How to work out the major pentatonic scale

A scale is any consecutive series of notes
that form a progression between
one note and it's octave

I completed my tutorial "What is a scale" by stating:
What differentiates one scale from another is not the notes that are used, rather it is the intervals (musical distance) between the notes.

Therefore we can define a scale by these intervals - and what we end up with is a "STEP PATTERN".

We are going to look at the major pentatonic scale step pattern in this post.

I've also written tutorials covering step patterns for the major, natural minor and minor pentatonic scales.

To enable us to work out a scale we need to be familiar with the twelve notes which are used in western music. Here they are for us to refer to:
Chromatic-scale reference

G, G# , A , A# , B , C , C# , D , D# , E , F , F# , G , G# , A , A# etc

The major pentatonic step pattern
Tone , Tone , Tone & 1/2 , Tone , Tone & 1/2

If we take the example of C; a tone up from C is D, and a tone up from D is E. A tone-&-1/2 (or three semitones) up from E is G, and a tone up from G is A. Finally we have our last step of a tone -&-1/2 (or three frets) once again, which gives us our root note of C.

The C major-pentatonic scale is therefore:

C , D , E , G , A , C

As with the major-scale, click here to download and print a table that you can fill out. This will result in you having a record of the major pentatonic scale in all 12 possible keys.
NOTE: This article contains excerpts from my 'Understanding Music for Guitarists' eBook.

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