> Foundation of Improvisation

Minor Pentatonic Scale: Across Neck

Other lessons in the series:

      1) Maj. Pent.: Across the Neck
      2) Maj. Pent.: Up the Neck
      4) Min. Pent.: Up the Neck

  • Instruction Video


• There are 2 main types of pentatonic scale: Major Pentatonic and Minor Pentatonic.

• Intervals of Min. Pent. scale:
      1  b3  4  5  b7
     (2 and b6 of the minor scale
     are dropped)

• The b3 is darker/sadder than the (major) 3. The b7 is bluesy/funky (unlike the 'pretty' major 7).

• Major Pentatonic has a bright, clean sound. Minor Pentatonic has a bluesy, gritty sound. (You need to know both scales!)

• Most scales have seven notes; pentatonic scales have just five. (pent" means five; "tonic" = tone)

• Eric Clapton, BB King and most rock and blues players probably use minor pentatonic more than any other scale!

• In the video we'll do it in the key of A. Be sure to move it around the neck and try it in different keys (it's completely movable).

• Scale ≠ music! However, you can use the notes of a scale to make music. Play around with the notes of the scale and see if you can come up with your own licks and musical phrases/melodies. Try adding bends, slides, hammer ons, pull offs to add expression.

• You can bend the b3, 4 and b7 to add emotion.

• Try playing along with some of my Backing Tracks. Start with one of the Drone Tracks (vamps on just one chord), then try one of the Band-Minus-1 tracks....

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