"GUITAR EXPLAINED VISUALLY"

screenshot

another common shape

Another common pentatonic shape. This time you use the notes on the 5th string as a guide.

Like the previous shape, you should get to the point where you can quickly move your hand to the appropriate place on the neck to use this -- especially when playing in common keys like A and E.

* to help you better recognize the sound of this shape, the notes on the 6th string have been omitted.

How to use scales

How to get a MINOR rock/blues sound with this scale shape

  • what key are you in?
  • find that note on the 5th string
  • visually place the shape so that the lower (leftmost) note on the 5th string (circled in red below) is at that fret.

Example: key of A

On the 5th string you can play an A note either open, or at the 12th fret.

A minor pentatonic scale shape

Example: key of B

On the 5th string you can play a B note at either the 2nd or 14th frets.

B minor pentatonic scale shape

Example: key of C

On the 5th string you can play a C note at either the 3rd or 15th frets.

C minor pentatonic scale shape

How to get a MAJOR rock/blues sound with this scale shape

  • Do the same thing, except this time use the upper (rightmost) note on the 5th string as your guide.

Example: key of A

On the 5th string you can play an A note either open, or at the 12th fret.

A major pentatonic scale shape

No room for lower (open string) shape.

Example: key of B

On the 5th string you can play a B note at either the 2nd or 14th frets

B major pentatonic scale shape

Still no room for lower shape (at 2nd fret)

Example: key of C

On the 5th string you can play a C note at either the 3rd or 15th frets.

C major pentatonic scale shape

Now there's room for both shapes. Notice also how this is the same shape as the A minor pentatonic shape. Need to explain why.

One last note

Notice how both the major and minor forms of this scale shape relate to the underlying "A" (and "C") chord shapes in CAGED (need picture here)


next: major vs. minor: when to use which