What Is The Pentatonic Scale? Guitar Theory Lesson

hi guys and welcome to this course all

about pentatonic scales now in previous

courses we've spent a lot of time doing

chord construction and also doing scale

construction for the major and the minor

scales okay and specifically and

especially the major scale okay now

today we're looking at the pentatonic

scale now it's a funny other thing

because when you actually learning the

guitar and especially if you like blues

and you like rock and pop quite often

the first scale you're gonna learn is

probably the minor pentatonic scale and

that's because it's so usable it just

sounds great and you know within a few

lessons or a few weeks you're you can be

soloing really cool solos you know like

hendrix stuff claps and stuff Jimmy Page

stuff in in not much time at all with

this scale okay so a lot of people kind

of get all the way through that and have

this great scale show that they can play

up and down the guitar but never really

quite get a grasp of the theory of it

you know why does it work so well and

what is a major pentatonic versus a

minor pentatonic and how does it relate

to a full scale and things like that so

that's what we're gonna be covering okay

so the first thing in this introduction

video that I want to get across to you

is the pentatonic simply means five note

scale okay that's pretty much a direct

translation of the word okay

so let's just write the word up there

okay so pentatonic this kind of pent bit

it means five pentatonic okay no I'm the

linguist so I'm not gonna go into any

more detail than that but it simply

means a five note scale okay so when

we've looked at scales in the theory

section in the past we've looked very

much major scales and minor scales

we're just seven note scales and in kind

of in the guitar skills sections we're

actually playing the guitar we're

talking about this as a full scale okay

this is a typical seven note scale a

full scale okay with the pentatonix you

only take five of those notes okay so

this is the really cool thing about the

pentatonic and I think it offers a

little bit of an insight as to why it

maybe works

well okay if you think about it if

you're playing a scale which has got

seven notes to choose from okay playing

over a key there's this couple of notes

within that where you've got quite a

realistic chance of hitting maybe a

wrong note at the wrong time okay

especially when you think that a seven

note scale has got tones and semitones

in it so notes that are one apart from

each other that's a semitone isn't it

one apart one frets apart from each

other okay if you accidentally hit the

wrong one of those at the wrong time you

could cause a fair bit of tension and

especially to a kind of a beginners ear

it would be all that's wrong I've done

something wrong okay however with a

pentatonic you're never gonna get a note

a semitone apart it's all tone or tone

and a half okay which is either two

frets or three frets apart and this

offers a pretty good insight as to why

you almost can't go wrong with the

pentatonic scale you know any note you

hear in any order at pretty much any

time you know this is all you know you

can still get it wrong but it really is

quite hard to sometimes we'll sound

pretty good

so the pentatonic scale absolutely

brilliant a scale however we need to

discover that there is a major

pentatonic and there is a minor

pentatonic and these are very different

scales with very different sounds okay

so what I want you guys to do to prepare

for the next lesson is I simply want you

to write out the scale of D major okay

that's the scale we're gonna be working


okay so just pause for a second because

I'm gonna write it out now okay

I just want you to kind of do it with me

okay so if you can do it without me just

pause the video but I'm gonna go for it

now okay so the D major scale

okay and I'm just gonna come over here

for a second okay and we're just gonna

put it here d e f-sharp G a B C sharp

and D okay and that is your D major

scale okay and again just to really

constantly go over and over this I found

that because I did

tone semitone tone tone tone semitone

and that gave me my major scale okay so

with that written down somewhere on a

piece of paper or even if you're just

following me on the board here have that

there ready to go in your head because

next time we're gonna dive straight in

and look at how to construct these

pentatonic scales