A Learning & Practice Routine to Blend Minor & Major Pentatonic Scales

@Richard_close2u Some fantastic work there Richard, so a very big +1 to you for it all.

Like Tony (Bigbird) has said, it’s all a little baffling. I’ve just got to the end of beginner grade 2 module 11. Is what you’re talking about something that is coming up in future courses, or should I try and start to see if I can get an understanding of it now?

Thanks. :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the kind words Stefan.

Not really.
Justin absolutely will teach the minor pentatonic scale and, later the major pentatonic scale. He also has lessons on the care needed when using the major pentatonic in the blues which leads to a need to use minor and major judiciously in a 12-bar setting.
The ideas I present here are more to do with developing a facility to switch around from one to another seamlessly and at will but do not feature explicitly in Justin’s courses (yet).

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Thank you for that Richard.

I think I’ll see my beginner course 2 out and then I’ll have a look at this. :slight_smile:

So the improv I do at the moment, starting from from the C note on the 5th string, is that a pentatonic scale and if so it is a major or minor, or is it neither?

Thanks. :slight_smile:

That is the C major scale (a 7-note scale, not pentatonic). :slight_smile:

Thanks for that Richard. :slight_smile:

I’m sure one day I’ll understand all this. :smiley:

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Much appreciated Richard. Lots to move on with here. Will keep me busy for some considerable time.

Cheers, Shane

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Sticking with the down and dirty end for now and just spent and enjoyable 15 minutes experimenting with the first 12BB track. First on the 2 patterns Maj-min min-Maj bottom to top to bottom, then started mixing it up with a few strings at a time. Takes a bit of concentration but discovering a few “I know that!” moments. Great exercise for the brain for sure !

Thx Richard !

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@Richard_close2u you’re not planning on taking a sabbatical (or worse) are you? This looks suspiciously like give them a couple of years work to get on with and no one will notice I’m gone:wink:
… and for those of us who have foolishly chosen to fly in the face of accepted wisdom, ignoring pentatonic scales and sticking to the diatonic ones (not even sure that’s the right term!), would these exercises work the same way?

@bigbird fear not- even by blindly tripping and stumbling over these terms and concepts, gradually when the time is right, pieces of the jigsaw will start to fall into place. I still don’t know modes, but I fear them no longer.

Haha, no, no, no.
My work is not yet anywhere near completion!

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That is a very big step…I think even the biggest one…although it took a while before that penny dropped when I dared …but the English really didn’t help me,and i learned it without the videos unfortunately… every time i woke up i thought “now i get it”…in good sense down …guitar in place yet set…grrrrrom :grimacing:…But having said this…I’ve been enjoying the 5 patterns of the scales much more so far…


Really great information!! I have been mostly working on Minor pentatonic scales, memorizing them and trying to just pick a root note and work a scale from that point. I’ve also been learning the Major scales and SLOWLY getting those patterns under my fingers. Your article has really brought together both pentatonic scales like I’ve never seen before! Would you have this information in a easy to print format? I like to print out material to practice on, rather than use my laptop because I’m not going to lie I get easily distracted by other sites and email or alert popups! Thanks!

@Delzona Hi Chris and welcome to the community. Thanks for the appreciation. I make my tips and ideas and resources freely available to anyone who cares to use them. If you click on the diagrams above they all expand and show a download option. You are welcome to do so and load them into a Word document to print or just print hem directly one by one.

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Hey Richard,
Thanks for pointing out about the download ability, I missed that. I wasn’t able to download pattern 2 D shape or pattern 5 G shape because they didn’t appear to be downloadable.

Hi Chris, I’m not sure why that is for you - they all have the download option when I view them. If you can’t figure it let me know and I will send you the graphics in a message.

Hey Richard,

They still weren’t downloadable, but I figured out another way to copy and save them so now I have them all. Thanks!
Now a new question, one that has puzzled me every since I’ve started learning scales, notes, and intervals. Is it better to learn the interval number, say “root - flat 3rd” or “A” (root) - “C” (flat 3rd)? I hope that makes sense. Or does it really matter. I’ve notices that some guitarist know intervals without thinking about it, but naming the actual note takes them a few seconds. I’m not sure how I should be committing this information to memory. I’m pretty good on root note locations on the fretboard and getting better on flats and sharps, so I’m getting there, but as I said I’m just wondering if I should be focusing on intervals, major/minor or note name. I wish my ears would just lead the way, but after working around jet engines for 26 years, they aren’t doing all that well anymore. Thanks again for your time.

@Delzona Learning the intervals is easier because they are
the same for all the scales in every key. All minor interval scale
are the same and all major scale intervals are the same in
every key.
You can learn the notes of each scale as you use those scales.
I personally think learning intervals is more important.


Thanks I appreciate the answer. I will focus on the intervals distances as I practice.

@Delzona I’m glad you got them sorted Chris but don’t know why they showed as not downloadable.
In terms of your question, @stitch has answered perfectly well. I don’t know if you have a subscription to the practical theory course. If you do, Justin teaches learning the notes across the fretboard in module 4.

I have to look to see what I actually have in the way of subscriptions with Justin. I’ve subscribed to a number different programs that he offers and I just keep jumping around, which I think is why my progress is not very steady.



Gordon - I have started to remove the contents of my back pocket … this for you. :slight_smile:




Justin introduces a scripted blues solo in this lesson: Beginner Blues Solo | JustinGuitar.com
and a nudge towards improvisation here: Blues Improv | JustinGuitar.com

For all who took a little look at this and had an OMG what the heck moment - thinking it was all too much. For those just about at the point where you know what the minor pentatonic scale is and have learned pattern 1 in A then look here instead: First Steps in Blues Improvisation using Minor Pentatonic Scale Pattern 1

While true that the major core of Justin’s blues lead studies are in the intermediate grades, he does intoduce it quite a bit earlier. And using just pattern 1, nothing else, you can spend months and months and years even having fun before you reach those far-off shores.