Pentatonic Scale Resources

Free Online Resources for Fretboard Theory Chapter 2: Pentatonic Scale Patterns

These resources are to be used together with the instructional guitar video, Fretboard Theory Chapter 2: Pentatonic Scale Patterns. Be sure to bookmark this page for future reference.

You can also download these same resources in a PDF doc.

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Pentatonic Video Section Times

Pentatonic Pattern 1 (6:46)

With each pentatonic scale pattern and key you learn, you are provided with a list of songs that feature a pentatonic melody, riff, solo, or bass line at some point in the music. Learn some of these song parts in order to put the scale patterns to use and build your vocabulary of licks and phrases. I link to free tabs and video lessons when I have them. You can find more free tabs by searching songsterr.com. Go to sheetmusicdirect.us or musicnotes.com for official sheet music.

Some pentatonic scale song parts that are played in E minor/G major pentatonic pattern 1 in the open position include:

  • Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd (Guitar 1)
  • Susie Q” by Creedence Clearwater Revival (opening riff)
  • “Back in Black” by AC/DC (opening riff)
  • “Amazing Grace” Christian hymn (vocal melody)

You can practice pentatonic scale patterns by playing along with music in the same key as the scale. You see a list of some songs in the key of E minor and G major below. You don’t need to learn any parts from these songs–just use them as musical accompaniment while you practice your patterns. If you don’t own copies of these songs, you can easily find and play them for free on YouTube.

E minor songs

  • “Cocaine” by Eric Clapton
  • “Horse with No Name” by America
  • “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica
  • “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath
  • “Rockin’ in the Free World” and “Heart of Gold” by Neil Young
  • “Susie Q” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

G major songs

  • “Cliffs of Dover” by Eric Johnson
  • “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan
  • “Last Kiss” by Pearl Jam
  • “Love the Lord” by Lincoln Brewster
  • “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash
  • “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton

Download the following play-along backing tracks to practice the pentatonic scale patterns in E minor and G major.

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Pentatonic Pattern 2 (11:37)

  • Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd (Guitar 2)
  • Green River” by Creedence Clearwater Revival (opening riff)
  • “Hey Joe” by Jimi Hendrix (Intro)

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Pentatonic Pattern 3 (16:07)

  • “Black Night” Deep Purple Song | Tab
  • “Life in the Fast Lane” by The Eagles (opening riff) Song | Tab

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Pentatonic Pattern 4 (19:42)

  • “Voodoo Child” (opening riff, Eb tuning)
  • Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix (opening riff)
  • “Gravity” by John Mayer (all lead guitar)

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Pattern 1 in 12th position (24:17)

  • Secret Agent Man” by Johnny Rivers (solo at 1:30) Tab Free Official
  • “Dazed And Confused” by Led Zeppelin (riff heard at the 3:34)
  • Hey Joe” by Jimi Hendrix (guitar solo)
  • Transpose songs from pattern 1 in open position to 12th position

Songs with lots of horizontal movement between patterns

  • “Gravity” by John Mayer”
  • Pawn Shop” by Sublime (opening solo)

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Key of F minor and A♭ major (36:27)

Songs with pentatonic parts to learn:

Songs to use as accompaniment:

  • “Green Onions” by Booker T. & the MG’s
  • “So Many Roads” by Joe Bonamassa

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Key of F♯m minor and A major (40:17)

Songs with pentatonic parts to learn:

  • “Vultures” by John Mayer (all lead guitar)
  • Domino” by Van Morrison (horn riff at 1:12)
  • “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton (opening slides) Video | Tab
  • Amie” by Pure Prairie League (opening guitar solo)
  • “I’d Rather Go Blind” by Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa (lead guitar)

Songs to use as accompaniment:

Key of Fm

  • “Time” by Pink Floyd
  • “The Way” by Fastball
  • “Vultures” by John Mayer

Key of A major

  • “Achy Breaky Heart” by Billy Ray Cyrus
  • “Amie” by Pure Prairie League
  • “Blessed Be Your Name” by Matt Redman
  • “Franklin’s Tower” by Grateful Dead
  • “Southern Cross” by Crosby, Stills & Nash
  • “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King
  • “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver
  • “When the Sun Goes Down” by Kenny Chesney

Download the following play-along backing tracks to practice the pentatonic scale patterns in A major.

