How to Play the B Flat Minor Pentatonic Scale

The Bb minor pentatonic scale is one of the most beloved blues guitar scales, making for a highly flexible approach that can be utilized in multiple ways.

The first shape is simple and straightforward to remember; it works beautifully across most major and minor chords.

Root Notes

To master b flat minor pentatonic scale, it is crucial that you comprehend its root notes. This will allow you to quickly recognize its scale pattern as well as navigate between various fretboard positions when playing solos.

Minor scale patterns begin with the root note as their starting point; all subsequent intervals are then placed relative to this initial note, for example the Bb pentatonic scale pattern begins on string 6, then moves one octave higher with string 7.

Once you have memorised and can play the first minor pentatonic scale shape without pausing, begin moving between its various forms. As soon as possible – even if just 10 minutes a day – commit these patterns to memory so they become embedded within you, and learn their relationship to key.

Each scale pattern features its own set of root notes that can be found on every string, making identification relatively straightforward with some practice on the fretboard. While two may present more difficult challenges when used together with each other, you still can use these shapes to craft great licks!

Shape 1

This first shape of the minor pentatonic scale is very easy to memorize. It follows an ascending and descending fretboard pattern beginning at your selected root note of any key you choose – if unsure, use our lesson on major pentatonic scale’s cycle of fifths as a guide (you should have already covered that lesson!).

When playing scale patterns with multiple patterns, it’s crucial that you practice over a jam track and internalize each note so they become second nature – this will allow for smooth groove-based timing more so than simply running up and down scales without melodic variations.

Once you are confident with this shape, it’s a good idea to explore other forms of the minor pentatonic scale on the fretboard and experiment with its other positions. Each shape produces its own sound so becoming acquainted with them all and their relationships is essential to successful playing on guitar.

Learn Shape 2 as soon as you’ve learned Shape 1; this one starts on the 5th fret of your 6th string and corresponds to an A major chord shape. As you progress down the fretboard, more complex forms appear but follow a similar pattern: for each successive shape higher fret notes move octaves up for one, while lower fret notes on all strings move down an octave for each one that follows it.

Shape 2

This final shape of the minor pentatonic scale may prove more difficult than its predecessors to master, due to its unusual note A sitting only one semitone away from C in most chords it’s being played over. Once you master it though, beautiful licks will emerge that will fit nicely on any chord!

Keep in mind when exploring this scale that it shares similarity with the major pentatonic scale, which may cause confusion for beginners trying to improvise over major progressions. Therefore, it’s advisable to spend some time learning how to play major pentatonic before diving into minor pentatonic.

Notes from a major pentatonic scale that appear in Ab are identical to those appearing in Ab minor (just an octave higher), giving you a much clearer idea of their relationship, making switching between the scales much simpler when playing. This lesson also covers how b flat minor pentatonic scale is constructed and its differences from major scale.

Shape 3

The third shape in the minor pentatonic scale can be more challenging to master, since it requires making an additional shift between shapes 1 and 2 (on the B string). But once mastered, this shape unlocks beautiful blues-inspired licks!

As shown above, looking at the fretboard diagram can be somewhat bewildering. That’s because, the first time you play shape 1 in any key, it will land at 17th fret (an octave higher). But once you learn this pattern and identify where other shapes appear on the fretboard, things become easier.

Notice how the notes and intervals in the minor pentatonic scale resemble those in the natural minor scale – this is because the minor pentatonic scale derives directly from it as a 7 note scale.

The minor pentatonic scale is one of the most popular blues and rock guitar scales used today, and has been utilized by legendary artists like Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan to craft some of their most memorable riffs in history. Additionally, its versatility allows it to be utilized with both minor chord progressions as well as I-IV-V progressions.

Shape 4

B flat minor pentatonic scale is an ideal blues scale for bass guitarists to learn, as it can be played over both minor and major chord progressions. Notable blues-rock guitarists such as Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Gary Moore, Jimi Hendrix Albert King and Peter Green all utilized this scale when crafting some of their most memorable riffs and solos using it as the foundation for creating iconic solos and riffs on guitar solos and songs.

Employing the minor pentatonic scale over major chord progressions creates an expressive tension that can bring any song to life. Its flattened fifth clashes with major tones present in each major chord, producing dissonance that adds depth and emotion to your playing.

Learning the shapes of a minor pentatonic scale is vital to mastering it; doing so will allow the fretboard to open up and make playing much simpler. Once you’ve learned its five shapes, transferring them across keys should be effortless.

The minor pentatonic scale is one of the mainstays of blues music and should be understood thoroughly. Although other scales can also be used, but minor pentatonic is by far the most widely utilized one – an easy scale to learn that will enable you to craft unique blues riffs and solos of your own!

Shape 5

Once you’ve memorised the first five shapes of a minor pentatonic scale, it becomes quite straightforward to move them around on your fretboard to play different keys. B flat minor pentatonic is no different to other keys; all the same notes are used. The only difference lies in flattening out its thirds: so G becomes D and C becomes F.

Thus, playing the minor pentatonic scale in any key can be made quite straightforward by switching back and forth between its two patterns depending on what chords you’re playing over – for instance if playing over an Am7 chord try switching to major pentatonic pattern for some time before returning back to minor pentatonic pattern; this will add extra texture and variety to melodies and solos.

As with the other shapes, feel free to switch around the shapes when playing different styles of music – for instance using shape 2 over an Ebm7 chord before switching back to shape 1 when switching over to Gmaj7 chords.

Addition of the B flat pentatonic scale allows you to play some blues licks, like the opening of Johnny B Goode song. This is possible as both its major and minor 3rds align perfectly with chord tones found within this scale.