Pentatonic Easier

This is my (horribly typed, I think) way of showing my students how to play and learn the minor pentatonic scale.

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This Is Not what you're going to learn:
E x|-|-|o|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| B o|-|-|o|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| G o|-|o|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| D o|-|x|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| A o|-|o|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| E x|-|-|o|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| 1 3 5 7 9 12
I'm not going to show you how to play a position. I'm going to show you how to play positions (plural), your guitar, your fretboard up AND down the neck. This IS what you're going to learn: Here I'm going to show your (in my opinion) an easier way to learn the Pentatonic Scale. View this recurring picture as the fretboard from an above view. The "o"'s on the left of the picture means open string. An "x" means that's the Root Note, the basis note, the note that will always sound good when playing in its key. The "o"'s on the the fretboard are the scale tones. (Hope this all made sense)
E |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| B |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| G |-|-|-|-|-|-|o|-|x|-|-|-| D o|-|x|-|-|-|-|o|-|o|-|-|-| A o|-|o|-|-|-|-|x|-|-|o|-|-| E x|-|-|o|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| 1 3 5 7 9 12
First let's deal with the Pentatonic Scale in the Key of E. Here is the scale in one position.
|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| o|-|x|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| o|-|o|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| x|-|-|o|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| 1 3 5 7 9 12
Play this (if you understand it so far). Play the first x which is an open low E. This is your root note. The next note is fretted on the 3rd fret of the low E string. So on and so forth. The last x on the 2nd Fret of the D string is E again, only it sounds higher. This is the Octave. It is also the Root note too. Now try this.
|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|o|-|x|-|-|-|-|-| x|-|-|o|-|o|-|o|-|-|-|-|-| 1 3 5 7 9 12
try this one
|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|o|-|-|o|-|x|-|-|-|-|-| x|-|-|o|-|o|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| 1 3 5 7 9 12
how about this one
|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|x|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|o|-|-|o|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| x|-|-|o|-|o|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| 1 3 5 7 9 12
They all sound the same, don't they? This is why the guitar is so cool and unique; a scale, riff, lick, etc. can be played in many different places and sound the same. Well anyway, you just played the E Pentatonic Scale, again, only in different ways. Play between the variations and figure out which notes are the same. Pretty Cool. Here is the scale an octave higher now.
|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|o|-|x|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|o|-|o|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|x|-|-|o|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| 1 3 5 7 9 12
here it is another way
|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|o|-|x|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|o|-|o|-|o|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|x|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| 1 3 5 7 9 12
one more time
|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|x|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|o|-|-|o| |-|-|-|-|-|-|x|-|-|o|-|o| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| 1 3 5 7 9 12
Notice it's "shape" or "pattern" compared to the first basic shape. I'll put them both together for you here:
|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|o|-|x|-|-|-| o|-|x|-|-|-|-|o|-|o|-|-|-| o|-|o|-|-|-|-|x|-|-|o|-|-| x|-|-|o|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| 1 3 5 7 9 12
The pattern is the same. All of these shapes and patterns are the same. Let's put together all the variations we have so far
|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|o|-|x|-|-|-| o|-|x|-|-|-|-|o|-|o|-|-|o| o|-|o|-|-|o|-|x|-|-|o|-|o| x|-|-|o|-|o|-|o|-|-|-|-|-|
1 3 5 7 9 12 You have all these notes at your disposal so far. Here the E scale again in another position.
|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|o|-|x|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|o|-|o|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|x|-|-|o|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| 1 3 5 7 9 12
It sounds the same and looks almost like the basic shape I've been showing all day. This is only due to the tuning of the guitar. I could go on all day showing you places to learn the E Pentatonic. Besides this is only the Minor Pentatonic Scale!!! There's still the Major Pentatonic Scale to teach and show along with how that and the Minor Pentatonic Scale work together and how to use them. But for now Minor Penta Action. But anyway I won't show you anymore E Minor Pentatonic scales. You must now figure the rest out. I've showed you all you need to know. Just find your Roots and build the scale shapes upon them, finding more roots, and building upon that. Always find the alternate ways to play the scale in a position. Practice playing and finding notes. When you become familiar with the notes, visualize them. See them and know where the "right" notes are. All of this doesn't just apply for the E scale. It works for any key as long as you remember where your Root Note is and where all of its octaves are. If you practice all this, you're Pentatonic vocab might look like this:
x|-|-|o|-|o|-|o|-|-|o|-|x| o|-|-|o|-|x|-|-|o|-|o|-|o| o|-|o|-|o|-|-|o|-|x|-|-|o| o|-|x|-|-|o|-|o|-|o|-|-|o| o|-|o|-|-|o|-|x|-|-|o|-|o| x|-|-|o|-|o|-|o|-|-|o|-|x| 1 3 5 7 9 12
Once you know this, you also know the patterns for frets 12-22/24. It would be like this:
x|-|-|o|-|o|-|o|-|-|o|-|x| o|-|-|o|-|x|-|-|o|-|o|-|o| o|-|o|-|o|-|-|o|-|x|-|-|o| o|-|x|-|-|o|-|o|-|o|-|-|o| o|-|o|-|-|o|-|x|-|-|o|-|o| x|-|-|o|-|o|-|o|-|-|o|-|x| 12 15 17 19 21 24

