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Minor Pentatonic Scale – Stage 7 Guitar Lesson – Guitar For Beginners [BC-176]

November 1, 2019

hello how you doing Justin here in this lesson today we’re going to be checking out the minor pentatonic scale now don’t want you to get scared I know scales kind of sound like they’re going to be nasty and really boring but actually scales are pretty damn cool and the reason that scales are cool is because they teach you the notes that you can use when you improvise so what we’re going to be doing now is checking out this very first scale called the minor pentatonic scale and it’s the scale that most guitar players learn first and for a lot of guitar players it’s the only scale they ever learn it’s got a lot of mileage use it for blues and rock and even in jazz and country it’s a really really useful excellent sounding scale and one that you will use and for as long as you play guitar you’ll be using this scale so what we’re going to do is we’re going to learn it just to play it up and down and work on making sure that we got our fingers stretched out right now if you’ve been doing the preparation exercises properly that I’ve told you about about you know working your fingers up and down and picking the strings individually you’re probably not going to find playing the scale very difficult so let’s get stuck in now and learn our very first scale the a minor pentatonic okay here we are for a look at the a minor pentatonic scale so we’re starting here with our first finger in the fifth fret of the thickest string so this is the root note this is the note a then we reach up with our fourth finger into the eighth fret you can see it’s kind of one finger per fret here we’ve got first fingers going in the in the fifth second finger in the sixth third finger sits in the seventh and little finger reaches the eighth of course we don’t need to put those other two now because at this point we’re just playing those two notes but just be aware of that nice spacing then we move on to the next string we play first finger and third finger in the seventh fret we’re on to the next string first finger in the fifth fret third finger in the seventh fret now on to the third string first finger fifth fret third finger seventh fret second string first finger on the fifth fret little finger in the eighth fret first finger in the fifth fret now on the thinnest ring and little finger in the eighth fret now we’re going to straight back down so we played that note there with the first finger in the fifth fret of thinnest string it’s like a tongue twister little finger on the eighth fret of the second string down to the first finger now we’re on to the third string third finger on the seventh fret first finger in the fifth fret on to the fourth string third finger on the seventh fret first finger in the fifth fret next string third finger on the seventh fret first finger in the fifth fret little bit on to little thicker string now little finger and the eighth fret first finger in the fifth fret now I’m going to play it once up and down four you’re still nice and slowly but without all the talking here we go a little faster now I have this scale on the website as both a neck diagram which is usually the easiest way to learn a scale but it’s also written there in tab in regular notation and you can also see the finger numbers under the tab the 1 for 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 4 1 14 now it’s a really really simple box pattern to remember just remember it starts on the thickest string with 1 4 then it’s a bunch of 1 3 1 3 finger groupings and then 1 4 1 4 and the thinnest two strings make sure that you’re playing it correctly on the way up and on the way down and that you check out the fret numbers that you should be playing so it doesn’t some people try and go up the strings coming down I’m putting up it’s down descending the scale and you get this color which isn’t right it should be it just be careful with that check the tab if you’re unsure the tab there’s a one of the lessons in the early hundreds can’t remember what less number is off top of my head now but how to read tab there’s there’s a lesson on that so check that out on the website I’ll stick a link in the lesson as well for those confused by the tab but this is a really really really class little scale to check out there’s loads of different ways of playing it loads of tricks to playing it we use it for blues and string bending and all sorts of cool stuff so do have a go at that now when you feel kind of confident with this maybe toward the end of the course if you want to experiment a bit more with your your lead guitar you might want to check out my blues lead guitar series which is online and on DVD it’s a very very cool little set and that’s a perfect follow one for after you finish the beginners course so you might want to bear that in one too but more on that another time


  • Reply Chris Tan August 25, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Nice! Great work

  • Reply Isaac August 25, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    I know of a Blues scale that looks awfully like this scale.

  • Reply aGame284 August 26, 2009 at 4:10 am

    they are pretty DAMN COOL!

