Minor pentatonic position numbering rules?

Guitar Tricks Forum > Music Theory > Minor pentatonic position numbering rules?

bouncee

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Joined: 01/18/20

Posts: 12

So I get confused when I try to watch videos about soloing and people start talking about ie Bminor pentatonic and the various positions.

I know the root is on the 7 fret of the sixth string, this is named postion 1. There are position 2 as well as 4, 5 and three. Of course I can look up via google a chart each time to see where the various postions are played and what notes to hit. It is the same for me with the other minor pentatonic positions. I can't seem to get them to stick into memory, and next time people talk about position I go blank, except first postion. I know A minor got the root on 5th fret sixth string and so on. But I can't seem to find a way to memorize the various positions.

But I am sure there are some logic in here somewhere. Can someone explain to me what is the reason for the numbering rules? And explain like you are talking to a child, cos I ain't got much grip on the the theory part, and whenever I try to dig into it stuff like this that I can't wrap my brain around or memorize causes a mental break down.

There are so many things to learn, finger placement, shapes, rhythms, strumming, theory not to mention one must learn songs as well to get some mental rewards.

So if B minor pentatonic in postion 1 is a whole step up from A minor, the shape are equal, so should position 2, 3, 4 and so be? So then I can focus on remembering only 5 postions. But in order to get this to stick in my brain I think I need to understand why thepostions have different numbers and what those numbers imply.

#1

So I get confused when I try to watch videos about soloing and people start talking about ie Bminor pentatonic and the various positions.

I know the root is on the 7 fret of the sixth string, this is named postion 1. There are position 2 as well as 4, 5 and three. Of course I can look up via google a chart each time to see where the various postions are played and what notes to hit. It is the same for me with the other minor pentatonic positions. I can't seem to get them to stick into memory, and next time people talk about position I go blank, except first postion. I know A minor got the root on 5th fret sixth string and so on. But I can't seem to find a way to memorize the various positions.

But I am sure there are some logic in here somewhere. Can someone explain to me what is the reason for the numbering rules? And explain like you are talking to a child, cos I ain't got much grip on the the theory part, and whenever I try to dig into it stuff like this that I can't wrap my brain around or memorize causes a mental break down.

There are so many things to learn, finger placement, shapes, rhythms, strumming, theory not to mention one must learn songs as well to get some mental rewards.

So if B minor pentatonic in postion 1 is a whole step up from A minor, the shape are equal, so should position 2, 3, 4 and so be? So then I can focus on remembering only 5 postions. But in order to get this to stick in my brain I think I need to understand why thepostions have different numbers and what those numbers imply.

manXcat

♪It's getting better all the time♫

Joined: 02/17/18

Posts: 1113

Start here. It answers your questions in a single handy succinct treatise. Read and re-refer to it as many times as necessary.

Then get stuck into progressively memorising and developing tactility in muscle memory until instinctive, the five patterns of the A Minor Pentatonic hands on. There is no 'hack'.

Once you understand and assimilate the five patterns based upon the root of A, because it's the most commonly used, you will be able to also play all the other Minor Pentatonic scales too, as the five patterns and respective root notes don't change, only the orientation of where the respective pattern root positions are on the fretboard.

♪A little better all the time♫

#2

Start here. It answers your questions in a single handy succinct treatise. Read and re-refer to it as many times as necessary.

Then get stuck into progressively memorising and developing tactility in muscle memory until instinctive, the five patterns of the A Minor Pentatonic hands on. There is no 'hack'.

Once you understand and assimilate the five patterns based upon the root of A, because it's the most commonly used, you will be able to also play all the other Minor Pentatonic scales too, as the five patterns and respective root notes don't change, only the orientation of where the respective pattern root positions are on the fretboard.

♪A little better all the time♫

ChristopherSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 6509

Originally Posted by: bouncee
So I get confused when I try to watch videos about soloing and people start talking about ie Bminor pentatonic and the various positions.

There are 5 standard pentatonic scale "boxes" or shapes. The term "position" in guitar usually refers to the lowest fret used in any given situation. That often causes confusion because some guitar instructors (or websites!) use the terms interchangeably.

I explain the boxes & the logical reasons for the shapes & locations in this tutorial.

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=296

Originally Posted by: bouncee
I can't seem to get them to stick into memory, and next time people talk about position I go blank, except first postion. I know A minor got the root on 5th fret sixth string and so on. But I can't seem to find a way to memorize the various positions.

That's just a matter of repetition. You have to play & use them until you have committed them to memory & they are second nature.

You do that by practicing them a lot. I have tutorials on that too!

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=722

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=185

Originally Posted by: bouncee
But in order to get this to stick in my brain I think I need to understand why thepostions have different numbers and what those numbers imply.[/p]

In short, you can play the same note in more than one place on the guitar. So some of the notes overlap in various places. Combine that with the scale intervals & the nature of the guitar tuning & you get the pentatonic shapes. Check out the tutorials I linked above!

