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Did you know that our beloved Pentatonic Minor scale can be played in 3 separate positions on the fretboard in any given key?

Most of us are familiar with the basic Pentatonic Minor ‘box’ pattern. Its one of the first scales we learn as rock, pop and blues players and is an important part of any modern guitarists vocabulary.

Basic Pentatonic Minor scale

The thing that isn’t as easy to grasp when we first start to learn these scales is where exactly they fit into the bigger picture. Granted, I’m not really going to go into that now as that is beyond the remit of this post. I am however, going to give you a simple tip that will allow you to get a lot more mileage and some different sounds out of the humble Pentatonic Minor scale.

Below is a diagram showing the G Major scale mapped out across the fretboard from the 3rd fret to the 15th. If you look carefully, that familiar Pentatonic Minor pattern can be played from the three points highlighted in red.
Click here for a PDF showing exactly how this works.

G Major with highlights

I recommend you head to youtube and search for a G Major (or E Minor if you prefer) backing track in a style of your choosing and spend a little time exploring each of those positions. You will notice right away that they sound quite different from one another although they are all harmonically correct.

If you know your Pentatonic Minor scales fairly well you will also see that all other patterns and extensions relating to that first shape will work in exactly the same way that they normally do. This will allow you to cover a considerable amount of fretboard as well as broaden your sound and harmonic vocabulary.

Have fun and good luck.

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