4 Ways to Practice the 5 Pentatonic Forms

pentatonic scale scales Jul 21, 2023

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When it comes to playing rock music, blues, jazz, or any other genre, the pentatonic scale is the go-to tool for musicians. It is the hammer in our toolbox or the flathead screwdriver that we use the most. This scale serves as the foundation for many musical styles, and understanding its various forms is crucial for every aspiring guitarist. In this video, we will explore the five forms of the pentatonic scale and discuss effective practice methods to help you master this essential musical tool.

The Five Forms of the Pentatonic Scale:

Before delving into the practice techniques, let's take a quick look at the five forms of the pentatonic scale. Although we can refer to them in either A minor or C major, they essentially share the same notes. For the sake of convenience, we will consider it as A minor in this discussion. The five forms are interconnected, allowing seamless transitions between them.

Form one is the most used form. It is important to familiarize yourself with the diagram provided in the accompanying PDF for a detailed understanding of these forms. Moving on, form two connects to form one, followed by form three. Form four bears resemblance to form one, and finally, form five links back to form one, completing the cycle.

Connecting the Forms:

Merely memorizing the individual forms is not enough. To reach the next level of proficiency, it is crucial to connect these forms seamlessly. Visualizing the stacked forms in your mind's eye while soloing is a skill that develops over time. It requires practice, patience, and persistence. Remember, mastery takes time, similar to acquiring fluency in a language. Dedicate yourself to consistent practice, and you will eventually achieve the desired level of integration.

Four Practice Techniques:

Now that you have familiarized yourself with the basic forms and understood their interconnected nature, let's explore four effective practice techniques to further enhance your mastery of the pentatonic scale.

See tabs for actual exercises.  I have included two bonuses for you as well.

String Skipping Bonus Exercises:

For a bonus challenge, incorporate string skipping into your practice routine. S  tring skipping exercises can greatly enhance your technical ability. One example is to play the scale pattern skipping strings. Start on the sixth string, then jump to the fourth string, followed by the fifth, third, and so on. Practice this exercise in reverse as well. String skipping exercises add a unique flavor to your playing and expand your creative possibilities.


By consistently practicing the five forms of the pentatonic scale and implementing the suggested techniques, you will gradually integrate this essential musical tool into your playing style. Just like renowned guitarists such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, who incorporated these scales into their playing, you too can develop a natural fluency. Remember, mastery comes with time, dedication, and practice. Embrace the process, enjoy the journey, and soon the pentatonic scale will become an integral part of your musical identity.


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