Here’s a lesson on how to do play minor pentatonic scales. These will help you to play minor-key tunes like Shady Grove and Tam Lin. They from the basis of the blues scale. And they prepare you for improvisation. 

I think you’re going to enjoy playing around with these.


We can build a minor pentatonic scale from a major pentatonic. We just start on the fifth note of a major pentatonic by starting on the fifth note. For example, if you play the F Major Pentatonic, you see that the fifth note is D:

So if we play the same notes, but start on a D, we get the D Minor Pentatonic:

Pentatonic scales are a good foundation for learning to improvise. They sound good and are easy to play. We can also make blues scales from the minor pentatonic.


Tune/Improv/Tune

Here’s a simple form for learning improvisation: Tune-Improv-Tune. Using a drone, play a tune, improvise with the scale for a bit, then play the tune again.

You can treat the basic scale as a “tune”. Or take a minor key tune like Shady Grove and alternate between playing the tune and improvising.

Full content for this lesson available to All-access subscribers: audio exercises, sheet music, and video demo of other D, G, A, E, B Minor Pentatonic scales. Subscribe here. And thanks for your support. 🙏


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Learning chunks 

I’ve made some “Learning Chunks” to help you learn more easily. These focused exercises contain sheet music, tabs and mp3 snippets to guide you on your fiddle journey. 

Preparation

Exercise 2 - D Minor Pentatonic

This and the remaining tab, sheet music and mp3 snippets are available to All-access users. Subscribe here. And thanks for your support. 🙏

Exercise 3 - D Minor Pentatonic

Exercise 4 - G Minor Pentatonic

Exercise 5 - G Minor Pentatonic

Exercise 6 - G Minor Pentatonic

Exercise 7 - A Minor Pentatonic

Exercise 8 - A Minor Pentatonic

Exercise 9 - A Minor Pentatonic

Exercise 10 - E Minor Pentatonic

Exercise 11 - E Minor Pentatonic

Exercise 12 - E Minor Pentatonic

Exercise 13 - B Minor Pentatonic

Exercise 14 - B Minor Pentatonic

Exercise 15 - B Minor Pentatonic


Full sheet music


Are you ready to begin your fiddle journey? I’ll send you some free lessons tailored to your current skill level.

Click here to become a FiddleHed!


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Further learning

Note-reading 🎶

I talk about note-reading in this lesson. Learn more about that here: Note-reading For Fiddlers course.

 

Minor Pentatonic Scale Workshop

I gave a fun group lesson on this: Minor Pentatonic Scales Workshop.

In it we explore how to build these from major pentatonic scales as well as Dorian scales. We also mixed in tunes that use this, call-and-response and improvisation.

 

Tunes to practice this with

3 responses to “Minor Pentatonic Scales

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