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Pentatonic Scales

Matthew Laham (4396) · [archive]
Style: Theory/Reference · Level: Beginner · Tempo: 60
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6

The Pentatonic Scales


The Pentatonic scales are probably the most commonly used scales in rock 'n roll history. They are comprised of a series of five notes that are derived from the Major Scale with just the fourth and seventh scale degrees removed. In other words (G, A, B, C, D, E, F#, G) with the fourth and seventh notes removed becoming (G, A, B, D, E, G).

There are two different kinds of Pentatonic scales, MAJOR Pentatonics and MINOR Pentatonics. There are no real differences between the two other than the root of the scale patterns, and the pattern of intervals are slightly different.

As far as a pattern of intervals go, it is not that important to memorize them for the Pentatonic scales, but here they are anyways.

Major Pentatonic:
  • One and a half steps
  • Whole step
  • One and a half steps
  • Whole step


Minor Pentatonic:
  • One and a half step
  • Whole step
  • Whole step
  • One and a half step
*NOTE: A half step means moving up(or down) one fret.(ie. Moving from B to C, or A# to B) A whole step means moving up (or down) two frets.(ie. Moving from A to B, or A# to C) Therefore One and a half steps means moving up (or down) three frets.(ie. Moving from A to C, or A# to C#)
Half step(B to C)
Whole step (A to B)
1-1/2 steps (A to C)