Conquering The Major Pentatonic Scale

In this article we take a look at a really useful fingering for the major pentatonic scale. As I mentioned in an earlier article on pentatonic guitar scales, the major pentatonic scale is a vital scale to master. There are probably thousands of rock, blues, jazz and fusion guitar solos that use it…so learn the stuff in this lesson well!

Here is a fretboard diagram showing the fingering that we will use for this lesson. Please notice that it a fingering for the C Major Pentatonic Scale which contains the notes: C D E G A

C Major Pentatonic Fingering:

 C Major Pentatonic Scale Fingering

Please take a few minutes to memorize this fingering. Once you've done that, please read on…

All done? Great!

Let's now take a look at two scale exercises that use this fingering. Both the exercises use melodic patterns and will help you get used to playing the fingering in ways other than straight-up-and-down. This is really important because it helps you sound less "scaley" and more musical. It also makes your scale practice more interesting!

Here are the exercises…

C Major Pentatonic Scale: Exercise One

This scale exercise uses alternate picking starting with a downstroke. It uses a four-note melodic pattern and is great for building some foundational major pentatonic scale technique…

C Major Pentatonic Scale - Exercise One

C Major Pentatonic Scale: Exercise Two

This exercise is a bit more advanced than the previous one. It also uses alternate picking, but it also uses some string-skipping. So start off really slow, and gradually build it up to speed…

C Major Pentatonic Scale - Exercise Two

Mastering guitar scale exercises like the two above is a really important thing to do if you're serious about mastering scales and improving your guitar soloing. By practicing them your are improving three things at the same time…

  1. Your overall guitar technique.
  2. Your guitar scale ability.
  3. Your ears. You are literally programming in melodic patterns into your mind's ear.

Work hard at these…and see you next time!

Return To: Guitar Scales  
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