The minor pentatonic scale is the most commonly used scale in rock solos. Brad introduces the pentatonic scale and demonstrates how to use it in a practical, musical context.
Taught by Brad Henecke in Rock Guitar with Brad Henecke seriesLength: 14:30Difficulty: 2.5 of 5
The minor pentatonic scale is the most commonly used scale among blues, jazz, rock, metal, and country guitarists. It finds its way into countless improvised solos in all these genres. For this reason, mastery of the scale is of the utmost importance.Playing the Scale
This scale is derived from the Natural Minor Scale. It consists of 5 notes, hence the name “pentatonic”. The prefix “penta” means five. Tonic means tones or notes. These five notes are the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 7th scale degrees derived from the Natural Minor Scale. In the key of A minor, these notes are A, C, D, E, and G. These notes are chosen because they are most consonant against a diatonic progression. B and F are notes that are generally used to create tension. As a result, they are omitted from the pentatonic scale.
By adding a blues note (the b5 or Eb) to the minor pentatonic scale, the minor blues scale is formed. As a result, the fingering of these two scales is very similar.
Note: Open the “Supplemental Content” tab for a fretboard diagram of the A Minor Pentatonic Scale. This pattern spans two octaves of the scale.
Notice how Brad has labeled each note on the diagram. The root note of the scale, A, is denoted by a red circle. Each note in the scale is labeled by its scale degree. The scale degree describes how a note functions within the scale. For example, A is the root of the scale. The second note in the scale, C, is labeled as the b3. A b3 indicates that the scale is minor.
When Brad refers to this scale pattern as the “1st Position” scale, he means that this scale pattern is the most common pentatonic pattern. When played in the key of A minor, this scale pattern is played in fifth position on the fretboard. There are four other minor pentatonic patterns that are used with lower frequency.
The left hand fingering used for the pentatonic scale is quite similar to the fingering of the blues scale. The first finger frets all notes at the 5th fret. The third finger frets all 7th fret notes. The pinky frets the notes at the 8th fret.Applying the Pentatonic Scale
Brad gives a string-by-string breakdown of the scale fingering at 2:30.
This scale is a great source to generate blues licks from. The first lick Brad demonstrates is a review from a previous lesson. This lick is then combined with a similar, second lick. This lick features a finger roll with the pinky finger. This technique is applied to fret the 8th fret notes.Chapter 3: (3:48) The Blues and Pentatonic Scales Brad presents a side-by-side comparison of both scale patterns. As you can see, the two scales are quite similar. Soloists frequently utilize both scales in the course of a solo. Both scales can be used over minor as well as major progressions. When these scales are applied to progressions in major keys, they take on a bluesier quality.
In this Phase 2 series Brad Henecke will school you in the art of rock guitar. You will not only learn how to play some of your favorite songs in this series, but you will also learn how to create your own.
This lesson covers the absolute basics of rock guitar. Learn about the electric guitar, pickups, amplifiers, changing strings, and more.Length: 52:09 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
The first step of your rock guitar experience is learning some of the more popular chords and that is what this lesson is all about.Length: 42:30 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Brad Henecke introduces common strumming patterns and barre chords.Length: 42:23 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
In this lesson Brad covers some of the more advanced barre chord shapes. He applies these shapes to the song "Hotel California."Length: 41:31 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Rock has its roots in the blues. Brad helps you explore the wonderful world of blues in this lesson. He also covers some chord theory.Length: 48:14 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
This lesson is all about specific techniques used by lead guitarists.Length: 52:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
This lesson details how to improvise with the blues scale.Length: 27:27 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
In this fun lesson, Brad Henecke teaches you riffs from 3 classic rock songs.Length: 28:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Power chords help give rock music that "punch you in the face" feel. Learn basic power chords in this lesson.Length: 13:22 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Are you ready to learn "Ain't Talking About Love" by Van Halen and "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC? That's what this lesson is all about.Length: 27:32 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
In this lesson Brad teaches the first pattern of the minor pentatonic scale and explains how it relates to the blues scale.Length: 14:30 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Brad covers the second pattern for both the minor blues and minor pentatonic scales.Length: 9:07 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Learn the classic rock song "Message in a Bottle."Length: 10:22 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
This great lesson covers the 3rd fretboard pattern of the minor pentatonic and minor blues scales.Length: 7:19 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Brad demonstrates how open strings can be added to chord shapes you are already familiar with.Length: 9:09 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Brad covers the 4th pattern of the minor pentatonic and minor blues scales.Length: 8:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
