The 5 Minor Pentatonic Positions

This article serves as a reference for navigating minor pentatonic scales all over the guitar fretboard. See also The 5 Major Pentatonic Positions. (Recommended prerequisite knowledge: Intro to the Minor Pentatonic Scale, The CAGED System, Scale Degrees vs. Intervals.)

Scale Definition

The minor pentatonic scale uses scale degrees 1 ♭3 4 5 ♭7. All the fretboard diagrams below show C minor pentatonic, so the notes built on that root are C E♭ F G B♭.

The 5 Positions

As outlined in my article on the CAGED System, I refer to the five positions by where the roots are. When the roots fall on strings 1, 4, and 6, I call it the “1-4-6 position.” When the roots fall on strings 2 and 5, I call it the “2-5 position,” and so on. This is not universal, but it’s the clearest scheme I’ve encountered.

C Minor Pentatonic, 1-4-6 Position

C Minor Pentatonic 1-4-6

C Minor Pentatonic, 2-4 Position

C Minor Pentatonic 2-4

C Minor Pentatonic, 2-5 Position

C Minor Pentatonic 2-5

C Minor Pentatonic, 3-5 Position

C Minor Pentatonic 3-5

C Minor Pentatonic, 1-3-6 Position

C Minor Pentatonic 1-3-6

Fretboards made with My VexFlow.

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