How To Use Pentatonic Scale Box Pattern 2 For Your Guitar Solos

How To Use Pentatonic Scale Box Pattern 2 For Your Guitar Solos

In this lesson, we are going to learn how to use pentatonic scale box pattern 2 for your guitar solos.  The most common box pattern is the first one.  But the second box pattern is important to know as well because it represents the major pentatonic scale.

Pentatonic scales by number

There are 5 pentatonic scales and they can be used for playing over major and minor chord progressions.  Number one is the minor pentatonic scale and number 2 is the major pentatonic scale.  What is great about these scale box patterns, is that they span the whole fretboard.  This means that if you learn all five of them you’ll be able to play solos and stay in key.

Pentatonic pattern 2

As I stated earlier, this is the pattern that will represent the “major pentatonic scale” and the reason for this is that the relative minor to any major key is located 3 frets down on your fretboard (direction toward the nut) and at that position would be pattern one.  So it makes sense that box pattern 2 would represent the major pentatonic scale.

Learn this pattern and lear nit well as it will help you to be able to solo over major chord progressions.  The problem that most people have with playing guitar solos is knowing where to play.  In the above example, this is the A Major pentatonic scale and played in the position shown.

Try playing this over a backing track on Youtube in the key of A major.  You’ll see that it works and you sound good with every note in the scale you play.  In addition to that.  If you’ve learned box pattern one and know where that is located in relation to this pattern, (the 2nd fret at the F# note) you can play that as well.

Learning both patterns you can accomplish two things:

    1.  You accomplish knowing what scale pattern to play over both major and minor chord progressions
    2.   You also increase the length of soloing you can do along the fretboard.  This increases your fretboard knowledge.


Staying in key

Staying in a key is the most important thing to do and one of the most common problems people have when playing guitar solos.  This is why it is important to learn all 5 pentatonic scale box patterns.  Once you have the first one down, you then proceed to learn number two.  Then from there, you learn the other three and before you know it, you have all five down and can play the length of the fretboard.

Mastering the intervals

Another very important part of learning scales to play guitar solos is mastering the intervals of the notes.  This is the distance between them and a requirement for staying in key.  In fact, if you can master note intervals on each string, you can play a solo on just one string.

This is why guitar players who try to solo start playing notes that don’t sound too good.  Thet have not mastered the intervals of the notes in the scale patterns.  In this development of your playing, you should be focusing on the note intervals of pentatonic patterns 1 and pattern 2.

Learn guitar licks within the scale

Major Pentatonic Scale

Here we have pentatonic pattern 2 (major pentatonic) written in tablature.  You can see how it is the same thing as above just written differently.  Study this and be able to read it thoroughly.

Major Pentatonic Scale Pattern guitar lick

In this example, we have added a bend on the 6th fret of the third string and a couple of hammer-ons on the 5th frets of the first and second strings.  This allows us to add a little bit of spice to the scale with guitar licks as we go through it.

Hammer-ons, pull-offs, bends & vibrato are techniques that you want to take some time to learn.  They are what bring the scale to life.  Not just this scale, but all scales.  No matter if you are playing major, minor, diminished, harmonic, etc.  These types of techniques can really add character to your playing. So don’t overlook them.

How to learn pattern 2 the easy way

The best way to learn pentatonic pattern 2 and fully understand how to use it to your advantage is with my book I published Lead Guitar Wizardry vol 1.  An introductory step-by-step method book on how to get started playing guitar solos.  Even if you have gotten started, this book will help you to take your solos to the next level by providing a better understanding of the fundamental principles and concepts of playing lead guitar.

Lead Guitar Wizardry volume 1

Lead Guitar Wizardry volume 1 is designed with very simple lesson plans that any person wanting to learn how to play guitar solos can easily understand.  Even if they have no prior musical knowledge.  This book can give you the confidence to play a solo and know that every note you play will sound good every time you play it.

This helpful method book teaches:

  1.  Intro to notation
  2.  12 bar blues progression
  3.  Major and minor scales
  4.  The 5 pentatonic scale patterns
  5.  Hammer-ons, pull-offs, bends, vibrato, etc.
  6.  Transposing keys
  7.  Harmony notes and hybrid picking
  8.  Music theory basics
  9.  Improvising
  10.  And much, much more.

This book has everything you need to know to create jaw-dropping guitar solos.  You’ll be able to build a solid foundation for lead guitar playing.  And if you’re committed to study and practice enough, you might even become a lead guitar wizard!

Lesson conclusion

So if you’ve got pentatonic pattern one down, move on to pattern two and link it to pattern one for extended fretboard playability.  Remember, it is also the major pentatonic scale and can be used to play over major chord progressions as well as minor chord progressions.  It’s just where you play it that will make the difference.

This is where my method book comes in handy.  So I recommend you check it out.  You’ll see very quickly how it can benefit your playing and see how it can take not only your solos but your guitar playing in general to a whole new level.

Additional lessons

Contact me if you need additional help.  Best wishes,