The Minor Pentatonic Scale - You're Already Playing Outside - 013

podcast Mar 27, 2018

Today, I talk about why the minor pentatonic scale works so well… when it shouldn’t


On todays episode I start to unravel a big topic that most new lead guitarists don’t think of right away.



We are all taught that matching your scales to chords is the way to go. We spend a lot of time learning scale patterns and fitting them just right to play over chords and chord progressions. This is great and gets us all to work!

The scale pattern that most guitarists learn first is the Minor Pentatonic. We are told to put up a blues background track, play the Minor pentatonic scale in the key of the track and go to town. Just start playing! It sounds great and in a split second, you feel like Eric Clapton.

But further on down the road, when you really start learning about why scales work… something just doesn’t compute. Didn’t all of those blues tunes that helped me practice the minor pentatonic scale use Major type chords.

They used either Major triads or the Dominant 7 chords with the Major 3rd.

But, the minor pentatonic scale with it’s minor 3rd shouldn’t work. The 3rd degree is the special note that even determines whether we have either a minor or major scale or chord in the first place.

This shouldn’t work, but it does. Why does this work? We are going to explore this today and also talk about other ways to use scales that don’t quite “work” over our chord progressions. Letting the minor pentatonic scale point us in a new direction with some new sounds.

Listener Feedback


Lots of Great questions and comments from:

  • Jusu
  • Andy 
  • Chris
  • Charles
  • Carlos
  • and Wayne

Creating the Band


This week I work on the form and Intro of song number 1!


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