Watch the The Major Pentatonic Scale online guitar lesson by Sean McGowan from Pentatonic Palettes for Jazz Guitar

Chances are, this is the first scale you learned to play on the guitar, and there are several reasons why it's a great scale to use for soloing in all styles of music, including jazz. Because the tritone and half-steps are removed from a traditional major scale, there is no inherent dissonance in the major pentatonic. Also, the five notes of the scale lay out well on the fretboard using two notes per string patterns, also allowing for consistent alternate picking patterns.

However, guitarists typically don't spend as much time as other instrumentalists learning how to apply pentatonic scales to jazz progressions, perhaps because they are so strongly associated with classic rock and blues styles. Our first step will be to reacquaint (maybe reconcile?!) with the beautiful major pentatonic scale, and explore in detail each of its five regions and inversions.