How To Master The 5 Pentatonic Scale And Blues Scale Patterns In 3 Easy Steps!

Pentatonic Scale Blog Post

In This Article We will Be Covering:

Part 1: The Common Method Of Creating Pentatonic / Blues Scale Patterns

Part 2: Print and Play Pentatonic Scale & Blues Scale Fretboard Roadmaps In All Keys!

Its hard to argue…

 

If you are a guitar player with any intentions of playing lead over Blues, Rock, Bluegrass, Metal (or just about any style), then the pentatonic scale and blues scale standard box patterns are pretty much mandatory!

 

Most guitar players know one or two patterns down, and this is after years of playing.

 

So the question is …

 

How well do YOU know them? 

 

Part 1: The Common Approach Of Creating Pentatonic / Blues Scale Patterns

 

Now…Most of us learn the standard approach to learning these 5 patterns. This was you’ll have the foundation needed to start learning the secrets of lead guitar soloing.

 

Here are a few points to begin with…

 Pro’s-

  1. This method of learning pentatonic scales and blues scales gets you up and running (improvising/soloing) fast.
  2. Most guitar players from almost all styles of music learn this way. So as a result, most of the guitar gods licks stem from this pattern.

Cons-

  1. These patterns tend to  give you that trapped feeling of being walled off into a box.
  2. They are difficult to memorize over the entire neck. In fact, most guitar players only learn 1 of 5 of these patterns!!!

 

Because I believe in practical application over theory, we will concentrate on creating the standard shapes rather then the theory of pentatonics and blues scale construction. 

 

Let’s begin with…

 

Identifying The Pentatonic Scale Notes On 1 String in G:

For the examples in this article we are going to use the notes of G minor pentatonic which are G, Bb, C, D, and F. The last note shown in the diagram (far right) is a higher octave of the 1st note.

We use these notes as starting notes for  the basic 5  patterns.

 

Image of G minor pentatonic scale notes

 

(*Note: The Dark Blue Note shown in the diagrams below is the “Blue Note”. While the blue note is added to the pentatonic scale to make the blues scale, you will not have a separate pattern starting from that note.)

 

Image Blue Note in the pentatonic scale

 

 

 

 

 

Creating The 5 Common Pentatonic Scale / Blues Scale Box Patterns

In the following examples, we will create 5 patterns based on the five notes  of the pentatonic scale.

I’ll show you to create the 5 basic pentatonic scale patterns (As well as Blues Scale Patterns) for guitar in 3 steps:

  1. Select a starting note taken from pentatonic scale on the 6th string.
  2. Creating a 2 note per string pattern that spans all 6 strings. Thus, creating the traditional box pattern.
  3. Finally showing where the pattern fits in relation to the others on the whole fretboard.

Pattern 1: The minor Pentatonic Scale / Blues Scale Pattern

 

Step 1. The Starting note:

Image of minor pentatonic starting note

 

 

Step 2. The Traditional Box Pattern:

The traditional approach is to learn 5 different 6 string patterns or “boxes”, and you practice (or memorize) them from the 6th string to the 1st. Like so…

minor pentatonic scale and blues scale 2

(Remember the starting note is on the bottom 6th string.)

 

 

Step 3. Positioning: Where This Pattern Fits On The Neck

Here is where the minor pentatonic scale or “Blues box” pattern fits on the neck with all of the other pentatonic notes.

Image of minor pentatonic Pattern on the neck

 

 

 

 

pentatonic superhighways 3x method

 

Pattern 2: The Major Pentatonic Scale / Blues Scale Pattern

 

Step 1. The Starting note:

Image of Major pentatonic Scale Pattern starting note

 

Step 2. The Traditional Major Pentatonic Scale And Blues Scale Box Pattern:

image of major pentatonic scale and blues scale

 

Step 3.  Positioning: Where This Pattern Fits On The Neck

Image of Major pentatonic scale pattern

 

 

Pattern 3: The Mode 3 Pentatonic Scale / Blues Scale Pattern

 

Step 1. The Starting Note:

Image of Mode 3 pentatonic Scale Blues Scale starting note

 

Step 2. The Traditional Mode 3 Pentatonic Scale And Blues Scale Box Pattern:

Image of mode 3 pentatonic scale and blues scale

 

Step 3.  Positioning: Where This Pattern Fits On The Neck

mode3 pentatonic scale & blues scale pattern

 

 

Pattern 4: The Mode 4 Pentatonic Scale / Blues Scale Pattern

 

Step 1. The Starting Note:

Image of Mode 4 pentatonic scale & blues scale starting note

 

Step 2. The Traditional Mode 4 Pentatonic Scale And Blues Scale Box Pattern:

Image of Mode 4 pentatonic scale and blues scale pattern

 

Step 3. Positioning: Where This Pattern Fits On The Neck

Image of mode 4 pentatonic scale blues scale pattern

 

Pattern 5: The 5th Mode Pentatonic Scale / Blues Scale Pattern

 

Step 1. The Starting Note:

Image of Mode 5 pentatonic scale blues scale starting note

 

Step 2. The Traditional Mode 4 Pentatonic Scale And Blues Scale Box Pattern:

Image of mode 5 pentatonic scale and blues scale

 

 

Step 3. Positioning: Where This Pattern Fits On The Neck

Image of mode 5 pentatonic scale blues scale pattern

 

 

 

 

 

pentatonic superhighways 3x method

 

So There you have it...

