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The Pentatonic Scale

If you plan on playing rock and blues guitar licks in the fashion of Jimi Page, John Frusciante, Eric Clapton, B.B. King, and Jimi Hendrix (honestly, the list goes on and on), then you’d be smart to familiarize yourself well with the pentatonic scale.

A pentatonic scale is a reduction of the major and its relative minor 7 note scales down to only 5 notes (penta- from the Greek word pénte-, to mean five). For a rundown on how the major and minor scales relate to each other, checkout this quick read.

To reduce the major and minor scales down to their pentatonic form, all we need to do is remove the 4th and 7th notes. This leaves us with 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6.

 

Take a look below, we can see the 4th and 7th removed. Also notice the root positions highlighted for the major pentatonic and its relative minor pentatonic scales.