Minor pentatonic scale harmonized in 3 note chords thumbnail

Harmonization Of The Minor Pentatonic Scale On Guitar

Harmonizing the minor pentatonic scale involves creating chords that complement the scale and enhance its melodic possibilities. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to harmonize the minor pentatonic scale on guitar:

Understand The Minor Pentatonic Scale

The minor pentatonic scale consists of five notes and is formed by taking the root (1), minor third (b3), perfect fourth (4), perfect fifth (5), and minor seventh (b7). For example, in the key of A minor, the notes are A, C, D, E, and G.

A minor pentatonic A C D E G
Formula 1 b3 4 5 b7
Intervals W + H W F W + H W

Minor pentatonic scale





The A minor pentatonic scale consists of the following intervals from the root note (A):

1. A: Root note
2. C: Minor third (3 semitones above A)
3. D: Perfect fourth (5 semitones above A)
4. E: Perfect fifth (7 semitones above A)
5. G: Minor seventh (10 semitones above A)

Harmonization In 3-Note Chords

Here below you see how to built 3-note chords on each step of the A minor pentatonic scale. The first three bars show close triad chords (root positions and two inversions) whereas the bars 4, 5 and 6 show open triads (aka spread voicings) :

  • In the 4th bar the middle note of the root voicings has been dropped to the bass. Example with A, C, E, when dropping the middle note (C) to the bass, we get a new voicing C, A, E.
  • In the 5th bar the middle note of the first inversions is dropped to the bass.
  • In the 6th bar, the middle note of the second inversions is dropped to the bass.

Three-Note Chords From Am pentatonic:

  • Am : A C E
  • Csus2 : C D G
  • C : C E G
  • Dsus2 : D E A
  • D7sus4 : D G C 
  • Em(b13) : E G C
  • E7sus4 : E A D
  • Gsus2 : G A D

Check this link if you want to learn more about open and close triad chords.

Minor pentatonic scale harmonized in 3 note chords

Harmonization In 4-Note Chords

In these examples, the A minor pentatonic scale is harmonized in four-note chords:

  • Bar 1 : Root positions
  • Bar 2 : The third highest note is dropped to the bass.
  • Bar 3 : The root notes are dropped to the top.
  • Bar 4 : Root voicings with the highest note increased by a half-step.
  • Bar 5 : First inversion of the triads previously seen with a supplementary note.

Four-Note Chords From Am pentatonic:

  • Am7 : A C E G
  • Am7add11 : A D G C
  • Amadd11 : A D E C
  • A7sus4 : A E G D
  • Csus2add13 : C G A D
  • Cadd9 : C E G D
  • C6 : C G A E
  • Dsus4add9 : D G A E
  • Dsus2add11 : D G A E
  • D7sus2 : D A C E
  • D7sus4 : D A C G
  • E7sus4(b13) : E C D A
  • Em7(b13) : E G C D
  • Em(#5) add11 : E A C G
  • Gsus4add13) : G D E C
  • Gsus2add13 : G D E A 
  • Gsus2add11 : G C D A

These are just a few examples, and there are many other possibilities for harmonizing the A minor pentatonic scale. Feel free to experiment with different chord voicings, inversions, and progressions to create your own musical atmosphere.

Minor pentatonic scale harmonized in 4 note chords

Minor Pentatonic Scale In Twelve Keys

Here are the minor pentatonic scales for all 12 possible keys:

  • A minor pentatonic: A, C, D, E, G
  • B♭ minor pentatonic: B♭, D♭, E♭, F, A♭
  • B minor pentatonic: B, D, E, F♯, A
  • C minor pentatonic: C, E♭, F, G, B♭
  • C♯/D♭ minor pentatonic: C♯/D♭, E, F♯/G♭, G♯/A♭, B
  • D minor pentatonic: D, F, G, A, C
  • E♭ minor pentatonic: E♭, G♭, A♭, B♭, D♭
  • E minor pentatonic: E, G, A, B, D
  • F minor pentatonic: F, A♭, B♭, C, E♭
  • F♯/G♭ minor pentatonic: F♯/G♭, A, B, C♯/D♭, E
  • G minor pentatonic: G, B♭, C, D, F
  • A♭ minor pentatonic: A♭, C♭/B, D♭, E♭, G♭

These scales can be used as a basis for improvisation, melody creation, and harmonization in their respective keys. Try to apply the voicings previously seen to each minor pentatonic scale.

