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Lyle Ronglien >> Beginning Guitar VI - Scales >>

Beginning Guitar VI - Scales

Lesson 5 - The Major Pentatonic

Lyle: In the past 4 lessons you've learned 4 very important and useful scales: the major, the minor, the minor pentatonic, and the minor blues scales.

Lyle: The next scale for you to learn is the major pentatonic, which is made from the 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 degrees/tones of the major scale:

1 - E major scale and major pentatonic

Lyle: The major pentatonic is used in blues, country, and rock styles of music. I like to call it the "country pentatonic" and the minor pentatonic I like to call the "blues pentatonic". The minor pentatonic sounds bluesy and the major pentatonic sounds country to me.

Lyle: Here's an easy way to play it:

2 - E major pentatonic open position 1

dan: What is the metal pentatonic :) ?

Lyle: The minor pentatonic is used in metal music.

Lyle: Doesn't it (the major pentatonic) sound country to you?

Lyle: Here's a two octave pattern for E:

3 - E major pentatonic open position 2

BigTX: Yee Haw

Brad: I recon it does sound country!

Lyle: Here's one of my favorite positions to play this scale. This uses a pattern that starts on a root note from the 5th string:

4 - E major pentatonic - 5th string root

BigTX: Almost looks like a minor pent pattern?

Lyle: Yes. The E major pentatonic has a "relative minor" pentatonic, the C# minor pent is the same notes:

E maj pent - C# min pent

Lyle: Here's a cool extended pattern to try:

5 - E major pentatonic - extended pattern

Lyle: Find a pattern you like out of any of these and play along to this looping jam track:

Jam Track in E

Lyle: Here's a 4 octave spread for the E major pentatonic:

6 - E major pentatonic - 4 octaves

Lyle: The patterns I'm showing you are the most used patterns to become familiar with.

Lyle: Try stringing , pardon the pun, together a few of the E major pentatonic patterns together to make a solo, like this:

solo example 1

solo example 1

Lyle: If you want to get tricky, try changing the major pentatonic with each chord change. In the jam track there is the E, A, and B chords used. Change or follow each chord with the right major pentatonic like this:

solo example 2

solo example 2

Lyle: If you like this sound and soloing technique, I made a series of lessons about this very subject in a Riff Interactive CD-ROM titled Country Guitar for Beginners.

Lyle: Try this solo example in a new key of D:

solo example 3 in D

Jam Track in D

Lyle: There's a jam track for you to play with in D.

solo example 3 in D

Lyle: All these major pentatonic patterns can be moved to different keys. Just locate the root note you need and start your patterns from there. Here's a few examples:

7 - G major pentatonic

8 - A major pentatonic

9 - B major pentatonic

BigTX: Why are you changing between the different scales? If the song is in the key of D wouldn't you stick with that scale?

Lyle: You can stick with it or change when using the major pentatonics against major chords. This is a soloing technique covered in the CD-ROM titled Country Guitar for Beginners. Lots of cool solos and major pentatonic riffs there for you to learn in the country style.

Lyle: The major pentatonic is used in rock and blues too. Here's a simple example of me using the E major pentatonic over a rock ballad jam track in E major:

solo example 3 in E rock jam

Lyle: Now you have reached the end of this series on scales for beginners. Here's a good study for you to do. These next TABs cover each of the 5 different scales taught in this series.

scale study 1

Lyle: See if you can play scale study 1 all the way through.

Lyle: Here's a few more scale study TABs for you to learn and practice. These will help you memorize the name, shapes, and sounds of each different scale from these lessons:

scale study 2

scale study 3

scale study 4

Lyle: There you go, this should keep most of you busy for awhile!

BigTX: Man, how do you keep all the patterns straight in your head.

Lyle: Practice.

Lyle: And this isn't all the scales or patterns, there's many more!!!!

Lyle: Ok, thanks everyone, we should take a break for now.

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