Major And Pentatonic Scales

Today we are going to talk about it in a little more detail. We will also discuss the Pentatonic scale.

Ultimate Guitar
We have briefly mentioned the major scale in the last few e-mails. Today we are going to talk about it in a little more detail. We will also discuss the Pentatonic scale. You know that the major scale is the basic "do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do" scale. The notes of the C major scale are C, D, E, F, G, A, B. A simple diagram of the C major scale is shown in the image below. Each note of the scale is shown in a circle or square. It is very important that you learn to play this scale in any position of the fretboard starting with any note. There are several different ways of learning the major scale all along the fretboard. I prefer to break it up into manageable sections or blocks. By learning each block you can then tie them together to play the scale up and down the fretboard. It is also very important to learn the major scale all along the fretboard for each and every key. This will be very important when you start soloing and improvising. There are also scale patterns and exercises that will assist you with the learning process. For example:
C, D, E, F
D, E, F, G
E, F, G, A
F, G, A, B
G, A, B, C
etc. The Pentatonic scale contains almost all of the notes of the major scale minus the 4th and 7th notes. So for example the C major pentatonic scale has the following notes: C, D, E, G, A. These same notes can be used to play against an A7 or even an A minor chord. Try this and notice the different sound and feel. The pentatonic scale is very often used in country, rock and blues music. As with the major scale, it is important to learn the Pentatonic scale in all keys all along and up and down the fretboard as well as practicing scale patterns.

