The Pentatonic Scale and Lead Guitar

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The Pentatonic Scale is the most widely used scale when it comes to Rock and Roll and Blues lead guitar. Similar to power and bar (barre) chords, it follows a movable pattern.

Consisting of 5 notes, Penta - Tonic in Greek literally means "five tones".

Here is an example played in the key of G minor.

Gm Pentatonic

You'll notice that the notes of the scale repeat themselves in the same order- G, A#, C, D, and F.

So how do you play the scale in the key of G Major? Well let me start by saying that most Rock and Blues lead guitar is played minor.

Most of the time.

To play in a Major Key, you simply change the starting note. G Major would start on the 6th fret of the low E string instead of the 3rd fret. Start on the second note in a minor scale and you've now got a Major Pentatonic.

G Pentatonic Scale

Pentatonic Scale Video Lesson

This works anywhere on the fret board.

Once you've got this down practice playing the notes of the scale in a different order. Practice playing in different keys.

Get Creative. Add your personality to it.

Once you've been playing for a while, you'll start to gain a sense of where to move your fingers within the scale to achieve certain desired sounds. Then all you need to do is make those 5 notes your own.

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