How To Improvise Using The Pentatonic Scales On Guitar

Greetings guitar enthusiasts, Darrin Goodman here with another little mini guitar lesson for you, today I want to talk about guitar pentatonic scales.

The pentatonic scale is a five note musical scale that consists of the following intervals; perfect first, minor third, perfect fourth, perfect fifth and minor seventh. These scales are used in many styles and genres of music and are the easiest to improvise with. These simple patterns are easy to memorize and to create licks out of.

Part of the reason that it is easy to sound like a pro when you solo and improvise with pentatonic scales is due to the intervals within the scale. All of the notes in the scale, excluding the perfect fourth, make up the minor seventh arpeggio. This makes it really easy to have nice melodies within your solos.

Here are the five positions of the pentatonic scale.




You can also add an additional note to the patterns which will give you a Hexatonic scale, also known as the blues scale, by adding the diminished fifth (flat five). This will make the intervals of the scale as follows; perfect one, minor third, perfect fourth, diminished fifth, perfect fifth and minor seventh.

It also sounds great to add other intervals to the scale which can add flavor to your solos and give the scales more of a Dorian or Mixolydian kind of sound. Here is a little video lesson I did on adding passing tones.

Passing Tones Lesson

Another thing you can do is to play both the minor third and also add the major third. Here is a video lesson I did that demonstrates a lick using the major and minor third together.

Major & Minor Third Lesson

Well that’s all for me today. I hope that you got some things from this to help you on your musical journey.

Off to practice,

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