In this section on playing the Blues we look as the essential Minor Pentationic Scale and the 5 positions that they can be played in. The minor pentatonic scale is probably the most effective scale that you can use when playing the Blues, so it is paramount that you understand and master the scale in all its 5 positions.
First lets look at the notes and intervals in the Minor Pentatonic Scale.
As the name pentatonic suggest, the scale is a 5 note scale. It is closely associated to the natural minor scale but contains no half tone intervals hence the 5 notes unlike the minor scale that contains 7 notes.
In these featured lessons we will focus on the Key of Am
So lets first look at the A natural minor scale so we can see how the Minor Pentatonic scale differs.
Notes = A - B - C - D - E - F - G - (A) Intervals = R - W - H - W - W - H - W - (W)
Now lets look at the notes and intervals in the Minor Pentatonic Scale
Notes = A - C - D - E - G - (A) Intervals = R - W+H - W - W - W+H - (W)
The important item to note is the removal of the 2nd note in this case the B and the 6th note the F. Numericaly we now have a Root, b3, 4, 5, b7
So lets look at the notes on the fretboard.
The notes in Red are the root notes. The numbers are the suggestted fingers to use. Beginners may find it easier to use the 3rd finger on the notes instead of the 4th finger.
Some of you might recognise this pattern and may in fact be already using it. Position 1 is probably the most common and popular scale shape used by musicians on the guitar. Many professional guitar players have used this scale position for there solos and not felt a need to move from this.
You can practice using this scale over numerous backing tracks.