  • Reply javadude54 August 26, 2009 at 9:45 am

    This scale is also a C Major (the relative major to a minor) Pentatonic Scale if you consider the top note as the root instead of the third. I used it a lot when I used to play in country/rock/blues bands.

  • Reply bigmoose August 26, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    ok i can play this and what do i do now? lol

  • Reply Raymond Xue August 26, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    It's called "beginners course" for a reason…..

  • Reply aaron lloyd August 27, 2009 at 12:14 am

    your an aboslute fool CoolK you can play a song from tab and probably not that well GREAT now go make your own song up and lets see how you do please keep us posted we all like a good laugh cheers!

  • Reply Marc O August 27, 2009 at 12:31 am

    Makes one wonder why you are watching this scale vid?

  • Reply javadude54 August 27, 2009 at 1:28 am

    If you bothered to check out any of Justin's music you would know he's an amazing musician who can play rings around most of the rest of us. He has nothing to prove and he's only sharing his knowledge with people who may need it. You're only making yourself look stupid with your childish attitude.

  • Reply Dag Christian Weløy August 27, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Justin is a great teacher and his site is one of the best on the net!

  • Reply KiwiHiwi August 28, 2009 at 8:22 am

    Clearly you don't understand why he puts these videos up… If you're so amazing, why bother watching his videos anyway?

  • Reply Steve Baxter August 29, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Very informative ………very good indeed

  • Reply superdude11224 August 29, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    Great lesson as usual, thx.

  • Reply Robert Corrigan September 1, 2009 at 12:01 am

    how is that different from the major pentatonic

  • Reply Jonathan September 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    it's totally different.. A major pentatonic starts on F# (second fret)

  • Reply Raquel Delgado October 30, 2009 at 2:38 am

    Thank you Justin, You're a great teacher!!! Peace……

  • Reply Tubbergen March 14, 2010 at 9:38 am

    So you can improvise a solo 🙂

  • Reply illini3332 September 18, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Why is the D string 3rd fret and the high E(1st string) 1st fret labeled as root notes too?

  • Reply Lexybugs November 16, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    @illini3332 They are both A notes, the root note of this scale.

  • Reply keyboardkiller88 November 18, 2010 at 3:53 am

    Thank you so much, just subscribed.

  • Reply K1fighterRO December 1, 2010 at 11:37 am

    thnx man u are great…take care and greatings from romania

  • Reply Indrid Cold January 17, 2011 at 2:50 am

    Man Im glad I found your vid! How bout that I learned how to do this thanks to you. You are a great teacher master! Man thank you so much for your guidance. Peace bro.

  • Reply Arthur January 30, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    @illini3332 They're the same notes as low E 1st fret, respectively one and two octaves higher.

  • Reply Pugragger May 31, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    9 people dont appreciate the power of the pentatonics

  • Reply BruceMac9 July 11, 2011 at 1:00 am

    Looks like Joe Satriani in this video, haha.

  • Reply BobBurnnquist July 28, 2011 at 4:48 am

    He lost his left leg in an accident

  • Reply Dor Hajaj December 30, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    thank you justin for all you have taught me!

  • Reply elvisandalma75 January 24, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    i really need help with guitar

  • Reply allolp February 28, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    why does it say (all down picks) at the title intro screen?

  • Reply Anna Bsk April 23, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    I thought that was the first position of the major pentatonic ?

  • Reply Carolyn Ann Vaughan April 27, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Thank you so very much

  • Reply Kian Bahrami August 17, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Surely you mean you kick MINOR ass…

  • Reply Eduardo Lopez August 21, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    if a move this scale up a whole step would it be a B minor scale then?

  • Reply Capuccino Pintucciono October 19, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    What does the R symbol in the notes mean?

  • Reply UFO Bob November 16, 2012 at 12:24 am

    It stands for "Root" position.

  • Reply Bjorn Marks November 22, 2012 at 7:51 am

    it means the root note thats what the r means

  • Reply Bas Matsuura November 27, 2012 at 1:28 am

    The am pentatonic is the same as the C major pentatonic, right?

  • Reply Asklepios27 December 29, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Nice fender, looks similar to mine 🙂

  • Reply Lenny Montagne January 23, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    You are looking in the mirror, huh?