35 comments sorted by best / new / date

    It's good but can someone explain why you solo C Major Pentatonic against an A minor or A7 chord? Can you do that against any other chords, that fit in with the scale?
    can someone explain to me all of the chords like wut ackwero just said, i have no idea c major or A7 chords r. please someone explain it to me cuz im a bit slow
    ^ Parts of that are wrong, A C# E G are not all in the C pentatonic scale; major chords don't have relative minors, major keys do. spam deleted
    thanks really helps clearly explained and helps for the future of my band. White lightning( thanks
    ackwero et. al., The reason you can solo with a C Pentatonic against an Am or A7 is due to the notes inherent in each of the chords. First of all, you should know that every major chord has a relative minor. C Major is relative to Am (C-maj: C D E F G A B C .... Am: A B C D E F G) this is why you can solo C-pent against Am (N.B. There are many relations among scales... for more info, search for "modes" and start practicing). The main notes in an A7 chord A, C#, E, G.. all are in the C-pentatonic scale. I would suggest first knowing all of the notes not only on the fretboard, but also in the scales. It would be also beneficial to take a music theory class somewhere, at a junior college or whatever. As for your last question, you can use relative minors and 7th chords to back your soloing in the pentatonic scales once you understand the theory.. (For example play a D Pentatonic solo against an Fm or F7, etc.) Enjoy
    l3l3 King
    This is the "basics," nay? You can't expect someone trying to learn the pentatonic scales to know what every note is on the fretboard. Even I have to think for a sec on a lot of the notes "Ok... A... so that's Bb" type thing. Tabs are convenient and what beginners use to, well, begin... So posting straight up notes in The Basics is sort of inconsiderate. I wouldn't have had any idea when I was starting... "*** it, hit the Back button..." :
    i agree with gatecrasher tabs are helpful and easier for beginners and stuff(i use them) but ideally every1 should at least learn the notes up and down the fretboard, not necesarrily fluently, but at least KNOW them, and study some theory(scales,chord construction, keys...etc) here are the notes and frets up the neck to the 12th fret (standard tuning E-A-D-G-B-E) showing sharps instead of flats 0 [E--A--D--G--B--E-] Open 1 [F--A#-D#-G#-C--F-] 2 [F#-B--E--A--C#-F#] 3 [G--C--F--A#-D--G-] 4 [G#-C#-F#-B--D#-G#] 5 [A--D--G--C--E--A-] 6 [A#-D#-G#-C#-F--A#] 7 [B--E--A--D--F#-B-] 8 [C--F--A#-D#-G--C-] 9 [C#-F#-B--E--G#-C#] 10[D--G--C--F--A--D-] 11[D#-G#-C#-F#-A#- D#] 12[E--A--D--G--B--E-]...ETC....
    Actually, jkenned6 is correct. major chords have related minors. chords are triads, that is a collection of three notes in a scale. specifically, the 1st 3rd and 5th. Example is A major = a-c#-e A minor chord is created by lowering the 3rd note of the triad one half step. Example A minor = a-c-e since A minor is a-c-e and C major is c-e-g, they share two notes. that being c and e. that is what makes them a minor.
    let me correct myself, sharing c and e makes a Minor the related minor to c major. sorry about that
    oklahoma pie
    what. i have no idea what the fu(k there talking about can someone piont me out somthing usefull. everyone i talk to says i need to know this stuff, but this didnt help at all
    It matters if you want to understand the circuit board or simply flip the light switch. At some point you need to understand why certain tones go together and create the moods or resonses that they do. You can "rote" or you can actually write it.
    If you want to be good guitarists, you'll have to learn some of the theory, or at least which notes you're playing. But having said that, since it's a begginers thing throwing in tabs would probably help alot of people (even the "advanced" guitarists that don't know which fret is which note).
    aww that looks like crap.. Maby I should just do a lesson.
    I hear everyone yelling to tab it so I'll see if I can do it for you guys real quick. If this doesen't seem clear to you go to my web site at m its in construction so many of the links are not working but the penatonic section should be up real soon fully tabbed and fully discussed. E----- -----3-5----- -----5-8----- B--- -----3-5 ----- -----5-8----- - G-----2-5----- -----5-7----- ----- D-- ---2-5-- -----5-7---- ----- A-----3- 5-----5-7- ----- E -3-5 -----5 -8----- ---- E----- -----7-10----- ----- B----- ---- -7-10----- ----- G-- -----7-10--- ----- -- D-----7-10- ----- ----- A-----7-10 ----- ----- E----8- 10----- ----- and those are extended versions of the A penatonic scale. Thats for fighter_pilot and Anti-tabber, Riqz85, smiddy Perpetrator76 and TOOL13. Hope you guys enjoy.....
    Okay guys I have it all set up for you go to m and click on the Pentonic button(mispelled I know) The lesson there says the same thing this guy did but has the tab for the A Pentonic Scale. (all extensions) It's only there if you want the easy way out. It is probebly better to learn it on your own.
    I wish grace notes would though, those things are the devil!
    why do you have to have it tabbed? learn the notes of the guitar! They go like this: E A D G B e _____ F Bb Eb Ab C S F# B E A C# e G C F Bb D e Ab C# F# B Eb A D G C E O Bb Eb Ab C# F t B E A D F# h C F Bb Eb G e C# F# B E Ab r D G C F A Eb Ab C# F# Bb E E A D G B F Bb Eb Ab C F# B E A C# G C F Bb D Ab C# F# B E A D G C Eb Bb Eb Ab C# F B E A D F# C F Bb Eb G C# F# B E Ab D G C F A Eb Ab C# F# Bb E A D G B then your gonna have to paste that into notepad so it looks right because it will come out wrong.
    after you paste it into notepad your still gonna have to put in some spaces it didnt come out like i wanted it to.
    im sorry but...why does everyone have to be spoonfed tabs. shoot me for saying this on a tab-page. but come on, this isn't a tab to a song or anything. i suppose one day there wont be anymore staff. itll only be mass produced music-extract, and everyone will be able to play guitar, but no one will know why. what would you do if your computer crashed, BUY tabs instead of learning? they have books, and classes. just thought ya might wanna know that so just in case you one day leave your computer behind and step out into the real world, you can still find music in a readable form. i mean c'mon, the dude went through all this trouble to try and help. and the only thing people find wrong with it is "I cant read it, wheres the numbers!!" bah....check out the library, surely you have one around.
    totally agree with GateCrasher on the principle of tabs, but I see it a diffrent way. Tabs are the starting words of a tiny infant. The first steps of a toddler towards greater and more promising paths as they exude motivation towards principle and understanding. In simple terms..... Staff will never go away.
    firth of fith
    AAAAAGGGHHHH i must be dim cause this doesnt make sense, i understand the principal but how its explained baffles me!