Pentatonic Minor vs. Pentatonic Major
So what’s the difference between Pentatonic Minor and Pentatonic Major? Well, simplistically speaking, 3 frets! For example, if you’re playing in the key of A (minor or major), you can utilize either scale based solely on your preference.
Here they are, diagrammed out:
A minor Pentatonic A major Pentatonic
E ——————————-5–8– E ——————————–2–5–
B ————————-5–8——– B ————————–2–5——–
G ——————–5-7————– G ——————–2–4————–
D ————–5–7——————- D ————–2–4 ——————-
A ——–5–7————————- A ——–2–4————————–
E –5–8——————————- E –2–5——————————–
A good way to remember this position is that in A minor Pentatonic, you start the scale with your index finger on A. In A major Pentatonic, you start the scale with your ring or pinky finger on A.
Many great players through the years have weaved seamlessly between Pentatonic Minor and Pentatonic Major. Some notables include Angus Young, Billy Gibbons, Joe Walsh, and countless others.
In the video lesson above, I introduce this concept by showing you the classic Angus Young (ACDC) solo from “You Shook Me All Night Long”. This solo is a great example of going back and forth between Pentatonic Minor and Pentatonic Major. I also show you how to take a few phrases with the same fingering and move them between these two scales.
You can download the tab here.