Guitar Pentatonic Scales, get ready for soloing!

Hi Everyone,

as you will have understood from the title, today we will talk about the guitar pentatonic scales.  In this post I will try to explain what they are and how to play them on the guitar. Generally the pentatonic scales often find themselves in blues and rock, and beginners are taught for their simplicity of learning and execution. It is usually the first type of scale with which you begin to improvise. The minor pentatonic is often also used in metal, rock and jazz, while the major pentatonic is more used in country, pop, pop rock.

What are the pentatonic scales

The major and minor pentatonic scales. As the name implies, are nothing but derivatives or if you prefer simplifications of the relative major and minor natural scales and do not contain semitones. In fact the major pentatonic is obtained by removing the fourth and the seventh note from the natural minor scale. The same thing is done with the minor, but removing the second and sixth. Logically, in order not to have jarring harmonic progressions it is necessary to combine certain chord progressions.

The ductility of the pentatonic scales lies in the fact that the guitarist will be free to play on any key. The pentatonic scales have 5 shapes or modes. These are represented by the famous boxes (see below couple of example). It will be enough to position themselves on the tonic note (root) situated in the first or sixth string and from there starting improvising on the relative box. In this way it will be possible to pass from one box to another, moving along the entire neck.

The Minor Pentatonic

The scales, are built on a minor natural scale but without the second and sixth grades: the notes are the same as the “major” pentatonic built on the relative major scale. The Minor Pentatonic scale is built in following the following musical intervals:
– (perfect) unison
– minor third
– perfect fourth
– perfect fifth
– minor seventh

The  Major Pentatonic

The Major Pentatonic like the one with a major third among the first three sounds is very similar to the classical major scale, but without the fourth and seventh grade. The scale is built in following the following musical intervals:

– (perfect) unison
– major second
– major third
– perfect fifth
– major sixth

How to play the pentatonic scales on the guitar

Now it’s time to practice: how to play the pentatonic scale on the neck.

It is possible to play it from eight or nine different positions.

C Scale

We can start either from the third fret on the fifth string, or from the first fret on the second, but also from the fifth fret on the third string, or again on the eighth fret on the first and sixth string.

In the final part of the neck there are also the scales on the tenth fret, thirteenth and fifteenth but with the thinning of the frets in these positions it is undoubtedly necessary a greater practice given the difficulty in playing in positions so narrow.

G Scale

Also the pentatonic scale of G, can start from the third string played in void, or the third fret on the two E strings. As in the case of C, also on the G we can start from the fifth fret, eighth and tenth, as well as from the twelfth and fifteenth.

D Scale

The pentatonic scale in the key of D also has the possibility of starting from the open string, as well as from D on the second string to the third fret, or on the fifth string to the fifth fret or again to the seventh fret on the third string.

A Scale

The pentatonic scale of A, at the beginning of the handle, has a double possibility: either the fifth open string or, alternatively, the A on the third string at the second fret.

Two A scales can find at the fifth fret on the first and sixth string, as well as the seventh fret on the fourth string, the tenth on the second, the twelfth on the fifth and the fourteenth on the third.

E Scale

The E can start immediately with two empty strings. From the second fret on the fourth string, to the fifth fret on the second, to the seventh fret on the fifth, to the ninth fret on the third, to the twelfth fret on the two empty strings and to the fourteenth fret, always on the fourth.

B Scale

The pentatonic scale of B instead can start from the fifth string on the second fret or from the second empty string. From the fourth fret on the third string, but also from the two B to the seventh fret.

In the final part of the handle, we find the B on the ninth fret on the fourth string, on the twelfth fret on the second and on the fourteenth on the fifth.

F Scale

The last pentatonic is that of F #, which can start from the two F # to the second fret, or from the one to the fourth fret on the fourth string, or to the seventh fret on the second.

In the final part of the neck, the pentatonic can start from the ninth fret on the fifth string. From the eleventh fret on the third and from the two F # to the twelfth fret on the first and on the sixth string.

Lot of words, now let’s start to work!

In the last paragraph I have briefly described where to find the various sclaes on the neck. I agree that it may seem confusing. For this reason I would like to suggest a couple of very exhaustive texts (I put the link below) that I used personally. As an alternative to texts and speaking of guitar 2.0, you can also find many online courses dedicated to pentatonic scales, by clicking here you will find one of my favorites.