Hope this helps!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#3

Originally Posted by: bouncee
So I get confused when I try to watch videos about soloing and people start talking about ie Bminor pentatonic and the various positions.

There are 5 standard pentatonic scale "boxes" or shapes. The term "position" in guitar usually refers to the lowest fret used in any given situation. That often causes confusion because some guitar instructors (or websites!) use the terms interchangeably.

I explain the boxes & the logical reasons for the shapes & locations in this tutorial.

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=296

Originally Posted by: bouncee
I can't seem to get them to stick into memory, and next time people talk about position I go blank, except first postion. I know A minor got the root on 5th fret sixth string and so on. But I can't seem to find a way to memorize the various positions.

That's just a matter of repetition. You have to play & use them until you have committed them to memory & they are second nature.

You do that by practicing them a lot. I have tutorials on that too!

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=722

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=185

Originally Posted by: bouncee
But in order to get this to stick in my brain I think I need to understand why thepostions have different numbers and what those numbers imply.[/p]

In short, you can play the same note in more than one place on the guitar. So some of the notes overlap in various places. Combine that with the scale intervals & the nature of the guitar tuning & you get the pentatonic shapes. Check out the tutorials I linked above!

Hope this helps!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

bouncee

Full Access

Joined: 01/18/20

Posts: 12

Thx. That kind of make sense, now I can't put off learning the CAGED method any more. And maybe I now better see the reason why I should put an extra effort into learning CAGED and the five positions. I didn't realize they are both the same, or kind of.

#4

Thx. That kind of make sense, now I can't put off learning the CAGED method any more. And maybe I now better see the reason why I should put an extra effort into learning CAGED and the five positions. I didn't realize they are both the same, or kind of.

Tinpan

Full Access

Joined: 03/31/20

Posts: 104

So caged can help learm the 5 positions for scales? That was the link I thought I'd get when looked into the caged stuff but seemed to be more about the chords themselves than a template for the scale notes. I'll have to try again. :-)

#5

So caged can help learm the 5 positions for scales? That was the link I thought I'd get when looked into the caged stuff but seemed to be more about the chords themselves than a template for the scale notes. I'll have to try again. :-)

ChristopherSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 6509

Originally Posted by: bouncee
That kind of make sense, now I can't put off learning the CAGED method any more. And maybe I now better see the reason why I should put an extra effort into learning CAGED and the five positions. I didn't realize they are both the same, or kind of.[/p]

You don't have to learn, know or use CAGED explicitly in order to learn & play the pentatonic boxes.

It can help certain aspects of your fretboard visualizing ability & knowledge. And some of these things certainly do overlap. It mostly depends on your current skill level & knowledge & what your goals are.

I know you've asked before about aspects of theory. Most of the theory you need to know is contained in the course material you will encounter as you learn basic skills. And it's important to keep your playing skill level on par with your theory knowledge. I can point you to tutorials that contain the extra theory to help fill in the blanks.

Hope this helps!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#6

Originally Posted by: bouncee
That kind of make sense, now I can't put off learning the CAGED method any more. And maybe I now better see the reason why I should put an extra effort into learning CAGED and the five positions. I didn't realize they are both the same, or kind of.[/p]

You don't have to learn, know or use CAGED explicitly in order to learn & play the pentatonic boxes.

It can help certain aspects of your fretboard visualizing ability & knowledge. And some of these things certainly do overlap. It mostly depends on your current skill level & knowledge & what your goals are.

I know you've asked before about aspects of theory. Most of the theory you need to know is contained in the course material you will encounter as you learn basic skills. And it's important to keep your playing skill level on par with your theory knowledge. I can point you to tutorials that contain the extra theory to help fill in the blanks.

Hope this helps!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

ChristopherSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 6509

Originally Posted by: Tinpan
So caged can help learm the 5 positions for scales?

Not exactly. The CAGED for lead guitar tutorial explains how CAGED can be used as a visual reference for learning diatonic scale patterns.

CAGED For Lead Guitar

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=2619

This tutorial explains the 5 pentatonic box patterns.

Pentatonic Boxes

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=296

Originally Posted by: Tinpan
That was the link I thought I'd get when looked into the caged stuff but seemed to be more about the chords themselves than a template for the scale notes. I'll have to try again. :-)

Yes, the CAGED for rhythm guitar is more about the chord shapes.

CAGED For Rhythm Guitar

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=2614

Hope that helps!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#7

Originally Posted by: Tinpan
So caged can help learm the 5 positions for scales?

Not exactly. The CAGED for lead guitar tutorial explains how CAGED can be used as a visual reference for learning diatonic scale patterns.

CAGED For Lead Guitar

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=2619

This tutorial explains the 5 pentatonic box patterns.

Pentatonic Boxes

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=296

Originally Posted by: Tinpan
That was the link I thought I'd get when looked into the caged stuff but seemed to be more about the chords themselves than a template for the scale notes. I'll have to try again. :-)

Yes, the CAGED for rhythm guitar is more about the chord shapes.

CAGED For Rhythm Guitar

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=2614

Hope that helps!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory