Are you a beginner guitarist looking to expand your knowledge of scales and improve your soloing abilities? Look no further than a minor pentatonic scale that is versatile and widely used as a staple in the guitar community. Mastering it will open up a world of possibilities in your playing. Read on to learn about the important positions and patterns.
So grab the guitar and let’s get started!
A Sneak Peek Into A Minor Pentatonic Scale
Playing A minor pentatonic scale notes is an essential skill for any guitarist, regardless of their level of experience.
The scale is used extensively in
Mastering it helps you create great-sounding melodies. Building it involves selecting the appropriate notes that belong to the A minor key and arranging them in a specific order to create a five-note scale.
Understand the Basics
Before learning how to play this scale on the guitar, you need to understand the notes that make it up.
It consists of the following notes:
These are derived from the A minor scale by removing the 2nd and 6th notes.
Memorize the Fretboard
Firstly, you need to know where the notes are on the fretboard.
- Memorizing the fretboard will help you play the scale more easily and accurately.
- Start by learning the notes on the 6th string, which is the thickest string on the guitar.
The notes on the 6th string are, from lowest to highest:
E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B, C, C#, D, and D#.
Learn the Pattern
The minor pentatonic can be played in different positions on the fretboard. The most common one starts on the 5th fret of the 6th string.
Following is the pattern for the pentatonic scale in the 5th fret position:
In this pattern, the numbers indicate the frets you need to play. Opt for a sequence from the lowest to the highest, and then back down again. Repeat this pattern several times until you can play it smoothly and accurately.
Practice Playing the Scale
Once you have memorized the A minor pentatonic scale pattern, start practising the scale.
- Start by doing it slowly, focusing on accuracy and timing.
- Use a metronome to help you keep time.
- Gradually increase the speed as you become more comfortable playing the scale. The more you practice, the faster you’ll learn.
Experiment with Variations
Once you can play the A minor pentatonic scale smoothly and accurately, try experimenting with variations.
For example: You can try playing the scale in different positions on the fretboard. Try to add bends, slides, and vibrato to create more expressive melodies.
Notes of the A Minor Pentatonic Scale
As we have previously discussed, the A minor scale consists of five notes that can be played in a variety of positions on the guitar neck, allowing for a range of melodic possibilities.
- The most commonly played position is on the 5th fret.
- To create the A minor pentatonic, we must remove the 2nd and 6th intervals from the scale.
When playing notes in a minor pentatonic scale, it produces a haunting and melancholic sound. It has been used in countless songs throughout the history of popular music. This scale is versatile and can create a wide range of moods and emotions, from sadness and longing to excitement and joy.
Exploring 5 Different Positions
Let’s check out the five positions of the A minor pentatonic scale, used in a variety of musical genres. By learning and practising these positions, guitarists can expand their musical vocabulary and improvisation skills.
Here’s the detail on minor pentatonic scale all position:
The number one position for the minor pentatonic scale is the open position, which is played on the first three frets of the guitar.
- This position is great for beginners, as it allows them to practice basic fingerings and get comfortable with the sound of the scale.
- To play this position, start with your index finger on the fifth fret of the low E string. After this use your other fingers to play the rest of the notes.
The second position is played on the fifth and eighth frets of the guitar.
- It serves as a great way to expand your playing beyond the open position and explore new sounds.
- Start with your index finger on the fifth fret of the low E string. Then start moving up slightly to the eighth fret to continue the scale.
You have to play on the seventh and tenth frets of the guitar for the 3rd position.
- It is best for adding some variety to your solos.
- Put your index finger on the seventh fret of the low E string, and then use your other fingers to play the remaining notes of the scale.
The fourth one is played on the tenth and twelfth frets of the guitar.
- Using this position allows you to add high-pitched notes to your solos and create a more dramatic sound.
- Begin with your index finger on the tenth fret of the low E string. Once started, move up to the twelfth fret.
Last but not least, the fifth one for the minor pentatonic is played on the twelfth and fifteenth frets of the guitar.
- It is the highest-pitched of the five positions and adds a lot of excitement and energy to your solos.
- To play this one, start with your index finger on the twelfth fret of the low E string. After that use your other fingers to play the remaining notes in a minor.
Minor Pentatonic Scale: Five Patterns to Master
Before we dive into the patterns, let’s give you some insight into them and how you should play:
What is a Scale Pattern?
These are fundamental aspects of playing music on the guitar, and they refer to the specific sequence of notes that are played on a particular scale. The most popular patterns are those based on the pentatonic scale, which is a five-note scale that is highly regarded in genres of music.
When a guitarist needs to learn all of the notes, he usually breaks up the fretboard into shapes, boxes, and positions. Once you get enough practice on the patterns and you memorize all of them on the entire fretboard, It allows you to use the scale in any way.
