Now we will look at the major pentatonic scale and the major scale.
Here are the notes that are found in the C major pentatonic scale:
C D E G A
Now we will look at a common fingering for the C major pentatonic scale. If you are not quite sure how to read guitar scale fingerings, read this post: Guitar Scale Lesson: How to Read Guitar Scale Diagrams.
Now let’s look at the C major scale.
The C major scale contains the following notes:
C D E F G A B
Here is a fingering for the C major scale.
What do you notice when you compare these two scale?
Do you see how they share some notes? The only difference between these scales is the C major scale contains the notes F and B, whereas the C major pentatonic scale does not.
So in other words, if you drop out the notes F and B from the C major scale you will have a C major pentatonic scale.
The best way to start using the major scale in your guitar solos is to first think of it as simply giving you some extra notes to add into your guitar solos.
Your first step is to make sure you are familiar with both of the scale fingerings shown above. Then you can start to mix things up a bit.
Play the major pentatonic scale ascending and then play the major scale descending. Do this several times until you feel comfortable doing this.
Next play the major scale ascending and play the major pentatonic scale descending. Practice this until you can easily play it.
Finally, play the major scale ascending and descending, and then play the major pentatonic scale ascending and descending.
Once you’ve completed the above exercises you are ready to start to experiment with these scales in your guitar solos.
There are two main approaches I would recommend you start with.
The first way to begin creating guitar solos is to make the major pentatonic scale your main scale. All you do is add in the extra two notes here and there for interest and variety.
Once you feel comfortable with the above you can switch it up. Now start soloing with the major scale as your main scale and simply drop out the notes B and F occasionally. This means you will now be primarily using the major scale for your guitar solos!
As you can guess, there’s lots more to soloing than this, but this will get you well on your way to creating great-sounding guitar solos.
To learn more fingerings for the major scale and see how they connect over the entire fretboard check out my guitar scale course called The World of Scales: A Compendium of Scales for the Modern Guitar Player.