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Watch the Major & Minor Pentatonics online guitar lesson by Robbie Calvo from Guitar Interactives


All of the Major and Minor Pentatonic Scales are derived from the 7 note Major scale.

Let’s take a look at the G major scale and how the 5 note (Pent = 5 Tonic = Tones) Pentatonic scales relate to our 7 note scale.

G major - C Major - D Major Pentatonics can be found within the G major scale.

E minor - A Minor - B Minor Pentatonics can be found within the G major scale.

G major and Eminor Pentatonic scales contain the same 5 notes and are said to be relative major and minor in nature. The same goes for C major / A minor and D major / B minor.

If you already understand major scale harmony (chords) you’ll understand how these pentatonics relate to 6 of the 7 possible chords that are built on each degree of the major scale. The 7th chord built on the major scale is diminished or minor 7 (b5). We could apply the blues scale here as it contains the minor 3rd and the diminished 5th. However using the F# blues scale would also give us a chromatic tone of C# that does not exist in the key of G. So I tend not to include this scale as a pentatonic derivative of the major scale.

Play all six shapes as you jam over the corresponding tracks. There is a bass note and drum groove track and a cool jam track for each diatonic chord and pentatonic scale. I’m spoiling you, I know!