My Girl-ish A 80bpm

Blessed Be Your Name A

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Key of G minor and B♭ major (42:06)

Songs with pentatonic parts to learn:

  • “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt (vocal melody)
  • Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits (riff)
  • “The Whale That Swallowed Jonah” by Joe Bonamassa (lead)
  • I Shot the Sheriff” by either Bob Marley or Eric Clapton (riff)
  • Born Under a Bad Sign” by Cream (bass riff)
  • Lady Marmalade” by Labelle (guitar and bass riff)
  • Lowrider” by War (bass)
  • “Only Heart” by John Mayer (solo 2:11)

Songs to use as accompaniment:

Key of G minor

  • “Born Under a Bad Sign” by Cream
  • “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt
  • “I Shot the Sheriff” by both Bob Marley and Eric Clapton
  • “Lady Marmalade” by Patti Labelle
  • “Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits
  • “The Whale That Swallowed Jonah” by Joe Bonamassa

Key of B♭

  • “Earth Angel” by The Penguins
  • “One Love” by Bob Marley
  • “Ole Time Religion” by Joe Bonamassa

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Key of A minor and C major (44:12)

Songs with pentatonic parts to learn:

  • Breakdown” by Tom Petty (all lead guitar)
  • Tweezer” by Phish (opening riff)
  • Funk #49” by James Gang (riff 0:27)
  • My Girl” by The Temptations (opening riff)
  • “No Woman No Cry” by Bob Marley (guitar solo)
  • “Let It Be” by The Beatles (guitar solo)

Songs to use as accompaniment:

Key of A minor

  • “Breakdown” by Tom Petty
  • “Brickhouse” by The Commodores
  • “Californication” by Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • “Fly Like an Eagle” by Steve Miller Band
  • “Fred Bear” by Ted Nugent
  • “It’s Too Late” by Carole King
  • “Maria, Maria” by Santana
  • “Moondance” by Van Morrison
  • “Mr. Jones” by The Counting Crows
  • “One” by U2
  • “Oye Como Va” by Santana
  • “Rhiannon” by Fleetwood Mac
  • “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin
  • “Who Will Save Your Soul” by Jewel

Key of C major

  • “Down on the Corner” by Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • “I Melt with You” by Modern English
  • “Jambalaya (On the Bayou)” by Hank Williams
  • “La Bamba” by Los Lobos
  • “Let It Be” by The Beatles
  • “My Girl” by The Temptations
  • “No Woman No Cry” by Bob Marley
  • “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers
  • “You Never Can Tell” by Chuck Berry

Download the following play-along backing tracks to practice the pentatonic scale patterns in C major and A minor

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Additional pentatonic play-along tracks

Download the following play-along backing tracks to practice the pentatonic scale patterns in various keys.

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Applying the Pentatonic Scale Rule #3: Minor Over Major Blues Application (48:50)

  • “Give Me One Reason” by Tracy Chapman (F♯)
  • “Rumble” by Link Wray (E)
  • Hey Joe” by Jimi Hendrix’s (E)
  • “Sundown” by Gordon Lightfoot (E)
  • “When Love Comes to Town” by U2 (E)
  • “I Get Evil” by Joe Bonamassa (B♭)
  • “Feelin’ Alright” by Joe Cocker (C)

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Changing pentatonic scales over chords (53:19)

  • My Girl” by The Temptations (C and F major)
  • “Tin Pan Alley” by Stevie Ray Vaughan (C, F, and G minor with guitar tuned down a half step to E♭)

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Pentatonic blues scale songs (1:05:50)

  • “Baby Please Don’t Go” by Them (opening riff, E minor)
  • “All Along the Watchtower” by Jimi Hendrix (guitar solo 1:13, C# minor, Eb tuning)
  • “Aqualung” by Jethro Tull, (opening riff, G minor)
  • “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by the Charlie Daniels Band (piano riff 1:33, D minor)
  • Heartbreaker” by Led Zeppelin (opening riff, A minor)
  • “The Old Man Down the Road” by John Fogerty (opening riff, E minor)
  • “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo” by Rick Derringer (riff 0:18)
  • Sir Duke” by Stevie Wonder” (band riff 1:04, B major)
  • Sunshine of Your Love” by Cream (opening riff, D minor)
  • “Take It Easy” by The Eagles (opening riff, G major)
  • “Truckin’” by Grateful Dead (opening riff, E minor)

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Songs with other chromatic passing tones (1:10:52)

  • Roadhouse Blues” by The Doors (opening riff, E minor)
  • Pride and Joy” by Stevie Ray Vaughan (opening turn around, E minor)
  • “Black Dog” by Led Zeppelin (opening riff, A minor)
  • Iron Man” by Black Sabbath (riff 2:03, B minor)

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More Pentatonic Scale Songs

Here’s a list of songs that feature a pentatonic melody, riff, solo, or bass line at some point in the music. Learn some of these song parts in order to put the scale patterns to use and build up your vocabulary of licks and phrases. I link to free tabs and video lessons when I have them. You can find more free tabs by searching songsterr.com. Go to sheetmusicdirect.us or musicnotes.com for official sheet music.

