Pentatonic Scales (Lesson 13)


Aside from the symmetrical and modal scales, there are yet more facets of scale theory. There are scales more unique to the most dominant genres of music – rock and rhythm and blues (including country, southern rock, light rock, acoustic rock, jazz-rock and blues-rock).

Major Pentatonic Scale

The major pentatonic scale is produced by taking the 1st (root), 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 6th degree of a traditional major scale – these five-degree intervals create Pentatonic Scales. The major pentatonic is simply comprised of the aforementioned 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 6th degrees of a traditional major scale.

Minor Pentatonic Scale

Of course, since a major pentatonic exists, the implication is that there is a relative minor to the major. The minor pentatonic scale is yielded just as a traditional natural minor – from the 6th degree of the major pentatonic. The intervals of a minor pentatonic scale are the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 7th of the natural minor scale.

Major and minor pentatonic scales

Major and minor pentatonic scales

Continue to Lesson 14: Patterns