Scales are essential to learn on any instrument. You can play a variety of different sounding scales on the guitar. Today we are going to discuss the Major Pentatonic scale and the music theory required to build a Major Pentatonic scale. this type of scale is used in Blues,Rock,Country,Pop and many other genres. The Major Pentatonic scale sounds great over a 1,4,5 chord progression.
First, we will look at the construction of the major scale. We use the major scale to form a major Pentatonic scale(key of c major):
C D E F G A B
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Each note has a degree placed under it( 1-7). We will use this number system to organize the notes given.
In order for us to create a Major Pentatonic scale we must take the 4th and 7th degree out of the major scale. This in turn will create a Major Pentatonic scale. The scale looks like this:
C D E G A
1 2 3 5 6
The Major Pentatonic scale can be played with a “blue note” in between the 2nd and 3rd note(D,Eb,E) this is a chromatic note that is not part of the natural scale. By adding this note it will make the scale sound like a blues scale. While playing the “blue note” you can either bend the note up to the “blues note” or play each single note separately. You can also slide past the “blue note” until you hit the 3rd degree.
The major Pentatonic scale looks like this with the “blue note”
C D Eb E G A
The Major Pentatonic scale is a highly useful scale among guitar players. You can apply this scale to many genres of music. In order for you to understand this scale it is necessary to practice the scale over chords and different genres of music. Play this scale with some jam tracks. You can find jam tracks on you tube. They will help you hear what this scale sounds like and allow you to play the scale with a band.