The Pentatonic Minor Scale: Why it’s the Guitar Teachers Favourite Scale?

The Pentatonic Minor Scale for Guitar Teachers

The Pentatonic Minor is perhaps the guitar teacher’s favourite scale as it can provide an easy gateway to soloing for our students?

minor pentatonic guitar teaching handouts
guitar pentatonic minor scale for guitar teachersFor Guitar Teachers the Pentatonic Minor Scale is one of our “bread and butter” resources.
It is perhaps the scale that we can most easily use to introduce the concepts and principles of improvisation (particularly in rock/blues styles) on the guitar as it contains notes that lend themselves readily to techniques such as string bending and vibrato etc.

The minor pentatonic scale is in some ways a little bit dangerous because it sounds so (maybe even too?) good? Once beginners start to develop a bit of a facility with it? Many (even quite experienced) guitar players can sound pretty professional in some circumstances without much more than the ability to wander around the scale and bend a few notes here and there.

That said the use of the minor pentatonic is a great way to help our guitar students believe that they are capable of developing the facility to solo and improvise on the instrument.

The scale formulae for the pentatonic minor scale is as follows


Of those note the 4th and the b7th are particularly suited to being “bent”

The guitar fretboard diagram (above to the right) is taken from one of our guitar teacher’s printable handouts and shows the minor pentatonic scale formulae along with information relating to which notes can be “good to bend” in a blues or rock situation?

Below you can also see some other guitar teacher’s student handouts relating to the minor pentatonic scale. They show the A minor pentatonic scale extended to cover several areas of the guitar fretboard

minor pentatonic guitar teaching handouts
For more stuff dealing with how a guitar teacher might choose to  teach soloing using the pentatonic minor scale see our page looking at how to use guitar backing tracks and the minor pentatonic scale extended to cover the entire neck of the guitar


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