In this lesson Brad demonstrates how to play the Beatles song "Daytripper."Length: 15:21 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad demonstrates the 5th pattern of the minor pentatonic and minor blues scales. He also discusses practicing and memorizing them.Length: 13:05 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Learn the classic rock song "Brown Eyed Girl" in this episode of Rock Guitar.Length: 11:23 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad introduces you to the importance of phrasing. Quality phrasing is essential when performing any melodic line.Length: 14:19 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Tapping is an idiomatic guitar technique that offers a unique sound.Length: 14:34 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Learning the modes is essential to the development of your scale vocabulary.Length: 31:04 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad further explains what chord shapes are and how they relate to barre chords.Length: 10:15 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Learn the right and left hand mechanics involved in playing harmonics.Length: 13:16 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad covers more advanced harmonic techniques such as harp harmonics, pinch harmonics and tap harmonics.Length: 16:10 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad moves on in his modal lesson series to explain the Dorian mode. Includes 2 backing tracks.Length: 22:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad explains and demonstrates the Phrygian mode.Length: 13:33 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad continues his discussion of the modes. You will learn the Lydian mode in this lesson.Length: 9:27 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad explains the Mixolydian mode and its practical applications.Length: 10:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Continuing with his modal lessons, Brad Henecke teaches the Aeolian mode.Length: 9:09 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
The final lesson in our modal series covers the Locrian mode.Length: 9:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad teaches some licks inspired by Ace Frehley of KISS. Incorporate these licks into your own solos.Length: 7:18 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
In this lesson Brad Henecke teaches you some fun licks that can be used in your own guitar solos.Length: 10:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad Henecke demonstrates some cool blues licks.Length: 17:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad Henecke provides an alternate way of comparing modes and scales.Length: 8:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
In the last lesson, Brad Henecke compared some scales that are major or dominant in quality. Now, he repeats this process with minor scales.Length: 7:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
This lesson is all about 1 string scales. Learning scales on 1 string is essential to your knowledge of the fretboard.Length: 8:34 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad demonstrates a one string version of the Ionian mode. This lesson demonstrates the importance of horizontal scales.Length: 7:27 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad continues his discussion of single string scales. He explains how to play the Aeolian mode across a single string.Length: 4:11 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad explains how to locate octaves within scale patterns. He demonstrates a cool lick that involves playing simultaneous octaves.Length: 7:07 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad explains how to use octaves in the context of an exercise. Octaves can also be used to build effective licks.Length: 5:18 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad introduces the harmonic minor scale. He explains how it can be applied to the solo break in "Sweet Child O' Mine."Length: 7:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad Henecke provides valuable tips regarding the process of learning songs by ear.Length: 23:00 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Improve your ear training by playing "The Tone Is Right" with Brad Henecke.Length: 29:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad Henecke explains diminished chords and provides a fun diminished arpeggio exercise.Length: 19:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad Henecke addresses time signatures.Length: 10:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Brad Henecke explains the construction of diminished seventh chords. He also provides a diminished chord exercise.Length: 10:30 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Brad Henecke introduces open G tuning in this lesson.Length: 23:50 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Brad Henecke introduces drop D tuning in this lesson. He explains many advantages of this tuning.Length: 12:57 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Brad Henecke teaches the G major pentatonic scale. He demonstrates all 5 patterns and explains how they can be transposed to any key.Length: 22:50 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
In this lesson Brad Henecke talks about changing the pentatonic/blues scales with each chord in a chord progression.Length: 11:08 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad will show how to use the Mixolydian scale with a blues chord progression.Length: 6:56 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
This lesson is all about gear and effects. Brad begins his discussion with power conditioning and removing hiss from your amplifier. He progresses to discuss a plethora of effects pedals. Brad explores...Length: 52:48 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
In this lesson, Brad Henecke introduces the wah pedal and demonstrates its many applications.Length: 15:53 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
About Brad Henecke
View Full Biography
Brad Henecke was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on May 5th of 1963. He has been a fan of music for as long as he & his family can remember. You could always find him running around the farm wailing on his cardboard guitar, pretending to be a member of the rock band KISS. Additional inspiration came during his first concert when he got the chance to see Boston & Sammy Hagar in the early 1970's.
