The Minor Pentatonic Scale

Welcome to the fifth lesson of the Lead Guitar Quick-Start Series. In this lesson, we’re going to change gears from major to minor and look at the minor pentatonic scale. The minor pentatonic scale is arguably the most popular scale you’ll learn on the guitar. No matter what type of music you’re interested in playing, this scale is incredibly valuable.

G Minor Pentatonic Scale

As we go through this new scale, you’ll want to be sure you’re keeping all the tips we went over in previous lessons in mind. Just like the first two scales you learned, take some time to memorize this scale shape and where the root notes are. To keep the scale sounding clean, don’t forget to work on the muting technique with your fretting hand.

You’ll find this scale shape is pretty easy to get under your fingers. This is because each string will start with your first finger on the same fret. This is one of the reasons the minor pentatonic scale is used so frequently. It’s easy to use as a home base and to write your own riffs and licks with.

The next technique we’ll learn is muting with our picking hand. When you’re holding the pick between your thumb and index finger, your three remaining fingers can be used to stop other strings from ringing out. As you move from string to string, you can adjust where these fingers are placed to stop the closest strings from making any unwanted noise. Combining this picking hand muting technique with your fretting hand muting technique will greatly improve the cleanliness of your playing. It really is the difference between a good lead guitar player and a great lead guitar player.

Once you’ve got the hang of this new scale shape and muting technique, you’ll be ready to try applying it to music. There’s a downloadable jam track available here for you to play along to. It’s okay if you want to take it slow to start. Work on getting this scale shape under your fingers and committed to memory.

You now have the three most important scales under your belt: the major scale, the major pentatonic scale, and the minor pentatonic scale. There are many other scales you can learn, but these three are the foundation for everything you’ll need to know to play lead guitar.

In the next lesson, we’ll move away from learning scales and start focusing on the techniques you need to learn to make these scales sound better. The first technique we’ll be looking at is bending guitar strings.

Are you looking for more lead guitar lessons and relevant jam-tracks? Guitareo is Nate Savage’s step-by-step video training system. It has some great songs for lead guitar and it also covers many other important styles of music including rock, country, fingerstyle, metal, classical, bluegrass, jazz, and more. Best of all it includes a huge library of original jam-tracks so you can apply everything to music.