Major Pentatonic Scale (Guitar Lesson)


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David Wallimann

Major Pentatonic Scale

David Wallimann moves on to cover the the major pentatonic scale. He teaches its scale formula, all five patterns, and gives advice on how the scale can be used.

Taught by David Wallimann in Theory and Improvisation with David Wallimann seriesLength: 9:46Difficulty: 2.0 of 5


Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


JefferyBJefferyB replied on July 14th, 2016

Couldn't you just play the relative minor scale of the major key and be playing the major pentatonic scale. For example play the F# minor pentatonic scale and it's the same as the A major pentatonic scale.

AllTubeAmpAllTubeAmp replied on March 21st, 2016

I understand why the fifth position would be useful at that end of the neck, but for lesson purposes I am wondering why it wasn't taught at the second fret. Like the minor patterns were taught. Great series here by the way and thanks very much Dave!

YokeiYokei replied on May 20th, 2015

I was really surprised when David taught that we can just use the position of A minor Pentatonic scale to play A Major Pentatonic scale. His explanation is really clear and understandable. Thank you so much David!

acoleman@bnl.gov[email protected] replied on December 12th, 2014

WOW I ACTUALLY FEEL LIKE IM PLAYING THE GUITAR...THANK YOU DAVID...THIS IS A BREAKTHROUGH FOR ME.LIKE YOU SAID FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE GUITAR....THIS IS IT...KEEP IT UP!

KringKring replied on August 6th, 2014

David, Great lessons here on the Intervals, Minor & Major Scales... you really helped me understand this clearly and I now know what I should be practicing before moving on. thanks!

lordylordy replied on July 17th, 2014

Fantastic! The teaching of the major & minor pentatonic scales has been very clear, concise and opened up a MASSIVE door for my guitar playing - especially over the backing tracks. To 'improv' over the tracks is an absolute joy, really feel I'm progressing. Cheers Dave - muchos respectos mate!

rarebird0rarebird0 replied on May 3rd, 2014

David, you said several times "you'll find this in the minor pentatonics as well" That is a confusing remark that doesn't translate directly into immediate relevancy. I went back and forth between the teaching tool where the go the major in G and minor in A, I understand why the position are numbered as they are. But your remark is unclear in its meaning unless you are saying that at times a position in one key which is minor or major can be identical to a position in another key which is opposite of the major or minor distinction of the other.

mcampa45mcampa45 replied on January 4th, 2014

Maybe someone on here can help me. I have been having a hard time using the backtrack. I'm not exactly sure how to use it. Do I stick to a mode, play random notes on a scale, ect. Any help would be appreciated.

veepeeveepee replied on January 8th, 2014

You need to practice the A major pentatonic shapes from this lesson over this backing track. Be sure that you line up the patterns so the A notes on your fretboard are in the Root note positions designated on the patterns.

outshinedoutshined replied on September 14th, 2013

I thought I understood this awhile ago, but playing with the backing track is a huge eye opener. You can memorize the position all day, but if you don't know where the Roots are to end your phrases, you sound like crap! I have a lot of work to do. Thanks Dave.

gscasnygscasny replied on February 10th, 2013

Holy cow! Thanks so much Dave! Just had one of those "ah-ha" moments as to why certain positions of a minor pentatonic sounded so good over a different key (major key)! Your lessons rock! Thanks soo much!

jeantyjeanty replied on May 8th, 2012

is there a good way to learn how to connect the patterns

lexvlexv replied on May 4th, 2012

If you have a chord progression with minor and major chords.. which scale do you use? (minor/major pent) Is it based on the key or does it change depending on the chord? Noob question I know :)

destrilogydestrilogy replied on September 2nd, 2011

Okay I am wondering, So I am looking at the A major pentatonic scale And I notice that it is the same thing as the F# Minor pentatonic scale. Why is this?

plq2830plq2830 replied on January 4th, 2012

It may be a bit too late for my answer, but the reason the F# minor pentatonic and the A Major scale sound the same/are the same is because they share the same notes. F# minor is the relative minor of A major, thus, sharing its notes. However, the difference in sound comes from the distance and quality the notes share relative to the root.

restrummerrestrummer replied on July 29th, 2010

Very good lesson. Feel like I just unlocked many new possibilities on the fret board. One question. I have watched others use the minor scale with major chords. A bit confused as to when to use minor and major scales. It is suppose to depend on the Key the song is in?

