Minor Pentatonic Scales – Key of E

tutorialsWelcome to this lesson on one of the most common scales used in music – the minor pentatonic scale. You’ll hear it in everything from blues to rock to jazz to country to thrash-rap-gabba-metal !!

As the name suggests, the minor pentatonic scale is a 5-note scale with intervals between each note of either a tone (2nd) or a tone-and-a-half (minor 3rd).


The notes in E minor pentatonic are:

E   G   A   B   D   (E)

A lot of players reading this lesson may already think that they know this scale inside out. If so, can you play this scale anywhere on the neck? Or are you just stuck into one position and one set fingering when playing this scale?

In this lesson you will learn the scale of E minor pentatonic but not just in the root position, which is what most players may know if they have played this scale before. You’ll learn the scale in numerous positions, starting on every note of the scale, not just the root.

Rather than see the scale as a line of notes with a beginning and an end e.g.:

E   G   A   B   D   (E)

try and think of the scale as an endless line (or circle) of notes e.g.:

E   G   A   B   D   E   G   A   B   D   E   G   A   B   D   E   G   A   B   D   E   G   A   B   D…….  

 The following exercises are in various positions up the neck and start and end at the lowest and highest note in the scale playable at each position. Once you have mastered the notes in each position you can then try and play improvised lines which shift between the different positions on the neck. Being able to break out of the root shape boxes which so many players get stuck into will increase you’re level of creativity and instantly make you’re playing sound more musical.

E Minor Pentatonic Scales:

Shape 1 – 1st Position:




Shape 2 – 2nd Position:



Shape 3 – 4th-5th Position:



Shape 4 – 7th Position:


Shape 5 – 9th Position:


Shape 6 – 12th Position:


Shape 7 – 14th Position:


Shape 8 – 16th-17th Position:


Shape 9 – 19th Position:


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  1. thanks for all your healty advice on scales-tabs. do you have for sale on a DV i could purchase from you
    with all the guitar scales tabs etc. thanking you kindly joe kelly Southern Ireland.

  2. Hi Joe,

    Thanks for your comment.

    Do you mean:

    1) A DVD with video footage of the scales being played?

    2) A CD with just the audio of the scales being played.


    3) A CD with all the sheet music of the scales used in the lessons.

    If you let us know what you want we can maybe see what we can do for you.

    Thanks for your interest in ClearTabs and keep that feedback coming :)

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