How to Play Patterns?
The lick determines the finger that you will use to play. It is very important that you developed strength in all of your fingers so that you can play with any finger.
Correct Spots for Fingers
If you have to play notes anywhere from the 3rd to 6th frets, then the index finger will be used on the 3rd fret, the 4th fret will be occupied by the middle finger, the ring finger would be on the 5th fret, and lastly, the pinky on the 6th fret.
Using this sequence, your hand will be boxed and thus, you can play much easier.
The Five Patterns:
There are a total of 5 patterns in the minor pentatonic scale guitar. There is a separate personality and feel to each one. If you want to play across the whole fretboard, then knowing about all of them is crucial. It is not an easy task and requires a lot of practice but once you’ve managed to get it done, your tunes will feel like a work of art.
It is regarded as the most known pattern of the minor pentatonic scale.
- It begins with the root note that can be found on the sixth string and further spans three frets.
- Then it continues up to the neck of the guitar, incorporating notes from the scale on each string.
It is a variation of Pattern One, and it is played in the same position.
- However, it begins with the second note of the scale and spans three frets.
- This pattern is particularly useful for creating riffs and melodies that deviate from the standard scale.
It is played higher up on the neck than the first two patterns.
- It is ideal for creating high-pitched, melodic phrases.
- Starts with the root note on the fifth string. Then move on to the neck using notes from the scale.
The 4th one is played in a lower position on the neck.
- It is best for creating riffs.
- It establishes with the root note on the sixth string. Then it slides down the neck.
- You also need to incorporate notes from the scale on each string of the notes in a minor.
It is the final pattern of the A minor pentatonic scale tab
- The top position on the neck is where it’s played.
- It begins with the root note on the first string and then all of the further notes in key of a minor are played subsequently.
Learning these five patterns is essential for any guitarist who wants to develop their improvisation skills and create their own unique sound. Guitarists can unlock a wide range of creative possibilities and take their playing to the next level by practising each one individually. They can also combine them to rock n roll!
Want to Become a Pro? Follow these Suggestions
If you are a beginner and want to improve your guitar playing skills then these are the best things that you can do to get good:
1. Consistent Practice
If you don’t do a lot of practice and hope to miraculously get good at playing scales then you’re up to no good. This is a thing that will take a lot of hard work and practice to master. So, you should practice consistently to get better.
2. Starting Slow And Gradually Speed Up
The best way is to start slow by hitting each note of the minor accurately. When you get comfortable playing the scale, you can gradually increase your increase and tempo.
3. Focusing on Technique
A technique is one of the most important factors when playing a scale. You should focus on your hand position, fingers, and posture. If you regularly practice this technique, you will get much better at playing.
4. Using a Metronome
If you are struggling in maintaining a temp, then using a metronome is the obvious thing to do. It will help you improve your timing as well as the tempo.
5. Practicing Different Variations
Never stick to a single type of scale but rather, focus on changing things up a bit every time. Play different scales, minors, and majors to add a mix-up in your playing. This will help you get more well-rounded and also increase your improvisation.
Here is a great video showing how you can master the scales as a beginner.
Free Guitar Lessons Here
What makes the A minor pentatonic scale different from other scales?
The A minor pentatonic scale is a five-note scale that is derived from the natural minor scale. It consists of the notes A, C, D, E, and G.
How do I know which pattern of the A minor pentatonic scale to use?
Each pattern of the A minor pentatonic scale corresponds to a different position on the guitar neck. To determine which pattern to use, consider the key of the song and the position of the neck.
How do I practice the A minor pentatonic scale effectively?
Practice the A minor pentatonic scale slowly and with proper technique, focusing on clean, even playing. Gradually increase your speed as you become more comfortable with the pattern, and try practicing the scale in different keys.
Learning minor pentatonic on guitar is a crucial step in becoming a well-rounded musician. The five well-versed patterns help to express oneself through music in new and exciting ways. By mastering them, you’ll not only build the technique but also develop musicality and creativity.
What songs or solos do you know that use the known pentatonic scale? Share your answers in the comments below!
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- Krout R. E. Essential guitar skill development considerations for the contemporary music therapist //Music Therapy Today. – 2003. – Т. 4. – №. 2. – С. 1-13.
- Swick B. Teaching beginning guitar class: A practical guide. – Oxford University Press, 2017.
- Ricker R. Pentatonic scales for jazz improvisation. – Alfred Music, 1999.
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Marko is a passionate composer, producer, and multimedia artist with a Master of Music degree. His career involves performing, creating, and producing his own music in his home studio using digital and analogue equipment. Marko is a multi-instrumentalist (he plays guitar, bass, piano, theremin, and other instruments). performs live acts and DJ sets, and works on feature and short films, documentaries, festivals, theaters, and government initiatives.