A minor pentatonic open position

Guitar Secrets
Guitar Lessons that work!

Become a Gold Level member today and learn to rock!

Welcome to Guitar Secrets
Guitar lessons that work!

Pentatonic scale

[ A minor pentatonic root note 5th ] [ Am pentatonic C note ] [ Am at D ] [ Am at E ] [ Am at G ] [ Am root 17 ] [ Am open ] [ Am at the G ]

The A minor pentatonic scale played in the open position

We are now working on the pentatonic scale in the open position, starting at the Low E string. The open position, is exactly the same as the 12th fret position. The only difference is, we will be playing some notes in the open position.

In the open position, the notes with the (0’s) are picked without fretting the string, just pick the string open. Take a look at the tablature below.

Notice the (0’s) on the E A D G and E strings. Those strings are picked open. Another thing of interest, the open position has the same fingering pattern as the 12th fret. Recall that the notes repeat every 12 frets; check it out below. Each position has the same pattern and notes. However, the pattern at the 12th fret is at a different octave.

When playing the Am pentatonic scale in the open position, you start at the open, Low E string. The fingering pattern is 0-3,  0-3,  0-2,  0-2,  1-3,  0-3. The Low E string is picked open, without touching the fret-board. Pick the Low E string now and let it ring out.

Then you pick the Low E string again, but this time with your 3 finger down at the third fret. 

Then you would move to the (A) string. Pick the A string open and let it ring out. Now pick the (A) string again with the 3 finger down at the 3rd fret.

The next string would be the (D) string. Pick the D string open and let it ring out. Now pick the (D) string again with the 2 finger down on the 2nd fret. 

You would continue through the scale in same fashion down to the High E string.

The tablature has been included below. Record the Em chord or Am chord and play this pattern over each chord. There are many chords that could be used other that those two though.


  1. Use these blank fret-board illustrations to fill in the notes of the E open position of the a minor pentatonic scale. 
  2. Fill in one illustration of the fingers used for the open position.
  3. Fill in one illustration of the notes used for the open position.

All we have left is one more position of the pentatonic scale and then we can move on to combining them. The next A minor pentatonic position will be starting on the G note or 3rd fret. 

A minor pentatonic scale at the G note III position

Good Luck,

Guitar Secrets