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A minor pentatonic scale

Patent Pending The illustration above has all of the A minor pentatonic scale positions circled. Don't let the word pentatonic scare you off, it just means a five note scale. I will be explaining two types of pentatonic scales, one is the minor pentatonic scale and the other will be the major pentatonic scale. To explain the differences in them now, would be to advanced. However, as the lessons advance the differences and the likes will be explained in more detail. These lessons will be a bit unconventional and won't follow the instructional guide you buy at the local book or music store. Why? Because you want to learn how to play the guitar and want to learn fast. There's a good reason why I want you to learn every position of the Am pentatonic scale. One reason being, if you learn everyone of these positions, playing modes in the key of C major or any other key will be that much easier. Once you learn each position of the illustration above, converting them into modes won't be a problem. The first position we'll learn will be the A minor pentatonic at the root note fret. The A minor pentatonic root note fret starts at the 5th fret on the Low E string. Notice the first yellow circle above, that is the root note fret for the A minor pentatonic scale. The Am root note fret is determined by the note on the Low E string. Look above and notice that the A note is on the Low E string at the 5th fret. Don't let this illustration confuse you, things will become much clearer as we move along. The Am pentatonic scale has the same notes and fingering pattern as that of the C major pentatonic scale. However, if you played the C major pentatonic scale, you would use the C note for the home or tonic chord. The Am is a natural minor or relative minor to the key of C major. The C note would be the root note in the C major pentatonic scale. From here on, I will no longer refer to the C major pentatonic scale. Just remember, once you learn the Am pentatonic positions, converting them to C major pentatonic will be easy. The illustration below, is the same guitar fretboard but with the A minor pentatonic scale illustrated. This is the root note fret position for the A minor

pentatonic scale. Notice that you can play every note in the fifth fret with just your 1 finger and never leave that 5th fret. The numbers below are not a chord, but a fingering pattern for the A minor pentatonic scale. Take a look above at the (A minor) pentatonic scale. This is one of the most important scales to learn. Before you do anything else, you need to memorize the fingering pattern above. Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Van Halen and just about everyone else have used this scale in some variation or another to play lead guitar. We will be using this scale for a while to let you become familiar with the guitar fretboard and to build your foundation. Listen to this scale and become accustomed to hearing it. The scale is played from the 5th fret A note Low E string down through the scale to the 8th fret high E string. Go to the Animation

1= Index finger 2= Middle finger 3= Ring finger 4= Pinkie T= Thumb The numbers above represent your fingers that play this scale. The numbers in the right box are the numbers for each finger you would use to play each note. You must now learn the fingering number system used for our studies. It is very important that you memorize each number representing each finger. This fingering system above to the right will be used to learn how to play scales, use tablature, do exercises and play lead guitar. Below is what the tablature would look like to play the A minor pentatonic scale at the root note fret. ---------------------------------5--8-----------------------------5--8-----------------------------5--7------------------

-------------5--7-----------------------------5--7-------------------------------5-8------------------------------------Look at the guitar fretboard above and you will notice six strings, Fat E A D G B and E. Each string has 2 numbers 1 through 4 assigned to them. The assigned numbers 1 through 4 are the fingers that play these highlighted notes. Look below in the box to the right and notice what each finger number equals. The 1's are played with your index finger. The 2's will be played with your middle finger. The 3's are played with your ring finger. The 4's are played with your pinkie. 1 = Index finger 2 = Middle finger 3 = Ring finger 4 = Pinkie T = Thumb To play this scale you would start with the Low E string which is the fattest string. Place your 1 finger down on the Low E string at the 5th fret, look at the picture above. Notice the note at the 5th fret that is marked in red pick 1st. So now you should have moved through the scale 1-4, 1-3, 1-3, 1-3, 1-4, 1-4 Now reverse this process starting at the High E string 8th fret and play moving up. 4-1, 4-1, 3-1, 3-1, 3-1, 4-1. This will help build strength in your hand and at the same time train your ear to the different sounds of the scale. Just a quick secret. Did you know that once you learn the A minor pentatonic scale in the root note position 5th fret, you can move that same fingering up and down the guitar fret board to play in different keys? You should now know the fingering pattern for the A minor pentatonic scale root note fret, 1-4, 1-3, 1-3, 1-3, 1-4, 1-4. After all, you've practiced this scale over a hundred times by now and know it is the most popular position to play the Am pentatonic. This position is relatively easy to play, only because the 1 finger never has to leave the 5th fret to play all the notes in this scale. Eventually we will learn different positions of the A minor pentatonic scale, hammer-ons, pull offs and bending. As you learn to play these scales, you will eventually learn how to play over the chords that form these scales. Since this is the Am pentatonic scale, you can

play this scale over the Am chord. You can also play it over the Am7 chord and C major and D9 chord. You can also play this scale over root 5 chords. But, in time you will want to use the scales for each chord. For example, G major pentatonic over the G chord. Or maybe G Mixolydian, but that will be down the road. When you're playing over the Am chord, you can play the notes of the Am chord and Am pentatonic scale. The Am chord is made up of the notes, A C and E. In the following lessons, I have you starting on a different note in each position of the Am pentatonic scale. But it is important to note the location of the A note, which is the root note for this scale. For example, in the next position of the Am pentatonic scale, we will be starting on the C note 8th fret. We should see how the chords of this scale relate to this position. How the Am, C and other chords relate to this position and all positions of the Am pentatonic scale. In the lessons to follow, we will continue to concentrate on the Am pentatonic scale. The pentatonic minor and pentatonic major are really that important. So far you have covered the guitar fretboard and should know how many strings are on the guitar. You should know the difference between the high and low E string, which one is larger and the locations. You should know how many frets are on your guitar. Now you should know that there is a scale which is called the pentatonic minor scale. Pentatonic means having 5 notes. There are other scales which have more notes and we will be covering them down the road. You should also know that the yellow circle in the illustration above is referred to the Am pentatonic scale's root note fret. We will be learning what notes are, what scales are, what chords are and all of the other terms soon. I believe it is a good idea to get you started picking some notes, so that's why we've covered this scale so soon. I understand that you may be picking these notes and not even know why. You're saying, what's a note, what's a scale, what's this or that? Don't worry, we will learn all about these things as we move along. Assignments: If you need to learn to read tablature, you can check out that chapter. If not, we are moving onto the next position of the Am pentatonic scale.

Tablature. Am pentatonic starting on the C note at the 8th fret position or the blue circle on the illustration above. We will begin to write an original song and the first part has been posted. I have written out the tablature for it and it will be coming up in lesson 7 or so. The chords used are the Am, F and G, so pay particular attention to those chords in the open position chord chapter.

Listen to our slow song beefed up a little for the electric guitar. This is played in Am pentatonic, root note fret. The root note fret is the 5th fret for Am pentatonic.

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