  • Reply f00tballfever February 4, 2013 at 6:50 am

    can someone tell me where exactly would I use this scale?

  • Reply Samiyah Corelli February 23, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    You know you are right when the 'comment no longer exists'.

  • Reply 6153pami February 27, 2013 at 1:06 am

    Hi Justin, Thank you for the lessons. I have your "Practical Music Theory" book! You are an awesome teacher. Minor Pentatonic Scale (Guitar Lesson BC-176) Guitar for beginners Stage -Position 1 video is great. Really like the break down showing Position 1 -Minor Pent, Blues, and Dorian Notes. That is very helpful. Looked everywhere for the next step – positions 2 through 5 breakdown. Is it available somewhere or maybe as a pfd download. I've looked on your web site as well. Thank you, Peggy

  • Reply Cole Zimmer March 24, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    justin, or anyone, is it bad to play the aminor pentatonic scale with your ring finger? i only use it for the 8th fret of the e and b and i can fly with using my ring finger but i cant seem to get it perfect using my pinky.

  • Reply ronatholl April 6, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    great lesson thanks

  • Reply trev davies April 15, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    loving your lessons, i have been tryin to teach myself guitar for a few years and got no where fast, until i stumbled across you, you just make it so easy to understand

  • Reply Bhawna03 May 18, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Comment no longer exists. 🙁

  • Reply rich methot May 30, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Justin you are a superlative teacher…. thanks for all the help

  • Reply Ty June 18, 2013 at 1:40 am

    I got it down in one practice session thanks to this video. You're awesome! Thanks!

  • Reply Bondservant July 9, 2013 at 8:03 am

    What is pentatonic?

  • Reply Bondservant July 9, 2013 at 8:06 am

    What's the point of it! When is it used?

  • Reply Orkun Oakshield July 18, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    you can use the scale for solos

  • Reply Nisarg Patel July 30, 2013 at 3:42 am

    Penta means five. pentatonic means five tones i.e. you will see five notes being repeated. For example, if you play the Aminor pentatonic scale (which starts from the 5th fret on the thickest string), you will notice that the notes being played in this scale are A,C,D,E,G and then they repeat again. So yes, five notes basically.

  • Reply Gio Ace August 10, 2013 at 7:50 am

    how can i use this in songs? Like Christian songs

  • Reply Ben Whittle August 21, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    sounds like I bet you look good on the dancefloor

  • Reply Stanislav November 2, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    guys can someone help me, what do the "R"'s mean on the neck diagram? (1:15 – 3:49 on the 6th 4th and 1st strings)

  • Reply Lenore November 6, 2013 at 3:27 am

    Marking this for my daughter. I would be remiss if I didn't thank you for the lesson. This is something she can work on tonight after homework. Many thanks.

  • Reply sherlock747 November 6, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    So are these 5 positions for all keys in the minor pentatonic scale, or just for one particular key?

  • Reply Warida Rashid November 28, 2013 at 4:18 am

    you made it look so easy! How long should it take to complete the beginners course? I'd like to know how slow/fast I'm progressing. I've been practicing for 17 days, I've got the chord transitions and strumming just fine so far and I can figure out the strumming pattern of a lot of songs by myself. But, I'm still stuck with that F chord and still can't figure out all the chords by listening.

  • Reply CowsGoMoo May 2, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    Are there scales in other tunings? I enjoy to play metal so most the time im in drop C. Would the scale system work the same?

  • Reply YinPatchesYang May 15, 2014 at 7:32 am

    most idiot proof lesson ever. thank you, I'm not a easy learner

  • Reply Eldon Beall June 5, 2014 at 3:42 am

    You just can't see the 3rd fret the way the Camera is?

  • Reply celtic sentinal September 9, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    this guy is awsome ive watched other guys online that dont fully expain things…we all been there right? but Justin breaks it down and slows it up so u can take it in so thanks to him im getting there 🙂 good luck y,all

  • Reply ProGuitarEducation September 22, 2014 at 4:18 pm


  • Reply Nobel John November 4, 2014 at 3:42 am

    why is the R written in black [email protected]:32… superb lesson

  • Reply MattSynyster November 21, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    how many patterns are there? how do i move that pattern up in the fretboard?

