B minus 3 semitones = G sharp) G sharp minor. If you want to find the relative major of a minor scale then you do the opposite - you add three semitones to the root note. It helps to think of the scales as being 3 semitones apart, or three frets apart on the fretboard (each note is a semitone apart on the fretboard).

---

So, you've found the key, you've found out if it's major or minor, you know where to play your scale. What now? Well, it's up to you. Stylistically, I (or anyone) cannot tell you how to play the scale. Try some scalic runs (where you play one note after the other in ascending or descending order) or copy some of your favourite guitarists ideas. Remember that you can change between the boxes of the scale too. As long as you keep the same root note (or relative root note!) you can do anything you want. And even then, sometimes you can play notes completely out of the scale and it will sound good.

Good Luck, and PM me if you have any questions.
...
#32
Quote by MxPxPanic
Thanks .. mark? that made sense.

Each string has 12 notes. And it starts on its root note, so e would be open then 1st fret F on and on. There all exactly the same just, starts in different areas. DAMN FINALLY GOT IT!

I see what you mean now by if you know the names of the notes it would be easier because theres only 12, just in different orders.

So would the D string be open: D then 1st fret Eb then E then F then F#?


So scales are the same way? theres so many positions, and each scale ( A B C D E F G pentatonic ) have those exact same positions in it, but just in different orders?

So now should I learn like scales? instead of just notes?


So to the guy who posted above me.

What Im quoting is what you just said? Except the Pent part, whats the 5 notes? Because isnt there the key of A B C D E F G thats 7.. not 5?

And now I should learn the scales in all the keys? so that should take some time but definately worth it.!
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Last edited by MxPxPanic at Apr 2, 2008,
#33
Right on dude, you just keep on reading up, and applicating what you're told, and the basics of the theory will come to you. You'll get it. You're young, you're like a sponge.
#34
Quote by MxPxPanic
So to the guy who posted above me.

What Im quoting is what you just said? Except the Pent part, whats the 5 notes? Because isnt there the key of A B C D E F G thats 7.. not 5?

And now I should learn the scales in all the keys? so that should take some time but definately worth it.!


Well, the pent part refers to how many notes are in the scale, which is 5. There are not 7 keys, there are twelve. Think of it in terms of a piano; you just said all the white notes (A B C D E F G) but there are keys which have the black notes as root notes too; A sharp (B flat), C sharp (D flat), D sharp (E flat), F sharp (G flat) and G sharp (A flat).

EDIT: The great thing about guitar is that once you've learned the PATTERN of a scale, you've learned all the keys. All you have to do is move it up and down the fretboard so that the Root note is the one you're starting on. For example you learned the scale in G, so all you have to do is move the whole thing up two frets so it starts on the 5th fret of the E string (it started on the 3rd fret of the E string before) to play it in A.
...
Last edited by bartdevil_metal at Apr 2, 2008,
#35
Bartdevil go to your profile and read my message.
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#36
1 more time.

How many pentatonic scales are there?

I got this part, Theres 12 keys starting on the root note ( open string ) then open note 12th fret and it repeats. Then if it was A string it would start with A.. So I got that part.

Now Tell me if this is right.
A scale has 5 Positions. Each scale starts with a different position. So that would mean there are 5 scales? ( minor pentatonic.. ) So A minor pentatonic scale starts with position 1, all the way to 5. And B starts with position 5, then position 1, 2, 3, 4.

Now is that right?

Oh and, the second position starts with the end of the first position right? So the first position is 35-35-25-25-35-35 the second one is 58-57-57-57-58-58 on and on right?
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#37
You're basically right there. Apart from the positions don't overlap when you change key. Pentatonic A in position 2 is ROUGHLY where Pentatonic B position 1 is. But none of the notes are the same. Check your private messages, i explained it a bit more.

P.S THERE ARE 12 PENTATONIC SCALES. lol
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#38
Hey man, yeah your doing good. A good thing to work on to memorize is learn the 5 positions first, it doesnt matter if they sound incorrect just get to know the positions, then put them into a key in their respective positions. For example, do a minor pentatonic, start on position 1, practice that up and down, then move to position 2 etc...

Position 1 on A minor will be different to position 1 on G minor and so on. Good to know all of it will help you be able to melt peoples faces off with your rock.
#39
Forget "positions" for the time being, they just confuse people into thinking that there's "different" scales when there aren't.

For the time being concentrate on learning this stuff in terms of notes. Like bartdevil said a penatonic scale is just a 5 note variation of a differnent scale with less notes. The minor pentatonic is the minor scale missing the 2nd and 6th notes, so...

A minor is A B C D E F G

A minor pentatonic is A C D E G

That formula applies to any key, take the natural minor and remove the 2nd and 6th notes...remember the guitar has 12 notes on it. Each of those notes can be expanded into a key. Each of those notes can also be used as the root note for many scales, however for any given scale there is a unique pattern of intervals ant that's what defines it.

Positions are only useful for implementing the scale when playing, they're of no use if you actually want to understand how the scale works.
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