Learn the first 6 notes of the scale – the major and minor pentatonic modes, and the open tuning scale.
Then pick either a major or minor pentatonic scale to play a few key chords:
If you choose a major pentatonic, you will need to learn the seventh (4th) fret the same way you learned the first (3rd) and second (1st) fret, above. This is the only standard tuning that makes sense. If you choose a major, the interval is D-minor, but it’s only used in songs that are written in common mode. So it’ll still be hard to play.
If you choose a minor, the interval is Eb-natural – this is a good tune to learn if you want to use it in any song style.
Now you’ll have a good head start in playing the 7th note of your scale every time you play a chord, and you’ll have a decent idea of which fret you need to move on to first for the next note you pick up.
How do I get started on learning the minor pentatonic?
If you don’t want to read the detailed lesson, the following chart is a good starting point for you:
Minor Pentatonic Scale – Major Scale = E Minor Pentatonic Scale = F Minor Pentatonic Scale = G Minor Pentatonic Scale = B Major Pentatonic Scale = E Major Scale = G Major Pentatonic Scale = F Major Pentatonic Scale = G
Now that you know how to play the scale in a single bar on a guitar, it’s time to start learning the entire scale over the course of a few days:
Click the image to play.
For this part, you’ll have to pick a major triad (one note per fret) and play it just like you would a major scale:
Major Scale = E Minor Pentatonic Scale = F Major Pentatonic Scale = G Major Pentatonic Scale = B Major Scale = E Major Scale = F Major Pentatonic Scale = G
After that, pick a minor pentatonic:
Major Scale = E Minor Pentatonic Scale = F Major Pentatonic Scale = G Major Pentatonic Scale = A Minor Scale = F G Major Scale = B
Now for the next step:
Major Scale = E Minor Pentatonic Scale = F Major Pentatonic Scale = G
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