  • “All Right Now” by Free, guitar solo (A major)
  • “American Woman” by Lenny Kravitz, guitar solo (B & C minor)
  • Amie” by Pure Prairie League, guitar intro (A major)
  • “Are You Gonna Go My Way” by Lenny Kravitz, guitar riff
  • “Assassin” by John Mayer, pentatonic solo 3:18 (B minor)
  • “Back In Black” by AC/DC, guitar riff
  • “Belief” by John Mayer, solo (D minor)
  • “Better Together” by Jack Johnson, guitar intro (F major)
  • Beverly Hills” by Weezer, guitar solo (F minor)
  • “Black Night” Deep Purple Song | Tab
  • “Blue Sky” by The Allman Brothers Band, guitar intro and solo (E major)
  • Born Under a Bad Sign” by Cream, bass (G minor)
  • “Born Under a Bad Sign” by Albert King, bass (C# minor)
  • Breakdown” by Tom Petty, guitar 2 intro (A minor)
  • Cliffs of Dover” by Eric Johnson
  • “Couldn’t Stand the Weather” by SRV, guitar intro Eb tuning (B, A, G minor)
  • Domino” by Van Morrison (A major)
  • “Dreaming With A Broken Heart” by John Mayer, solo (G major)
  • Funk #49” by James Gang (riff 0:27)
  • “Gasoline Alley” by Rod Stewart, guitar/vocal melody (E major)
  • “Good Times Bad Times” by Led Zeppelin, guitar solo (E minor)
  • “Gravity” by John Mayer, lead (G major)
  • Green River” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, guitar riff
  • “Half of My Heart” by John Mayer, lead (F major)
  • Heartbreaker” by Led Zeppelin (A minor and other keys)
  • “Heartbreaker” Joe Bonamassa, riff D minor
  • Hey Joe” by Jimi Hendrix, guitar solo
  • “Hey” by Red Hot Chili Peppers, guitar interlude (C minor)
  • “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt, vocal melody
  • “I Love Rock ’N’ Roll” by Joan Jett, guitar and bass verse (E minor), guitar solo (E major)
  • I Shot the Sheriff” by Bob Marley/Eric Clapton, guitar riff at chorus end
  • “I Wanna Rock” by Twister Sister, guitar solo (A minor)
  • “I Will Possess Your Heart” by Death Cab For Cutie, bass line (D minor)
  • “I’d Rather Go Blind” by Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa, lead guitar A major
  • Iron Man” by Black Sabbath (riff 2:03, B minor)
  • “Jealous Again” by The Black Crowes, guitar solo G major pentatonic
  • “Jessica” by The Allman Brothers Band, bass intro and chorus (A major)
  • “La Grange” by ZZ Top, guitar intro (A minor)
  • Lady Marmalade” by Patti Labelle, bass and guitar
  • “Let Her Cry” by Hootie and the Blowfish, guitar solo (G major)
  • “Let It Be” by The Beatles, guitar 1 verse 2 (C major)
  • “Life in the Fast Lane” by The Eagles (E minor) Song | Tab
  • Lowrider” by War, bass (G minor)
  • Maggie May” by Rod Stewart, guitar solo (D major)
  • “Man in the Box” by Alice In Chains, guitar riff/vocal melody, solo Eb tuning (E minor)
  • “Meet Virginia” by Train, guitar solo (E minor)
  • Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits, guitar riff (G minor)
  • Money” by Pink Floyd, guitar and bass intro and verse (B minor)
  • “My Generation” by The Who, bass solo (G minor)
  • My Girl” by The Temptations guitar riff (C & F major)
  • “No Woman No Cry” by Bob Marley, guitar solo C major
  • “Only Heart” by John Mayer, solo 2:11 (G minor)
  • “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath, guitar solo (E minor)
  • Pawn Shop” by Sublime, guitar solo (E minor)
  • Pride and Joy” by Stevie Ray Vaughan (opening turn around, E minor)
  • Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix, guitar riff (E minor)
  • Roadhouse Blues” by The Doors (opening riff, E minor)
  • “Rumble” by Link Wray (E minor)
  • “Runnin’ Down a Dream” by Tom Petty, guitar solo (E minor)
  • Sir Duke” by Stevie Wonder” (band riff 1:04, B major)
  • “Stayin’ Alive” by The Bee Gees, guitar riff (F minor)
  • Sunshine of Your Love” by Cream (opening riff, D minor)
  • Susie Q” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, guitar riff (E minor)
  • “The Wind Cries Mary” by Jimi Hendrix, various keys including F major
  • “Turn Off the Light” by Nelly Furtado, guitar solo (E minor)
  • Tweezer” by Phish, guitar intro (A minor)
  • Upside Down” by Jack Johnson, guitar riff (E major)
  • “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” by Jimi Hendrix, guitar riff, solo Eb tuning (E minor)
  • “Vultures” by John Mayer, solo (F# minor)
  • Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd
  • Yellow Ledbetter” by Pearl Jam, guitar solo (E major)

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Gear used in the video

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