Major Scale and Major Pentatonic Scale | Hub Guitar

Major Scale and Major Pentatonic Scale

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Hi. This is Hub Guitar.

We're going to take a look at two very useful scales. One is a pentatonic scale, meaning it has five notes, and the other is a major scale, which has 7. Both of these scales are played in position, which means that each finger plays all of the notes at a particular fret. The first finger plays the notes on fret IV, the second finger fret V, the third finger fret VI and the fourth finger fret VII. So if I say the name of a finger, I'm also indicating the fret.

Here's the pentatonic scale:

And here's the major scale:

These two scales are used very often and I think you'll find them useful in your learning. So memorize the scales and find a way to put them to use.


Pentatonic Major Scale Pattern

5-note major scale.

fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
b natural
f sharp, g flat
c sharp, d flat
fret tile
a natural
e natural
a natural
fret tile
c sharp, d flat
fret tile
b natural
f sharp, g flat
a natural
e natural
b natural
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile

Major (Diatonic) Scale Pattern

7-note major scale.

fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
g sharp, a flat
b natural
f sharp, g flat
c sharp, d flat
fret tile
a natural
e natural
d natural
a natural
fret tile
c sharp, d flat
g sharp, a flat
fret tile
b natural
f sharp, g flat
d natural
a natural
e natural
b natural
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile

You should already be able to play the major scale, which is the foundation of all modern music, as the C major scale the B string. However, it is not practical to move your hand around so much while playing just a few notes. So now we’ll adapt it so that it can be played a more “closed” form, in the span of just a few frets.

Important note:

The “R” indicates the root, or lowest note of the scale. This is the note for which the scale is named. If you played either of the above scales from the third fret, the root would be “G”, and thus they would be G major scales.

A common mistake

Don’t learn the scale upside-down. The bottom line of the graph represents the lowest, or biggest E string on the guitar.

Looking for the C major version?

You can also practice these scales in C major.

Key Tasks

  1. Play the scales ascending and descending.
  2. Memorize the scales.
  3. Compare the scales and be able to explain the difference between them.

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