Minor pentatonic scales
There are a lot of ways to learn and discuss the minor penatonic scale. It is usually the first scale learned for a rock or blues guitarist. I'm forcing the names of the patterns to follow the CAGED system, but it's a bit of a stretch to do it. Some teachers just number the scales one through five, and they don't all use the same pattern for number one.
The sections below are based on the CAGED System of learning chords. Google it if you don't know what it is, there are easily hundreds of sites that explain it. In brief, it points out that you can barre any of the open chords to make another chord elsewhere on the neck.
Because one pattern of minor pentatonic is often used with multiple chords, I'm not going to include chord patterns like I did with the major pentatonic.
The same chords and patterns are shown in both a vertical and a horizontal display because some people have trouble with one form or the other.
This shape is identical to the C major shape, however The root note is the relative third lower. This is also called the A minor shape.
This is also called the G minor shape.
The E minor shape pentatonic, because of where the root is located.
The D minor shape can be hard to see. Imagine that the first fret is actually the nut and you are playing on open form D minor.
The C minor shape is even harder to see because it is based on a C minor chord, and how often do you play that other than using a barre chord? It's also the largest span of frets.
Using the patterns
Blues players and most hard rock, these are your scales. If you are a beginner, learn them by picking a key and just practicing that key. I learned E minor first, so that hard to see D form (the C minor shape) had its root on the 7th fret of the A string. And I didn't play that pattern; instead I combined it with the C form (A minor shape) on the higher strings. I'll cover how the patterns overlap on another page.