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Watch the Minor Pentatonic Scales online guitar lesson by Kenny Wessel from Shades of Jazz

We will start with the Minor Pentatonic scale, often called the ‘blues scale'. It contains a root, b3, 4, 5, and b7. Here I will demonstrate the G minor pentatonic scale up and down the neck. The pitches in this scale are: G, Bb, C, D and F. We want to be able to play these scales around the fretboard, if we don't know how to already. It's crucial that there should be no holes on the guitar neck - or sections of the neck where we don't know how to play a G minor pentatonic scale. I break the fretboard into 5 positions (with some overlap), to cover the entire fretboard. It's not so important that you use my fingerings, or even use 5 positions. You can use more or fewer positions (some guitarists break the fretboard into 7 positions, some into 3 or 4, and some don't visualize the fretboard in positions at all). What is important, though, is that you don't have any places on the neck where you can't play G blues! You have to cover the whole fretboard for whatever you're dealing with musically, be it scales, chords, voicings, melodies, etc. This will make you a fluent improviser. Without out this ability, you will not be able to negotiate harmony very easily.

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