How to work out the minor pentatonic scale

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

I completed my post "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".

This post focuses upon the minor pentatonic scale.

I've also written tutorials covering step patterns for the major, natural minor and major 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 minor pentatonic step pattern
Tone & 1/2 , Tone , Tone , Tone & 1/2 , Tone

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

The C minor-pentatonic scale is therefore:

C , D# , F , 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 minor pentatonic scale in all 12 possible keys.
NOTE: This article contains excerpts from 'Understanding Music for Guitarists' eBook.

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