This opened up a whole new world of rock and roll music for him; his parents noticed his growing interest in music and enrolled him into guitar lessons when he was 13.
From there he jumped into two years of lessons at a local music store in Cedar Rapids. After discovering Eddie Van Halen, Brad knew that the guitar would always be a part of his life. He took his love throughout the city as he played as a pit musician & jammed at parties for friends.
This made him thirsty for more. He enrolled classes at Kirkwood Community College & also took lessons from the one & only Craig-Erickson (www.craig-erickson.com).
His love for music landed him a gig opening for Molly Hatchet in Cedar Rapids with a band called "Slap & Tickle". He has also played in the Greeley Stampede show for quite a few years with "True North".
Brad is currently playing in Greeley, Colorado with a rock band titled "Ragged Doll". They play a wide variety of music with an emphasis on classic rock from the 60's to present, with Brad playing electric guitar in the five piece lineup.
He currently jams on his all-time favorite guitar: a Paul Reed Smith Custom 24. Beyond guitar, he plays also plays drums & bass guitar. He has also been known to thrash a banjo from time to time. He is still actively playing & passing his 31 years of playing experience on to others (you!).
Our acoustic guitar lessons are taught by qualified instructors with various backgrounds with the instrument.
Erik expounds on the many possibilities of open tunings and the new harmonics that you can use in them. He explains what...Free LessonSeries Details
In this lesson, Peter discusses the two bar clave that is common to the Brazilian style. You'll put together several patterns...Free LessonSeries Details
Mark Nelson introduces "'Ulupalakua," a song he will be using to teach different skills and techniques. In this lesson, he...Free LessonSeries Details
Jessica kindly introduces herself, her background, and her approach to this series.Free LessonSeries Details
Jim Deeming discusses how to use a metronome for practice, skill building, and speed building.Free LessonSeries Details
Pamela brings a cap to her first 13 JamPlay lessons with another original etude inspired by the great Leo Brouwer. This is...Free LessonSeries Details
In this lesson Randall introduces the partial capo (using a short-cut capo by Kyser) and talks about how it can make the...Free LessonSeries Details
Hawkeye teaches several Robert Johnson licks in this lesson. These licks are played with a slide in open G tuning.Free LessonSeries Details
Our electric guitar lessons are taught by instructors with an incredible amount of teaching experience.
Mark Brennan teaches this classic rock song by Jethro Tull. Released on the album of the same name in 1971, this song features...Free LessonSeries Details
Chris brings his ingenuity to this lesson on the American folk song called "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" Also known as...Free LessonSeries Details
Allen shows you the 24 rudiments crucial to developing finger dexterity. This is a short lesson but the exercises here can...Free LessonSeries Details
Michael "Nomad" Ripoll dives deep into the rhythm & blues, funk, and soul genres that were made popular by artists like Earth...Free LessonSeries Details
Known around the world for his inspirational approach to guitar instruction, Musician's Institute veteran Daniel Gilbert...Free LessonSeries Details
Nick explains how to use scales and modes effectively when soloing over a chord progression.Free LessonSeries Details
Kris analyzes different pick sizes and their effect on his playing. Using a slow motion camera, he is able to point out the...Free LessonSeries Details
Lisa breaks into the very basics of the electric guitar. She starts by explaining the parts of the guitar. Then, she dives...Free LessonSeries Details
Stuart doesn't waste an ytime diving into blues as he starts his series off by demonstrating one of the most iconic and recognizable...Free LessonSeries Details
While we have attempted to provide you with an accurate rendition of our video lesson experience, there are some features which
require a membership with us!
At JamPlay, we give you the ability to monitor your own progress for any lesson! If you watch one of our lessons and feel as though you understand around half of it, mark your progress at 50%. This adds the lesson to your customized Progress Report, and gives you an incredible ability to document what you need to work on, and where you left off.
With thousands of lessons at your fingertips, JamPlay can be a touch intimidating to a first-time user. With Progressive Bookmarking, we give you the ability to systematically bookmark sections of any lessons you are working on to quickly access later. After all, what is the point of all this content if it isn't easy to use?
JamPlay also gives you the ability to leave notes for yourself on any lesson. Just like in any educational system, taking your own notes while learning gives you the ability to highlight the instruction that is important to you. Leave your notes, and we store them in our database for you to reference each and everytime you come back to the lesson.