Pentatonic scales can be viewed as a series of patterns which proceed vertically or horizontally about the fretboard.
First, let me show you a series of simple patterns.
Now if we line all the guys up, we see that we get the pentatonic scale moving up the fretboard. Lets take a look...
Now I know Carl and Earl look alot alike, but they differ in the location of the tonic in the pattern. Carl has the tonic at the bottom right and Earl at the bottom left.
Lets move to the next pair of strings and see what happens. Since we've been working on A-minor, if we start on the fifth fret, we'll have to start with Carl. He has the tonic on the A. So now we procede with
Carl, Dave, Earl, Al, Bob, Carl, etc..
So, for vertical movement, you need only remember the order in which these patterns occur. Al, Bob, Carl, Dave, Earl, Al, Bob, Carl, Dave, Earl....
On the next page, I will discuss horizontal movement. i.e. movement across the fret board.