17 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    jimi_sean
    bootyking69 wrote: I TASTE PUKE IN MY MOUTH AFTER LOOKING AT THIS CRAP... OOOH I THINK IM SICK OOHHHH IM GOING TO DIE AFTER READING SUCH A HORRIBLE LESSON!! AWHHHHH HELP ME!!!! WHY UG WHY DID YOU LET THIS HAPPEN TO ME? WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKING ME?!!
    This gut is officially a retard.
    clint86
    There is a brilliant article in the Scales section of UG on Minor Penatonics. It details the 5 box shapes which is a fantastic way to learn Penatonics. Just don't get restricted to box shapes after you learn them.
    4-string-4-eva
    you have completely showed why tab sucks. 'everything can be played in different positions'. if you have the notes you choose the best position to play them, if you have tab then someone else tells you how to play it. i know this wasnt the point you were trying to make but its a good one none the less. not too bad an article but pretty badly typed as you said in the description.
    swinghead
    you said guitar is great cause you can play some notes in different places on the fretboard and they sound the same, but i think it's beautiful to get a different feeling doing so. The scales were sometimes difficult to read, but nice effort
    DougC84
    great ideas and concepts, it just needs to be cleaned up and reformatted.
    The Arch-Mage
    Well, the structure of the article was a touch bad. However, on the flip side, I think that the concept you were attempting to show was done well. Good effort, too !
    Glen'sHeroicAct
    i didn't actually.... read it, but i think just from looking at how many different little pieces you showed, it might just be easier for everyone to learn the five positions of the pentatonic scale.
    Atreideslegend
    erm....learn to write properly? Really bad article, if i didn't already know the minor pentatonic back to front i'd be very confused by this. Also your grammer and sentance structure is awful.
    Thomaslikespigs
    Atreideslegend wrote: erm....learn to write properly? Really bad article, if i didn't already know the minor pentatonic back to front i'd be very confused by this. Also your grammer and sentance structure is awful.
    your spelling needs work. but yeah the article could be structured better.
    furyhead
    just learn the actual scale instead of cutting corners... and how to spell you could have done better, but kudos for effort
    bootyking69
    I TASTE PUKE IN MY MOUTH AFTER LOOKING AT THIS CRAP... OOOH I THINK IM SICK OOHHHH IM GOING TO DIE AFTER READING SUCH A HORRIBLE LESSON!! AWHHHHH HELP ME!!!! WHY UG WHY DID YOU LET THIS HAPPEN TO ME? WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKING ME?!!
    me_llamo_juan
    Bit of a problem... most of the time your scales weren't properly lined up. Made it pretty difficult to read.
    branny1982
    i wrote this on a whim so i don't actually know what it says, haha.
    huh? i like the idea of the lesson, as it shows beginners (lets be honest, lessons are aimed at beginners) that they are not bound by the conventional patterns they see written everywhere. still, not the best lesson. cheers anyways ;-D
    ak Gitaroo Man
    yeah i know, it sucks. it's my first little lesson thing and i don't know how to make it all organized like all the other lessons. and i wrote this on a whim so i don't actually know what it says, haha.