In this article I demostrate the major and minor pentatonic scale for bass guitar. The pentatonic scale is very useful for playing in the background to add “spice” to your bass riff or can even be applied to soloing very easily.
C Major Pentatonic Scale
Slowly practice this routine until you feel more comfortable playing it faster and faster. My suggestion is that you evolve into using hammer ons and pull offs to play it quicker.
The pattern is: root – whole step – whole step – 3 half steps – whole step – octave.
“3 half steps” is just a fancy way of saying 3 frets difference.
C Minor Pentatonic Scale
You can see and hear the slightly different pattern for the minor scale. Just like the major scale make sure you take it slow until you have the pattern down.
The pattern is: root - 3 half steps – whole step – whole step – 3 half steps – octave.
The Beauty of the Pentatonic Scale
The best part of the pentatonic scale is that once you learn the pattern for the major or minor scale you can play any note’s pentatonic scales. If you still don’t understand the patterns above please read the whole steps and half steps music theory post I made a month or so ago.
It means you can take the C and change it to D, E, A, C# or any other note! Pretty awesome if you ask me.
The Take Away
Hopefully this article has helped you master the major and minor pentatonic scales for bass guitar. The take away is that you will be more prepared to solo or improvise now that you have a very popular chord pattern in your pocket.
Questions? Suggestions for improvement? Please leave it in a comment below.