In this lesson we’re going to look at the basic 2nps pentatonic and blues scales. There is going to be five different shapes of the pentatonic scale built from each note of the scale. However, unlike the major scale, the pentatonic scale only has 5 notes.
Penta meaning five. Each of these pentatonic and blues scales will begin from the second note of the previous scale. I’ve intentionally not given you fretboard numbers to force you to learn to connect the shapes all over the neck yourself!
Pentatonic & Blues Scales
The blues scale simply adds 1 more note to the pentatonic scale. The only difference being that these notes are not from the key, as a result they sound jarring and ‘wrong’. Most commonly you’re told not to end a phrase or lick on these notes for that reason, however experiment with doing exactly that. Musically speaking, you can demand your listeners attention by avoiding the conventional.
Notes & Markers
- Red Dots are root notes. If you’re unsure what a root note is check out our terminology primer
- Blue Dots are the additional blues notes
- Black Dots are the rest of the pentatonic notes.
I’ve also intentionally not given you note names either to help you to memorise the notes positions on the neck depending on the key you’re playing in.
For a reference point, if you play this scale in the key of A minor you will have the notes A C D E G. The blues scale simply adds an additional D# note if you’re playing in the key of A minor. Now the fun really begins. Once you’ve nailed these down make sure to also check out the dominant pentatonic variants as well because the dominant pentatonics will add an additional exotic flavouring!
Footnote: If you’re wanting to really cover every pentatonic eventuality then the only resource for that is Rusty Cooley’s Extreme Pentatonics.
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