Guitar: Major Pentatonic

New musicality video:

The major pentatonic scale is one of the most useful and universal, and has the advantage of being easier to learn and use than the full major scale most musicians start with. When it comes to playing by ear and improvising, the major pentatonic is a perfect place to start.

In this month’s Instrument Packs at Musical U our four Resident Pros taught easy, practical ways to put the major pentatonic to use on guitar, bass, piano and when singing. Building on our training modules which teach members to recognise the major pentatonic scale and each of its notes by ear, as well as last month’s Resource Packs on Beginning Improvisation, these new tutorials help make the connection to instrument skills and practical use of the pentatonic when playing and creating music.

Pentatonic scales are popular among guitarists due to their versatility for improvising solos over a wide range of chord progressions. The trouble is that most guitarists end up feeling stuck and limited, playing solos which sound and feel robotic, time after time. Dylan Welsh reveals a fresh approach that can help you break free of those constraints and get to know the pentatonic scale in a deep and meaningful way on guitar:


-What is the Major Pentatonic? What makes it different from the regular Major scale?
-Three ways to practice the scale to really internalise it all across the fretboard.
-How the major and minor pentatonic scales are related.
=Why and how to sing along as you practice the scale.
-Practice MP3s for the scales in two keys, plus some call-and-response exercises to practice playing pentatonic riffs by ear.

Getting “fretboard freedom” is a goal for many guitarists and in this tutorial Dylan teaches a versatile and effective approach which not only teaches you where to find the notes across the whole neck but also forges a strong connection between your fingers and your ears, allowing you to find the notes you imagine in your mind or hear in the music you that want to play by ear. Although the focus is the major pentatonic (and that’s a great starting point), in fact, Dylan’s method can be extended across any type of scale.


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Guitar: Major Pentatonic