The A Minor Pentatonic

More scales you say? Well, this is the most commonly learned first scale, but IMHO the major scale we learned earlier in the course is the better first step... but this Minor Pentatonic (5 note scale) is an awesome scale if you want to get into Blues.

Pentatonic Is Easy?

The A Minor Pentatonic is pretty easy to play and to remember - the visual shape of the scale BOX should not take you long to learn and memorize and because there are consistently 2 notes on each string the picking is consistent too.

Fingering Options

The most common way to practice this scale is using Finger 4 on the thinnest two strings - and that's fine for playing it up and down, but when it comes to actually playing a blues solos you are likely to find that you use Finger 3 on those strings so you MAY (but don't have to) start exploring that fingering too - you might even find it easier!

Pick Motions

I recommend Down pick on the notes with Finger 1 and up with the rest - for now - you'll likely explore other options as you progress but this is a solid way to start!

Play slow to go fast

Don't be in a hurry! PRACTICE makes PERMANENT, not perfect - so PRACTICE PERFECTLY! :)

Note The Root!

The 'root note', the one that gives the scale its note name is under the first finger on String 6. With Finger 1 on the 5th fret you will be playing A Minor Pentatonic. Move finger 1 up to the 10th fret and you'll be playing D Minor Pentatonic!


Play it up and down slowly and make sure you get it right. Use all down picks.

When confident that you know it you can start to try to make the timing consistent - maybe even use a metronome at a slow setting - but make sure you are still getting it right.

Then you might explore ALTERNATE PICKING (pick down on notes with Finger 1 and up on the rest!

We're going to get more into this scale next lesson but thought it'd be a good idea to give y'all a head start :)


Lesson 12: Power Chords!