 

Those are the 5 basic pentatonic scale and blues scale shapes. While they are important to learn, this isn't the fastest way to speed up  the memorization process. To do that you need a less common approach designed to reveal hidden patterns.  You must approach from a different angle, such as the 3x method you can download for free here...

 

 

Part 2: Pentatonic & Blues Scales In Every Key!

Pentatonic Scale / Blues Scale Patterns In The Key Of A 

Image of All minor Pentatonic scale and Blues scale Major Pentatonic scale & blues scale, Plus Mode 3 patterns in A

Image of MOde 4 & Mode 5 of Pentatonic scale & Blues Scale box patterns

Pentatonic Scale / Blues Scale Patterns In The Key Of Bb / A#

Image of All minor Pentatonic Scale & Blues Scale Major Pentatonic Scale & Blues Scale, Plus Mode 3 Patterns In G# / Ab

A#-Bb2

Pentatonic Scale / Blues Scale Patterns In The Key Of B

Image of All minor Pentatonic Scale & Blues Scale Major Pentatonic Scale & Blues Scale, Plus Mode 3 Patterns In B

Image of MOde 4 & Mode 5 of Pentatonic scale & Blues Scale box patterns in B

Pentatonic Scale / Blues Scale Patterns In The Key Of 

Image of All minor Pentatonic Scale & Blues Scale Major Pentatonic Scale & Blues Scale, Plus Mode 3 Patterns In C

Image of Mode 4 & Mode 5 of Pentatonic scale & Blues Scale box patterns in C

Pentatonic Scale / Blues Scale Patterns In The Key Of C# / Db

 

Image of All minor Pentatonic Scale & Blues Scale Major Pentatonic Scale & Blues Scale, Plus Mode 3 Patterns In C# / Db

Image of Mode 4 & Mode 5 of Pentatonic scale & Blues Scale box patterns in C# / Db

Pentatonic Scale / Blues Scale Patterns In The Key Of D

Image of All minor Pentatonic Scale & Blues Scale Major Pentatonic Scale & Blues Scale, Plus Mode 3 Patterns In D

 

Image of Mode 4 & Mode 5 of Pentatonic scale & Blues Scale box patterns in D

Pentatonic Scale / Blues Scale Patterns In The Key Of D# / Eb

Image of All minor Pentatonic Scale & Blues Scale Major Pentatonic Scale & Blues Scale, Plus Mode 3 Patterns In D# / Eb

Image of Mode 4 & Mode 5 of Pentatonic scale & Blues Scale box patterns in D# / Eb

Pentatonic Scale / Blues Scale Patterns In The Key Of E

Image of All minor Pentatonic Scale & Blues Scale Major Pentatonic Scale & Blues Scale, Plus Mode 3 Patterns In E

Image of Mode 4 & Mode 5 of Pentatonic scale & Blues Scale box patterns in E

 

pentatonic superhighways 3x method

Pentatonic Scale / Blues Scale Patterns In The Key Of F

Image of All minor Pentatonic Scale & Blues Scale Major Pentatonic Scale & Blues Scale, Plus Mode 3 Patterns In F

Image of Mode 4 & Mode 5 of Pentatonic scale & Blues Scale box patterns In F

Pentatonic Scale / Blues Scale Patterns In The Key Of F# / Gb

Image of All minor Pentatonic Scale & Blues Scale Major Pentatonic Scale & Blues Scale, Plus Mode 3 Patterns In F# / Gb

Image of Mode 4 & Mode 5 of Pentatonic scale & Blues Scale box patterns in F# / Gb

Pentatonic Scale / Blues Scale Patterns In The Key Of G

Image of All minor Pentatonic Scale & Blues Scale Major Pentatonic Scale & Blues Scale, Plus Mode 3 Patterns In G

Image of Mode 4 & Mode 5 of Pentatonic scale & Blues Scale box patterns in G

Pentatonic Scale / Blues Scale Patterns In The Key Of G# / Ab

 

G# Ab

 

Image of Mode 4 & Mode 5 of Pentatonic scale & Blues Scale box patterns in G# / Ab

 

pentatonic superhighways 3x method

 

 

About Andrew McNaughton

Andrew McNaughton is the creator and founder of backingtracktrainer.com and Author of "The Total Fretboard Mastery System".

with Thousands of students in over 110 different countries, Andrew McNaughton created Backingtracktrainer.com as a training tool designed to dramatically decrease the amount of time necessary to master foundational musical concepts and immediately apply them to the fretboard or any instrument.

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