How to Play Minor Pentatonic Scales by Stuart Ziff (Guitar Lesson)


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Stuart Ziff

Minor Pentatonic Scales

Stuart moves forward in his blues series by demonstrating the minor pentatonic scale. He explains how some major artists have influenced its use within blues music.

Taught by Stuart Ziff in Blues Guitar with Stuart Ziff seriesLength: 17:02Difficulty: 2.5 of 5


Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

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danonwheelsdanonwheels replied on February 20th, 2016

wow what can i say apart from Awesome! Stuart really really helped me to start jamming here in rainy old England Thanks Man

Rob SRob S replied on September 28th, 2015

Great Lesson Stuart! I liked your formula for remembering the 5 positions of the minor pent scale. Thanks You!

bam711711bam711711 replied on March 22nd, 2015

wow I'm lost

MartinoilsMartinoils replied on July 10th, 2014

Hey Stuart great lessons, although a little over my head since I am a beginner. I am having trouble with some of the nuances and can't understand some of your tablature notation. Can you guide me to a reference or explanation of your tablature? Thanks

jliebsjliebs replied on June 26th, 2014

your great to listen to but it might be more helpful if you slowed it down and maybe put together just a few of the licks at a time. finding it really difficult to trslate the tab as written into the sounds you get. if you could just slow down a couple of the licks and isolate them i can figure out how to arrange them :)

em325cem325c replied on June 22nd, 2013

Hi Stuart, Love your lessons and your teaching style. I understand that there are 5 postions for each key and how the different patterns move around the fretboard based on the key your are in. But am I correct in assuming for this lesson that it is based only on the Gm Pentatonic scale and that the supplemental material and practice backing track is also all based on Gm Pentatonic scale and its five postions.

Stuart.ZiffStuart.Ziff replied on July 8th, 2013

Yes to your question this lesson basically deals with one key (G) but you should try to figure it out in all 12 keys .

costeffcosteff replied on January 23rd, 2013

Great lesson. Your method to learn the 5 positions is so simple and easy to remember.

gthang79gthang79 replied on December 5th, 2012

Hi, I can see where his fingers are going has he does the scales. It's not clear enough?

rkm62rkm62 replied on December 2nd, 2012

can you explain where the fingers go when you move he scale to the different positions? i can sort of see but i keep having to pause screen to figure it out. thanks. ive just finished all the hawk eye lessons so im used to him showing fingers and where to put them. that being said, your lessons are fantastic. thank you! r

ivan_cortes16ivan_cortes16 replied on November 22nd, 2012

THANK YOU!!!! Love your teaching, please keep the videos coming

jospalermojospalermo replied on November 7th, 2012

I was having a hard time understanding where to start and stop on the different shapes. You really explained it, plus... and it's opened up a window. Your an excellent instructor Stuart, we lucky to have you.

kickkick replied on November 7th, 2012

Hé Stuart, This is great man One of the best lesson on the site. And you are, an FXXXX good gitarist man I love what you do. Hope I see match more off you.

claude77claude77 replied on November 7th, 2012

Stuart you are the man. The more I know on the guitar the more I want to learn from people who have a grey hair. Keep going man I love your lessons

hunter1984hunter1984 replied on November 6th, 2012

yes!!! keep them coming please!

Blues Guitar with Stuart Ziff

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Stuart will demonstrate his own unique style of Blues guitar. He will talk about the genre and demonstrate why this unique style is a staple of American music.



Lesson 1

Flat Tire Shuffle

Stuart doesn't waste an ytime diving into blues as he starts his series off by demonstrating one of the most iconic and recognizable blues rhythm patterns, the "flat tire" shuffle.

Length: 13:34 Difficulty: 1.5 FREE
Lesson 2

Rhythmic Foundation

Rhythm in blues is essential, and Stuart provides some tips on how the foundation for blues rhythm can be built.

Length: 11:44 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 3

Complementary Rhythm Techniques

In this lesson, Stuart demonstrates how to create complementary rhythms that accompany the rest of the band or layer in while a soloists takes over.

Length: 11:39 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 4

Supportive Single Note Lines

Stuart demonstrates how simple single note lines can really influence rhythm within blues music.

Length: 17:24 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 5

Minor Pentatonic Scales

Stuart moves forward in his blues series by demonstrating the minor pentatonic scale. He explains how some major artists have influenced its use within blues music.

Length: 17:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 6

Minor Blues

Even though they are less common than major keys, minor keys play a huge part in blues music. Stuart discusses and demonstrates minor blues concepts.

Length: 13:13 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 7

Soloing over Minor Blues

This lesson provide tips on soloing over minor blues progressions. Stuart uses a backing track to help demonstrate some basic fundamentals to keep in mind while soloing.

Length: 20:06 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 8

Adding Swing to Blues

Adding a "swing" to eighth note groupings is the subject of this lesson. Stuart demonstrates how this simple rhythmic technique gives blues music part of its signature feel.

Length: 11:17 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 9

Uptown Blues

Stuart utilizes the swing technique to help demonstrate how "uptown blues" has its own unique sound that stems from larger, urban east coast cities.

Length: 15:15 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 10

Blues with ii-V Change

Stuart demonstrates what a ii-V change is and explains how it is such a widely used turnaround within blues music.

Length: 16:53 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 11

Pentatonic Scale Theory

Stuart takes an in depth look at pentatonic scale theory and demonstrates many different ways it can be applied within blues music.

Length: 34:05 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 12

2 Bar Phrase

Stuart will demonstrate what a 2 bar phrase is and how it can be used within the blues genre.

Length: 15:43 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 13

Slide Blues Guitar

Stuart will now demonstrate what bottleneck slide blues guitar is, some of his favorite artists, and the techniques on how to achieve that unique twang sound.

Length: 7:24 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 14

Slide Blues Part 2

Stuart will now dive much deeper into the many different techniques that are needed to create a Bottleneck Slide Blues sound.

Length: 14:14 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 15

Intervals for Open Tuning

Stuart will continue his slide blues techniques by demonstrating how to find intervals within an open tuning.

Length: 9:54 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only

About Stuart Ziff View Full Biography A veteran guitarist fluent in, Blues, R&B, Funk, Rock, Reggae and everything in between. As a Studio Musician playing guitar on numerous commercials, demos for singer songwriters and records

. A career as a songwriter that began with Warner Bros recording artist David Ball’s first Nashville CD in 1994 “ Thinking Problem .“ Stuart was co writer on the hit song “ Thinking Problem.” Also playing on the record supplying acoustic and electric guitar. Since 2000, He’s been living in Los Angles. Presently the Guitarist for the band WAR, touring and recording with them. As a songwriter for Film & TV: “ National Lampoons Cattle Call ,“ Americas Funniest Home Videos and Bad Girls. Songs on recordings by Eric Burden, Johnny Adams, Gary Hoey and Theresa James. Since 2005, a member of the faculty at Musician’s Institute in Hollywood.

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