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A Minor Pentatonic Patterns

Here are the minor pentatonic patters, or minor pentatonic boxes, in the key of A. My advice on learning these is to learn 4 notes at a time, using 2 strings at a time. For example, in Pattern 1, play 5-8 on the 1st string, the 5-7 on the 2nd string and the play this to a backing track or song in A minor. Then skip the 1st string and play 5-7 on the 2nd string, and 5-7 on the 3rd string. Then combine those 3 strings together.

The other thing to practice is playing 2 strings again like before, but now we connect 2 patterns together as well. Again, try playing 5-8 on the 1st string, the 5-7 on the 2nd string and then move up on this same string and play 7-10, and then switch strings and play 8-10. Now we are starting to connect all these notes.

Expand on this technique and play 4 notes at a time, maybe 3 boxes, etc. You can make up your own arrangements of the notes. The goal is internalize these patterns of notes, so that you don't have to think when you play them. This will happen if you play them enough. It's like riding a bike, it becomes automatic if you spend enough time doing it over and over.

Build your familiarity with these patterns piece by piece. Get to know them, and don't try to take it all in at once if you are new to these, it will be too difficult to remember all of it in one go.

Pattern 1 (A C D E G)

 A  C  D  E  G  A  C  D  E  G  A  C 
-------------------------------5--8--------------- -------------------------5--8--------------------- -------------------5--7--------------------------- -------------5--7--------------------------------- -------5--7--------------------------------------- -5--8--------------------------------------------- (same as on the 17th fret)

Pattern 2 (C D E G A)

 C  D   E  G   A  C   D  E  G  A   C  D 
-----------------------------------8--10---------- ----------------------------8--10----------------- ----------------------7--9------------------------ ---------------7--10------------------------------ --------7--10------------------------------------- -8--10-------------------------------------------- (same as on the 20th fret)

Pattern 3 (D E G A C)

D   E   G   A   C   D   E  G   A   C   D   E 
----------------------------------------10--12---- --------------------------------10--13------------ -------------------------9--12-------------------- -----------------10--12--------------------------- ---------10--12----------------------------------- -10--12-------------------------------------------

Pattern 4 (E G A C D)

 E   G   A   C   D   E   G   A   C   D   E   G 
-----------------------------------------12--15--- ---------------------------------13--15----------- -------------------------12--14------------------- -----------------12--14--------------------------- ---------12--15----------------------------------- -12--15-------------------------------------------

Pattern 5 (G A C D E)

 G   A   C   D   E   G   A   C   D   E   G   A 
-----------------------------------------15--17--- ---------------------------------15--17----------- -------------------------14--17------------------- -----------------14--17--------------------------- ---------15--17----------------------------------- -15--17------------------------------------------- (same as on the 3rd fret)

Further Help

Here is a guitar scale patterns cheat sheet that will be very handy to have as you practice your scale patterns.

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