Pentatonic Scale Shapes
In this guitar lesson we are going to go over the five basic pentatonic scale shapes. This is a lot of information to process so take your time and take it one shape at a time. We will be in the key of G major for this lesson so all of the pentatonic scale shapes that we will be going over will be G major pentatonic scales. Check out the scale diagrams for each shape as we move through them. When you are playing through these scales try to keep your alternate picking going. There are two notes per string on every string in every shape. That means that you will only have two pick strokes for each string.
The first shape that we will be learning is the typical scale shape that most guitar players think of when a major pentatonic sale shape comes to mind. Start with your middle finger on the G note on the 3rd fret of the 6th string. Check out the scale diagram and slowly work your way through this shape.
Shape number two starts on the G root note on 5th fret of 4th string with your 2nd finger. We are starting on the root note on the 4th string but we included the rest of the shape on the lower strings for you too. The root note is just a good place to start and a good reference note as well.
The 3rd shape starts on the G note on 10th fret of 5th string with your 4th finger. Again, the notes on the lower strings are included in scale diagram.
Take a look at the 4th major pentatonic scale shape. Start with your middle finger on the 10th fret of the 5th string. Play up and this shape until you start to remember the shape.
The 5th and final major pentatonic scale shape starts with your 4th finger on the G note on the 15th fret of 6th string. This shape looks like the familiar minor pentatonic shape but we are starting on the 15th fret with your 4th finger instead of the 12th fret with your 1st finger. Starting on the G note makes it into a major pentatonic scale shape. Pretty cool!
Those are the basic five major pentatonic scale shapes as they relate to the key of G major. Be patient with yourself and have fun learning these shapes. When you can play all five shapes in the key of G try to play them in other keys. Once you have shapes down you can check out the lesson CAGED Pentatonic Guitar Sequence.