  • Reply General Skunk February 14, 2015 at 11:22 am

    "This video you to the pentatonic scale"

  • Reply cece A March 24, 2015 at 11:03 am

    hi Justin thank you  for the lesson you're the best instructed that was and helpful

  • Reply Dead West April 6, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    Let's say that i want to go a minor with root in the 12th fret …then i go 12-15, 12-14,12-14,12-14,12-15,12-15?

  • Reply Deadication June 23, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Anyone know how your thumb placement should be with your left hand? My left hand feels very awkward

  • Reply VillySince1986 August 12, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Seriously the best. Thank you!

  • Reply Sergio Reyes September 1, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    you explained this so clearly. really appreciate it man! I'll be sure to frequent your channel from now on

  • Reply joshua trimble November 18, 2015 at 8:01 am

    I know how to play like four of these scales now. and ive only created something once with them. but I don't really know how to use them. can someone explain.

  • Reply YEARNING HEART June 24, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    Justin, hopefully you see this question.
    Thanks for explaining this so someone like me can understand, but believe it or not, I have a question.
    It appears to me and sounds like the first finger is held down on the 5th fret when you put your 4th finger on the 8th fret going up the scale.
    Going down the scale, it appears the 1st finger is lifted away from the string when the 4th finger is on the 8th fret (and also with the 3rd finger in the 7th fret)
    So, do I keep my 1st finger on the string on the 5th fret while holding down the 8th fret string and also the 7th both up and down the scale or not? Hope that makes sense!

  • Reply D T September 21, 2016 at 7:18 am

    you are amazing

  • Reply julie anne erasga April 27, 2017 at 2:07 am

    is it do re mi?! 😂😂😂😂

  • Reply Devan Aguirre May 3, 2017 at 2:29 am

    "scales are pretty damn cool," first time Justin said damn

  • Reply die noobs August 14, 2017 at 8:03 am

    Awesome thank you 😎

  • Reply F M December 10, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    good lesson!

  • Reply Carl Celuon December 14, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    you are amazing

  • Reply Tomas Michaud January 6, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    This is a wonderful lesson. Clearly explained and easy to follow … kind of an oldie but goodie 🙂

  • Reply Ala'a Obaid March 19, 2018 at 12:12 am

    this guy will go to heaven before he even dies , god bless you bro , you are a wonderful person <3

  • Reply Oliver_B May 18, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    New to this, but when going down, should my pinky keep hovering over the 4th fret till it gets to 5-6 string? Or is it okay if it kinda flys off and then comes back when I need it?

  • Reply Christina Alice June 21, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Hi it is so simple to practice for the tips of scale appreciated. Thank you so much

  • Reply Carl Siprei August 1, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    Justin, thank you! I have learnt so much from your videos!

  • Reply Benison Besra August 25, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    Really true lots of "Mileage"

  • Reply BoatToast October 15, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    This is so easy after learning the other scale earlier on 😀

  • Reply jculi November 7, 2018 at 3:59 am

    If you've made it this far, you've clearly gotten something out of Justin's videos. If so, please consider donating! It took him hours of hard work to put all of these lessons and materials together, and I'm sure even a small donation would be appreciated. Visit to show your thanks to our bro Justin!

  • Reply JEET SHARMA November 14, 2018 at 11:37 pm

    Love you bro..keep up the good work 👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍

  • Reply M December 6, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    turn on subtitles for dutch

  • Reply Shane William July 3, 2019 at 3:40 am

    What do the R's represent on those notes?

  • Reply Shifa Massey August 8, 2019 at 7:39 pm

    Justin You are truly amazing man 👌🏻👍🏻

  • Reply Mr Tsed August 14, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    How can i use this scale in guitar

  • Reply Đinh Tiến Cường August 25, 2019 at 9:01 am

    Thật tuyệt vời quá đi bạn ah

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