Today’s post is Part 2 in a series on the pentatonic scale. In Part 1, we looked at the major pentatonic scale. If you haven’t read that post, read it here. In this post, we will focus on the minor pentatonic scale.
Minor pentatonic scales are used throughout rock, blues, jazz, and popular music. It is important to know how to navigate the different patterns of the scale on the fingerboard. Otherwise, you can get locked in the root position pattern which will make tricky bass lines almost impossible to play. Take some time with the videos below and really learn the scale in all the different positions.
A pentatonic scale is a musical scale or mode with five notes per octave in contrast to a heptatonic (seven note) scale such as the major scale and minor scale.
Minor pentatonic scale
Although various hemitonic pentatonic scales might be called minor, the term is most commonly applied to the relative minor pentatonic derived from the major pentatonic, using scale tones 1, 3, 4, 5, and 7 of the natural minor scale. It may also be considered a gapped blues scale. The C minor pentatonic would be C, E-flat, F, G, B-flat. The A minor pentatonic, the relative minor of C, would be the same tones as C major pentatonic, starting on A, giving A, C, D, E, G. This minor pentatonic contains all three tones of an A minor triad.