I hope you enjoyed this post too

Rock on

Different Guitar Styles

guitar styles

Hi Everyone,

let’s talk about different guitar styles.  Even if guitarist has his own style of playing the guitar, we can classify them into ten categories. These styles, or categories, if you prefer, have developed over the years, especially with the advent of electricity. Below the main ones according to my point of view.

Different Guitar Styles

The Blues

Blues is the basis of modern guitar styles. The sound is very recognizable and can almost always be traced back to the same rhythm. Many say that to play the blues you must have a dark and sad soul, in fact often the blues is combined with moods and love such as anger, anger, but also hope. Rhythmically the blues can be traced back to the progression of 3 chords, 12 measures and a specific tempo. There are no real techniques to learn but it is clearly advisable to know the bottleneck to create a lot of warm and vibrant. My absolute favorite is definitely B.B. King with his inseparable Lucille.

The Rock’n’Roll

Rock and roll can be defined as a direct descendant of blues and rhythm and blues. Appeared in the 50s in the United States, where he found in the immense Chuck Berry. He was one of the founding fathers who pushed this musical style and gave a new dimension to the music scene of the time. Normally the best guitars for this genre are the vintage half case or the “solid-body”. The rock’n’roll, over the years has never changed, he did and continues to make so many lovers of good rhythm dance. Usually you have to equip yourself with powerful amplifiers and almost always without any pedal except for some cases where you can recognize the use of reverb in the songs. The rhythm is rapid and syncopated to favor very decisive sounds.

The Rock

Rock is the quintessential style for every guitarist. It is a very easy and intuitive style to learn and it is with this style that true legends have been created (Page, Hendrix to name just a couple). The style is minimalist: few chords, usually derived from the blues, and a very powerful sound. Here too, the key to success lies in good and powerful iconic or not electric amps and guitars. The most used effects in this genre are the “FUZZ” and the “WHA-WHA”.

The Hard Rock

Along with heavy metal (further on) this is my favorite genre. This genre developed from rock, exaggerating the feeling of rebellion. Many world bands are recognized above all for the iconic guitarists and their sound. The list could be endless but surely those who approach this genre certainly know the AC / DC, the Black Sabbath, the Led Zeppelin. Knowing how to play hard rock requires mastering the basics of the guitar and pushing them to the extreme limits using distortions and powerful sounds. The riffs are heavier, have different distortions, the volume is extremely out of nature and also the posture is different by moving the instrument downwards.

The Heavy Metal

Yet another extreme, the base is the hard rock and from here we start with even harder sounds and heavier riffs. Heavy metal also has a correlation with classical music, guitarists of this genre are the undisputed masters of all the techniques that reproduce at crazy speeds, over the years heavy metal has given birth to numerous genres. The sound of heavy metal is mainly full of powerful distortions, syncopated rhythms and variations inside that alternate several times within a single song.

The Funk

Quite different, funk is a musical style that brings grooves to the rhythm. Groove and rhythm are the distinctive elements of this musical genre. Besides the basic notions one must to play the funk is to master the rhythm. Precisely this particular makes it special and in this case it takes a lot of practice with the metronome. Especially for the right hand that controls precisely the rhythm of the rhythm / groove. The most used effects are without a doubt the Wha-Wha and / or the Phaser.

The Reggae

This style sees in Bob Marley a real icon that has cleared this genre all over the world and has not limited it to the Caribbean islands from which it originates. Generally played with the pick, the right hand dictates timing and counter-time while the left is used to stop the sound in order to create the syncopated sound trademark of this genre.

The Country

This style is mainly American and distinctive of the southern States. It is essential to know how to use the pick. The sound is recognizable thanks to its chords, rhythms and above all the strings that must preferably be of metal.

The Jazz

It is certainly one of the bases of all contemporary music. The best guitars are usually the “solid-body”. This style has introduced full-fledged improvisation in music. Using amplifiers with a clear sound but powerful and generally without effects. You need to have an expert level to try your hand at this genre since it is practically based on improvisation.

The Pop

Last but not least, pop. Born from the folk movement in the United States, he later adapted to the contemporary style. Most famous current is that of the Brit-Pop in which you can include groups such as: The Beatles, Genesis, The Police or Oasis that have become famous all over the world. Pop music derives from the arrangements of rock, especially modifying its effects.

I hope you enjoyed this article on differnt guitar styles and don’t hesitate to comment.

Rock On