The Minor Pentatonic Scale is an essential scale to learn as a beginning guitar player. The Minor Pentatonic scale is used in all genres of music, and is a handy scale to have in your arsenal. Bands like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and Pink Floyd have all have tons of famous licks and solos founded on the Minor Pentatonic Scale.
Understanding the Minor Pentatonic Scale
The Minor Pentatonic Scale is constructed of five notes (hence the prefix penta-), and is constructed using the formula: 1 b3 4 5 b7, which means the Minor Pentatonic uses the 1st, flatted 3rd, 4th, 5th ,and flatted 7th note of the Major Scale. So in E minor Pentatonic you would have the notes E, G, A, B, and D.
Below is the neck chart for the E Minor Pentatonic scale. Notice the root notes are highlighted in orange. Know where the octaves are will help you shift the pattern up the neck of the guitar.
Now here is the E Minor Pentatonic tab for all 5 positions
Remember to move the root note along the fretboard to play the scale in different keys. The pattern remains the same regardless of what fret you start on. So if you started the pattern on the 1st fret, you would be playing F Minor Pentatonic, 2nd fret F# Minor Pentatonic, etc.
Always practice with a metronome! Or even better, Lawerence Frit’s Blue Oyster Blues in E Backing Track.
It may be tedious and frustrating to play with a metronome, but the precision and accuracy you gain will be invaluable. There are a few good free metronomes on the web, Metronome Online and Best Metronome are two examples. Remember to start slow, and to play each note evenly and clean.