Connect Major Pentatonic shapes Guitar Lesson – Step 2

Major Scales Guitar Lesson - S2
Let's connect the five CAGED Major Pentatonic shapes to ensure we really do know them perfectly!

Connect The Five Shapes Of The Major Pentatonic

After playing through all five Major Pentatonic CAGED shapes individually, in all keys, you need to connect the shapes up and down the neck as well.

The video lessons above show you how to connect all five Major Pentatonic shapes in the key of A and D.

When you can play along with these videos, or on your own to a metronome, carry on around the cycle of 4th and play in all remaining “keys” as well.

Next, we go to the closest shape possible instead.

Closest shape possible – Cycle of 4th

The final exercise for learning the Major Pentatonic scale shapes is to move to the closest possible shape.

This is what the video above demonstrates. The order of the shapes in the exercise is:

A Major Pentatonic E shape – D Major Pentatonic A shape – G Major Pentatonic D shape – C Major Pentatonic G shape – F Major Pentatonic C shape.

Next up is the Bb Major Pentatonic E shape and so on. When you reach the D-shaped A Major Pentatonic, stop and increase the BPM before you do it all again.

Major Pentatonic Improvisation

It’s not enough to practice these scales up and down the fretboard and around the cycle of 4th, you must also start playing the notes in different orders, aiming to make little melodies and licks out of them,

Above you hear an improvisation without any chords to support the scale. Take as a habit to always do this after you’ve practised the scale.

When you feel you got the hang of it and can hear the sound of the Major Pentatonic, try it in some songs as well. The intermediate acoustic course makes use of the major pentatonic, and so does the intermediate electric course.

When all exercises in this step feel good, move on and start practising the first major mode, Ionian.

Connect Major Pentatonic Guitar Lesson | Related Pages

Major Scales | Step-by-step guitar course

The Major Pentatonic is the first scale we learn in the Major Scales Course.

Using the CAGED system and Major Pentatonic as our foundation, we can build all our major scales on the guitar.

The self-eliminating practice routine takes care of this in 8 steps. All you have to do is put the time in.

Minor Pentatonic

The 5 Minor Pentatonic shapes are similar but not the same as the major pentatonic shapes.

This is where it all starts. You must learn all five positions of the Minor Pentatonic. Without this, the guitar will never make sense,

Using the video lessons demonstrating this in Am, you can move on once you have practised in all other keys as well.

Intermediate Acoustic Course

During the Intermediate Acoustic Guitar Course, we constantly use the Major Pentatonic.

In the Intermediate Acoustic Course, we don’t settle for just the basic open-position chords. Instead, we move up the fretboard to play what is called barre chords.

Learning these tunes will unlock the guitar fretboard as we use the CAGED system to explore the fretboard in the context of each song.

Intermediate Electric Course

In the Intermediate Electric Guitar Course we use the Major Pentatonic a lot.

When playing Motown & Soul tunes, we must know all CAGED barre chords and pentatonic scales to build rhythm parts, incorporate licks and play solos.

Complete the Intermediate Electric Course and you will map out the fretboard, as well as gain an understanding of how to create a guitar part that works in a band.

Guitar Chords

To understand the Major Pentatonic, you must connect them with the CAGED guitar chord shapes.

With traditional music theory, the stave, and a piano, you’ll get easy-to-understand chords but they will not help if you want to play chords on the guitar.

Instead, on the guitar we use chord shapes derived from the five open-position chords, C, A, G, E, and D, hence CAGED.


Chordacus can show you all Major Pentatonic shapes in all keys.

Spytunes chords, scale, and arpeggio software, Chordacus is a refined version of the so-called CAGED system.

Now available as both a chromatic (original version) and “within a key”, developed with the help of a Spytunes student.

About me

Dan Lundholm wrote this guitar lesson on connecting the Major Pentatonic shapes.

This guitar lesson about connecting the Major Pentatonic shapes was written by Dan Lundholm. Discover more about him and learning guitar with Spytunes.

Most importantly, find out why you should learn guitar through playing tunes, not practising scales, and studying theory in isolation.

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