Pentatonic Scale Plus Two Equals Major Scale

pentatonic + 2 = Major Scale?

What is pentatonic scale plus two equals major scale? It’s exactly that. If we add two notes to the pentatonic scale we will get a major scale. Not just any notes, we have to add the right ones.

Where to Start

So if we start with the major pentatonic which I will link here, let’s examine the notes it has compared to the major scale. If we use the A major pentatonic, it consists of A, B, C#, E and F#. These notes compared to the major scale are the 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6th. The notes we are missing are the 4th and the 7th. These notes are D and G#.

Or Start with the A minor pentatonic

We can do the same with the minor pentatonic scale in A. These notes are A, C, D, E, and G. These notes when compared to the A major scale are the 1, b3, 4, 5, and b7. The notes we are missing are the 2nd and the 6th. If we add a 2nd which is B and we add a 6th which is F#, we get the notes from a G major scale. Our notes starting on G would be G, A, B, C, D, E, F#, and back to G for the octave. Almost all natural notes except that F#. If we know our major scales, the key of G major has one sharp and that note is F#.

Other major scales

The key of G is five letters away from C major that has no sharps or flats and is a basis for starting how the other major scales come into play. So count starting on C to G and you get the first sharp key. This is going in intervals of a 5th. The next key from G five letters away is D. We keep the F# from G major and add a new sharp on the 7th note from D major which will be C#. If we don’t add a sharp on the 7th degree, we would still be playing a G major scale just starting on a D note instead. So the key of D has two sharps F# and C#.
This is a start on the major scales which I will talk about at some point soon.

Back to the major scale

If you take all your A minor pentatonic patterns linked here, and you add the B and F# to all five patterns, you will have five G major scale patterns going up and down the guitar fretboard.
Let’s add the two notes to the A minor pentatonic patterns.

Here is pattern one. We are actually playing the last pattern of the A minor pentatonic scale at fret three adding the B and F# notes gives us the pattern.

G major scale with root note on 6th string
G Major with root on the 6th string

This is a home base pattern for the major scale since it has the root note on the 6th string.

Continuing on with the next pentatonic pattern at fret five gives us this,

G major at the 5th fret position
G major scale on the 5th fret area

Continuing onto the next minor pentatonic pattern,

G major scale at the 7th fret
G major at the 7th fret position

The next pentatonic pattern will give us a root note on the 5th string,

G major scale with the root on the 5th string
G major scale with the root on the 5th string

The last pentatonic pattern with the added B and F# notes gives us this,

G major scale in the 12th position
G major in the 12th position

After this pattern, you are back to the 1st pattern at the 15th fret.

How to Practice the major scale patterns

Start with pattern one going up and down and then do the same for the remaining patterns. If you already know the five A minor pentatonic patterns, it is only a matter of adding the two notes B and F# to them. Notice from D to E happens at least once with each pattern and only has those two notes on the string that they occur on. For example pattern one D and E notes fall on string two. The next pattern it happens on the 5th string and so on.

Backing Track

Pick a backing track in the key of G for now and practice playing each pattern up and down soloing. Notice in each pattern where the root notes are. These will be good spots to land on starting out. The next notes to land or start on would be the notes that make up a G chord. Going in thirds starting with G would be G, B, D. Start and end on any of these notes if your backing track is a static G chord, meaning it only uses a G chord. If it has more than just a G chord and the other chords are from G major only, you will have to find notes that fit using the G major scale.

So by adding these notes to the A minor pentatonic scale will give us a G major scale. We could do the same by adding the 4th (D) and the 7th (G#) to the major pentatonic scale. It would give us the same patterns only in the key of A.

In Closing

By using the root notes you can move these major patterns up or down the frets to play in a different key, just find the note under the red dot to find out your key. For example, moving all the G major patterns up one fret will put you in the key of Ab. One more fret up and you will be in the key of A and so on.

As always have fun practicing!