Some guitar players wonder why it’s necessary to learn the pentatonic and major scale patterns separately, since the notes of the pentatonic are found within the major scale. Why not just learn the major scale and which notes within it make the pentatonic? There are several good reasons why this won’t work. They include:
- The two scale patterns are often used separately.
- The pentatonic scale makes different, unique patterns on the fretboard.
- Pentatonic and major scale patterns can be combined in multiple ways.
- The two scale patterns often use different technique.
A good analogy could be made using chords. Why learn power chords, major chords, seventh chords and major ninth chords when you can just learn major 9 chords? Major 9s have all the other chords within them. Well, that may be true in theory, but it doesn’t work that way in practice. Each type of chord makes a different shape on the fretboard, requires a different fingering and is used differently.
For more information about why pentatonic and major scales are learned and used separately, see an earlier blog post of mine entitled Pentatonic Scale Patterns Apply Differently Than Major Scales.
To learn more about music theory for guitar, including scales, chords, progressions, modes, and more, sign up for a free preview of my Fretboard Theory books and DVDs by using the form on this web page.
Play Until Yer Fingers Bleed!
Mr. Desi Serna