Learning the Fretboard Tip

Learning the Fretboard Tip

One way to help you learn the guitar fretboard is via two shapes. These shapes are the first position minor pentatonic shape and the second is the associated major pentatonic shape.



These two shapes are shown in the diagram below.

  • The minor pentatonic is shown in the left box
  • The major pentatonic is shown in the right box
  • The root of the major pentatonic scale is the major third of the minor pentatonic scale – shown by the open circle shape on the 4th fret of the lowest E string.
  • The scale degrees are shown for playing in the minor key

In our example we use:

  • F minor pentatonic (F, Ab, Bb, C, Eb)
  • Ab major pentatonic (Ab, Bb, C, Eb, F)

As you can see both scales use the same notes.

This is because these scales are built from the Ab major scale. The F minor scale is the built from the 6th degree of the Ab major scale and so is called the relative minor scale for Ab major.

To find the root note of the relative minor scale – just find the note 3 frets down. If you are in the minor scale the root of the relative major scale is 3 frets up. See the diagram for reference.

This will help you visualise a lot of the fretboard for a single key with just two simple shapes.

As always have fun playing with this.


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