skelligskellig replied on June 26th, 2010

So, if the back track is in A minor you could also play A aeolian correct?

davidhetfielddavidhetfield replied on May 7th, 2010

David this is sooo great. You're a great teacher, and I feel I've learned so much in such a short time here on jamplay, it's really encouraging. Thanks.

johnbantajohnbanta replied on April 25th, 2010

David, ditto what Dennis said. Fantastically clear. Thanks, John

dallendouglasdallendouglas replied on April 19th, 2010

David, I just wnated to let you know I have learned more about Scale/Intervals from your lesson than any other source. Thanks,Dennis

Theory and Improvisation with David Wallimann

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

David Wallimann will cover all of the topics necessary master the art of improvisation. He will cover theory, including intervals, scales and modes as well as techniques to improve ones improvisation.



Lesson 1

Understanding Intervals

Before one can truly understand music theory the concept of intervals must be introduced. This lesson covers that topic in great depth.

Length: 27:40 Difficulty: 2.0 FREE
Lesson 2

Minor Pentatonic Scale

David teaches the minor pentatonic scale. He explains its scale formula, various fretboard positions, and how it can be used.

Length: 20:03 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 3

Major Pentatonic Scale

David Wallimann moves on to cover the the major pentatonic scale. He teaches its scale formula, all five patterns, and gives advice on how the scale can be used.

Length: 9:46 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 4

The Blues Scale

In this lesson, David covers both the minor and major blues scales. He explains the formulas and patterns for each scale. In addition, David has included a backing track for you to play along with.

Length: 9:08 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 5

Minor Modes

David Wallimann introduces three minor modes. In this lesson he covers Dorian, Phrygian and Aeolian modes.

Length: 11:37 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 6

Major Modes

David Wallimann covers three major modes in this lesson. He covers the Ionian, Lydian and Mixolydian modes.

Length: 8:53 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 7

The Locrian Mode

David Wallimann introduces the Locrian mode. He explains its formula in terms of scale degrees as well as its five fretboard patterns. A few fun arpeggio-based ideas are also demonstrated.

Length: 20:37 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 8

The Magic Formula

David Wallimann teaches a magic formula that will allow you to play each of the modes up and down the entire fretboard. He also teaches some exercises to help cement this knowledge.

Length: 11:49 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 9

Classifying Modes

David Wallimann talks about how modes can be classified and thus used in a musical context. This is a valuable wrap-up lesson to the mini-series on modes.

Length: 13:24 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 10

Creating Chord Progressions

David Wallimann explains how to write diatonic chord progressions. This lesson features excellent practical music theory.

Length: 12:07 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 11

Easy Outside Tricks

David Wallimann teaches a valuable fusion guitar technique that he calls "Easy Outside Tricks."

Length: 8:31 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 12

Playing Modal with Pentatonic Scales

David Wallimann demonstrates how minor pentatonic scales can be used when improvising over the minor modes.

Length: 22:03 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 13

Playing Modal with Major Pentatonic Scales

David Wallimann shows how the major pentatonic scale can be used in modal playing.

Length: 11:13 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only

About David Wallimann View Full Biography David was born in Aix-en-Provence, South France in 1977. At the age of 15, he picked up the guitar and started developing a true love for instrumental music and composition.

In 1999 he was recognized by Ibanez for his promising musical achievements and received an artist endorsement. That early recognition in David's musical career encouraged him to consecrate more time on crafting his musical art and apply to the school of modern music Artist' in Cavaillon, France. He received a full scholarship there where he graduated with honors.

In 2001, David won first place for the Tal Farlow French national jazz contest which gave him a full paid scholarship to the CMA school of modern music in Valenciennes, France. He graduated specializing in advance guitar with honors.

Following his school years, David spent the next 5 years working with several bands recording, writing and playing shows in France and Belgium. It's during that time that Wallimann was exposed to the world of progressive rock which opened new doors to his musical creativity.

Deep inside the Mind is his first release as a solo artist in which he exposes his Christian faith. The album was well received in the specialized press and was compared several times to some of Frank Zappa's approach to music adding an element of humor to deep subjects.

In 2005 he joined the internationally renown progressive band Glass Hammer based in Chattanooga, TN. He released several studio albums and live DVDs with the band.

David is today working on his next upcoming solo release and is also spending quite a bit of time teaching guitar in his studio and online at JamPlay.

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