Thinking Music Theory 101: Pentatonics and Blues Scale


Thinking Music Theory 101: Pentatonics and Blues Scale

I love the pentatonics.

No they’re not a new cheezy pop group.

There’re the most widely used scales. “Penta” means five and “Tonic” means note. Thus a five note scale, the most commonly used of all pentatonics scales are the major and minor pentatonics.

note: If this is your first time reading this lesson, then I would suggest to start with the very first lesson. Things could get confusing, you need to start here first to get the understanding of everything.

Download the pdf exercises before you get started.

Major Pentatonic Scales

This scale is rather simple, just start with the C major scale and remove the fourth and seventh degree and there you have the C major pentatonic scale. Check out the image below and see the comparison between the two.

C Major and Pentatonic

C pentatonic

Go ahead and fill out this basic exercise and create some major pentatonics.

major pentatonic exercise

Minor Pentatonic Scales

If you recall the natural minor scale back in this lesson. This minor pentatonic scale is very similar to the natural minor scale, but easier. Just omit the 2 and the b6 from the natural minor scale and there you have it.

minor pentatonic

Here’s a simple exercise for you to work on. Create some minor pentatonics. You can start with the natural minor scale and just omit the 2 and the b6, then write it in.

minor pentatonic exercises

minor pentatonic exercises2

The Minor Blues Scale

I believe I use this scale way to much, but it’s the coolest, funkiest, and most soulful scale out there in today’s music.

This scale is almost exactly like the minor pentatonic scale, the only difference is one note. Just add the b5 to the minor pentatonic scale and there you got the baddest scale on the planet.

Here’s a comparison.

A Natural Minor and A Minor Blues Scales

minor blues

Here’s a great exercise to get your brain pumping. First create the minor pentatonic scale and just add the b5.

blues scale execises

Download the pdf exercises.

It’s important to note that these scales must be memorized and used. I guarantee you these scales are used in your favorite pop tunes. Use them and abuse them.

All the greats use and dissect this scale and create their own melodies and riffs.


This has been a long eight part series on music theory fundamentals. It was fun creating it and I hope it was helpful to you as well. I tried to focus on what really matters most in today’s music scene.

If you happened to miss any of the other parts. Just click on which lesson you missed below.

Please feel free to leave any questions below and I’ll see you next time.

Bye for now.

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