The Minor Pentatonic Scale

The first scale that people learn is very easy to use and the alphabet for playing the Blues!

View the full lesson at The Minor Pentatonic Scale | JustinGuitar

So there are 5 ways to play a minor pentatonic in any key correct? Why do we need 5 different ways for the same key? What dictates which of the 5 “scales, shapes” you play ?

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Welcome to the community Harry.
What dictates which pattern is where you are on the neck.
Two of the shapes have E string Root notes two have A string
Root notes and one has a D string root
Have you ever seen a guitar player start close go the nut and do
a run all the way up the neck to the body?
He is connecting 3 or 4 pattern as he moves up the neck.

Also there are way more than 5 patterns. The CAGED System has
5 which is only one way to look at the fret board. And the best way
to start.

For each scale, there are a certain notes and you can find those specific notes all around the neck. Groupings of those notes close to each other on specific place of the neck is what we call a pattern.

@harryr3 There are five patterns and all spring from a way of describing and mapping the guitar fretboard using what is called the CAGED system.
CAGED is an acronym of five open-position chord shapes, namely C major, A major, G major, E major and D major. The cowboy chords you learn in the beginner stages.

If you worked through this lesson you will have already met the C major scale and hopefully grasped that within its many notes sit the five notes that get played when you play a C major chord.
Do you see them? From fret 3 on the A-string through to the open e-string?
This view of a chord sitting within a scale pattern could be inverted, so you think of a scale pattern as being built on and around a chord shape, the chord shape with additional ‘scale notes’ that can be found near to the chord itself.
This can be done for not just the C major chord but for the A, G, E and D major chords also. To build scale patterns that are all in just one sing e key - therefore using only multiple repeats of the exact same seven notes without deviation - would necessitate moving the chord shapes along to different positions on the neck and thinking of them as barre chords based on the C, A, G, E and D shapes.
Continuing to use the C major scale …
The C major chord gives a scale pattern at and around the open position from open strings up to fret 3.
The next in sequence would be the scale pattern built around the C major chord made from an A-shape barre with root at fret 3. Its lower notes at fret 3 would be overlapping notes with the upper edge of the C-shape pattern. All five scale patterns overlap / intersect at their upper / lower reaches.
The next scale pattern would be built around the C major chord made from a G-shape barre with root at fret 8.
Then a C major chord made from an E-shape barre with root at fret 8.
Then a C major chord made from a D-shape barre with root at fret 10.
Higher up the neck, having bridged across the 12th fret octave repeat of the open strings, the next pattern would be an exact copy of the C-shape scale pattern from the open position (as shown in the diagram above but spanning frets 12-15.
And so on.

What you then need to know is that the major scale patterns can all be reduced to a scale that is a subset, removing two notes and creating a five-note scale - called major pentatonic scale.
The major pentatonic is a subset of the major scale, formed by removing the 4th and 7th notes.
Major scale:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Major pentatonic scale:
1, 2, 3, 5, 6
This then leads to the clear result that there are five patterns of the major pentatonic scale.

You asked about the minor pentatonic scale. Well, the exact same logic applies. With one exception. To arrive at understanding that there are five patterns of the minor pentatonic, you need first to know that the CAGED system similarly gives rise to five patterns of the minor scale. From there, just one step does it because the minor pentatonic is a subset of the minor scale.
Minor scale:
1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7
Minor pentatonic scale:
1, b3, 4, 5, b7

Hope that helps.
Cheers :blush:
| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide & Moderator

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