Updated: Jun 2, 2020
You may have just started learning the guitar or you may have been playing for a number of years, but the most important scale for you is still the lowly pentatonic, which is why it’s often the first one you learn and certainly the one I teach my students right away.
The chances are even if you are a beginner you’ll have heard of the pentatonic scale and if you’ve been playing for a number of years, there’s no doubt you will have. If you’re like many of us you may be on the search for something new and have spent lots of time looking at a number of exotic scales to spice up your playing, and there’s nothing wrong with this. We all want new ideas to inspire us and make our playing a little more individual.
But before you disappear down that rabbit hole, stay with me and perfect just this one scale, and here’s why:
1- It’s the simplest with only 5 notes, hence the prefix ‘penta’ meaning 5 as in pentagon.
2- It’s used in most popular genres including rock, metal, blues, country, jazz, funk and pop.
3- By moving just 1 note you can create melodic and harmonic minor sounds.
4- By adding just 1 note you can include the colour tones of the other major or minor modes e.g. the Dorian or Phrygian.
5- By adding just 1 note you can create the ‘blues scale’.
6- Using the scale as a map, you can easily learn the root chords and arpeggios all over the neck.
7- You can easily create a left and right hand tapping patterns.