Minor Pentatonic Scale: Theory & Ear Training

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As the name suggests, the Minor Pentatonic Scale has five notes and a minor sound. The simple, primitive quality of the Minor Pentatonic Scale makes it very useful in folk, rock, and blues.

C Minor Pentatonic Scale Theory…

  1. The scale structure of the Minor Pentatonic Scale is always 1-b3-4-5-b7-1, no matter what key you are in.
  2. The Solfege syllables of the Minor Pentatonic Scale are always Do-Me-Fa-So-Te-Do, no matter what key you are in.
  3. The only thing that changes when you change keys are the letter names.

Comparative Scale Study

All five notes in the Minor Pentatonic Scale are used in the Minor Blues Scale. Don’t try to “memorize” this fact, but do realize how much certain scale types have in common.


Solfege Ear Training

Reading, playing, and singing the Solfege Syllables out loud is an extremely effective way to tune up your ears and to internalize the unique sound-feeling of each note in the scale with respect to the key center Do. Make sure to do this slowly enough for the unique sound-feeling of each Solfege Syllable to make a meaningful impression on your mind’s ear.

C Minor Pentatonic Scale: Linear, Ascending…

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C Minor Pentatonic Scale: Linear, Descending…

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C Minor Pentatonic Scale: Do-X-Do, Ascending…

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C Minor Pentatonic Scale: Do-X-Do, Descending…

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Note: While it’s possible to continue by singing a bunch of other musical patterns, the 80-20 Principle teaches us that a more efficient approach is to get your ear training material directly from the music that YOU want to play!


learn more… Minor Blues Scale: Theory & Ear Training