Before tackling this course, you should be comfortable with all the material from What is the pentatonic?

Let's now dive in to take a look at the major pentatonic scale. For a lot of guitarists, it will be pretty strange to hear the major pentatonic, as the minor is probably the most commonly used in blues and rock. However, this scale plays a key part in a variety of genres, so it must be learnt!

Summary: The Major Pentatonic

As we previously established, the pentatonic scales use 5 notes from the 7 note major / minor scales. In the case of major pentatonic, we take our full major scale and remove the 4th and 7th notes. This gives us the formula of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th & 6th from the major scale. Here is an example of that in G:

In Practice: Major Pentatonic Shape

To help you put this into practice, here is a common shape for the major pentatonic in the key of C major (as per the example above). Notice the notes on the neck as you go through it, trying to say the degrees of the scale (i.e. 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc...).

Ready to move on? Remember to check out every lesson in this unit first – then try the next unit...

The Minor Pentatonic

The electric guitarist's best friend is the minor pentatonic! Most electric players can play the shape, but do you understand the theory behind it?