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Pentatonic scales for 6-string bass

Penta is Greek for 5. The pentatonic scale consists of 5 notes.

Minor Pentatonic

The minor pentatonic scale contains the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 7th note of the 'normal' minor scale (Aeolian).

D minor contains D, F, G, A and C.

Pentatonic scale

Major Pentatonic

The major pentatonic scale contains the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th en 6th note of the 'normal' major scale (Ionian).

D major contains D, E, F#, A and B.

Major pentatonic


The positions

To play the different positions of the pentatonic scale, we only use the notes from the original pentatonic scale. In this example: D minor pentatonic.
With each position we start on a different note from that scale.

D minor pentatonic.

Mineur pentatonisch

D minor pentatonic - 2nd postion (= F major pentatonic).

Pentatonic scale

D minor pentatonic - 3rd position.

Basslesson pentatonic scale

D minor pentatonic - 4th position.

Pentatonic scale for 6-string bass

D minor pentatonic - 5th position.

Pentatonic modes

As mentioned, the second position of the minor pentatonic scale is the major pentatonic scale.
So we can deduce that the 5th position of the major pentatonic scale is the minor pentatonic scale.


All positions combined

At the end of the first staff I mention 2 possibilities for the left hand . I prefer the index finger, but the middle finger works too.

Pentatonic positions