Use the A Minor Pentatonic Scale to Build a Guitar Solo

Using the pentatonic scale on guitar is very common in many styles of music. Knowing how to play the A minor pentatonic scale for guitar solo building techniques can be an invaluable tool. As with any pentatonic scale, by definition they are created from five notes. These notes are: A, C, D, E and G. The A minor scale is the relative minor of the C major scale (A, B, C, D, E, F, G). This ultimately means that you can use the A minor pentatonic scale as a source of “safe” notes when you are building a guitar solo over the chords in a song without any sharps or flats for example. A good way to understand this is that this scale will work with the guitar chords from C major or from A minor. So if a song is in one of those keys, this scale will provide you with a selection of safe notes which you can draw from in order to create a guitar solo and remain in key.

There are many positions on the guitar which you can play the notes from this scale in. In the video this guitar lesson will focus on two very useful positions, the fifth and the seventh positions. These are useful because they allow you to play the A minor pentatonic scale on guitar in positions that give you a lot of opportunity to use standard guitar techniques such as bending the strings, using hammer-ons and using pull-offs. There have been countless guitar riffs, guitar licks and guitar solos built from the notes within this scale played in these two positions.

When you first start to learn guitar you start with the basics. And even though this works well for beginners, the pentatonic scales in guitar playing are used by players of all levels. Once you begin to get familiar with the specific sound of the intervals and notes within the pentatonic scale, you will probably find that you can pick them out when you hear them being used in the music that you listen to. There are many different guitar techniques which are applied using the same basic notes which make up the various pentatonic scales.

As you learn more about playing the guitar you will learn what techniques make these exact same notes sound different in blues guitar music vs rock guitar music for example. The same is true for bluegrass vs country guitar music. Being able to learn these techniques takes time and effort, but learning and practicing basic scales like the pentatonic scale will not only help to build your knowledge, it will also show you how to build your finger dexterity and benefit the ability to improvise or build guitar solos in any style.

3 thoughts on “Use the A Minor Pentatonic Scale to Build a Guitar Solo

  1. I do a lot of improvisational playing so I know how important it can be to learn at least the basic scales. I have played for a long time and these pentatonic scales are by far the most common, at least in the songs we play anyway. I like that pattern you are using, thanks!

  2. Hi is this useable in like country music too? I like rock and roll and I love playing guitar but my thing is country music. Can I make this sound more country, the scale, or is it mostly geared to rock music? Thanks for this.

    1. Actually this scale can be used in any style of music. The way it is played in this video is definitely in the rock style but if you play with less distortion from the guitar amp, cleaner sound on your Telecaster for instance, then that is a good place to start. The main idea is to learn the “notes” so that you know the scale. The licks will be arranged differently in country music vs. rock but they will still be the same from the scale

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