E x|-|-|o|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| B o|-|-|o|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| G o|-|o|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| D o|-|x|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| A o|-|o|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| E x|-|-|o|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| 1 3 5 7 9 12I'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 12First 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 12Play 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 12try this one
|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|o|-|-|o|-|x|-|-|-|-|-| x|-|-|o|-|o|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| 1 3 5 7 9 12how about this one
|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|x|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|o|-|-|o|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| x|-|-|o|-|o|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| 1 3 5 7 9 12They 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 12here it is another way
|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|o|-|x|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|o|-|o|-|o|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|x|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| 1 3 5 7 9 12one more time
|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|x|-|-|-| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|o|-|-|o| |-|-|-|-|-|-|x|-|-|o|-|o| |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| 1 3 5 7 9 12Notice 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 12The 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 12It 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 12Once 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