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.)
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, 2-4 Position
C Minor Pentatonic, 2-5 Position
C Minor Pentatonic, 3-5 Position
C Minor Pentatonic, 1-3-6 Position
Fretboards made with My VexFlow.
FREE Video Course: How to Practice Scales
In this FREE 3-day video course, you'll learn the guitar scale practice method I teach to all of my private students, and it will help you build the muscle memory you need to make real music like a pro.