  • Guitar Scale Dictionary

    This E-book is a printable PDF method including over 700 scale diagrams and formula charts for guitarists.
  • 30 Groovy Jazz Guitar Licks

    This downloadable package contains a PDF WITH audio files giving access to 30 groovy guitar phrases mixing jazz, blues and funky licks for beginners.
  • Guitar Chord Dictionary

    This PDF eBook provides over 550 guitar chord shapes. This is the perfect reference guide to understand how chords are built and how to play them on the guitar neck.
  • 172 Arpeggio Shapes For Guitar

    This printable PDF is a method dedicated to guitarists of all styles who want to learn the most important types of arpeggios.
  • 126 Triad Chord Shapes

    This handbook for guitar players is intended both for teachers and students. It includes 126 guitar shapes for mastering triads.
  • 30 Minor Arpeggio Licks

    This package includes a printable PDF method containing 30 exercises with tabs, staves and audio files for practicing minor arpeggios on guitar.
  • II V I Bundle - 170 Exercises

    This bundle contains 4 PDF methods for a total of 170 exercises with tabs, staves, analysis & audio files for practicing scales, arpeggios licks & chords over the 2-5-1 progression.
  • Diatonic Licks Bundle

    This package contains 120 jazz guitar lines based on diatonic modes as Mixolydian, Dorian and Ionian. PDF format with tabs, audio files and analysis.
  • 30 Smooth Jazz Guitar Licks

    In this package you'll get a printable PDF Method with tabs, notation, analysis, scale shapes and audio files for practicing 30 smooth jazz guitar licks.
  • 40 II V I Jazz Guitar Licks

    This pdf method for guitar contains fourteen 2 5 1 jazz guitar lines with tab, standard notation, analysis, scale charts and audio files.
  • 50 II-V-I voicings

    This printable PDF guitar method provides 50 exercises with audio files, analysis, tab and staves for learning major 2-5-1 chord voicings.
  • 40 Minor 2 5 1 Chord Voicings

    This PDF method contains 40 exercices with tabs, scores and audio files for practicing jazz guitar chords over the minor 2 5 1 progression.
  • 40 Minor II V I Licks

    This guitar method is a printable PDF with tabs, diagrams, theory and audio files providing 40 minor 2 5 1 jazz patterns.
  • 40 Mixolydian Jazz Guitar Lick

    PDF guitar method with tabs, audio files and theory providing 40 dominant jazz guitar lines for teachers and students.
  • 40 Minor Jazz Guitar Licks

    This printable guitar method in PDF format contains 40 easy minor jazz guitar lines based on the Dorian mode.
  • 40 Major Jazz Guitar Licks

    Printable PDF eBook method containing 40 major jazz guitar licks with tab, standard notation and audio files for beginners and intermediates.
  • Guitar Walking Bass Lines

    This jazz guitar method about walking bass lines and chords is available as a PDF files containing 35 exercises with tabs, analysis and audio files
  • 101 Dominant Arpeggio Patterns

    This printable PDF method provides 101 dominant arpeggio exercises with tab, theory and standard notation for the jazz, blues and rock guitarist.
  • 49 Essential Jazz Lines

    This printable eBook method in PDF format provides 49 jazz solo transcriptions of the greatest jazz musicians. Tab, standard notation, audio files & analysis.
  • 11 Jazz Blues Studies

    11 jazz blues chord studies with tabs, standard notation, analysis, and audio recordings and PDF.
  • 10 Easy Fingerstyle Blues

    This PDF with Tabs and audio files provides 10 easy acoustic fingerstyle blues guitar studies for kids and beginners.
  • 25 Altered Jazz Guitar Lines

    This PDF eBook method contains 25 altered jazz guitar licks with tabs, patterns, scale charts and audio files to master, apply and develop the altered scale.
  • 40 Blues Dominant Patterns

    This printable method is available as a PDF file containing 40 easy dominant jazz-blues guitar lines with tabs, standard notation, analysis, audio files and scale charts.
  • Mastering Pentatonic Scales

    This jazz guitar method is an eBook available as a PDF with standard notation, guitar tabs, diagrams, analysis, audio files and backing tracks. You will find in this booklet 25 easy jazz guitar lines with theory using common and rare pentatonic scales.
  • 25 Soul Jazz Guitar Licks

    You will find here an eBook available in PDF containing 25 soul jazz and hard bop guitar licks in the style of Grant Green, Melvin Sparks, George Benson. These jazz lines come with tabs, standard notation, guitar neck diagrams, backing track for practice and 25 audio files for each riff.
  • 25 Diminished Patterns

    This eBook PDF with audio files contains 25 dominant diminished jazz guitar patterns using the half-whole diminished scale and diminished 7th arpeggios.
  • 6 Tritone substitution licks

    This Printable PDF eBook available for free download contains 6 easy jazz guitar licks with tabs/notation, youtube video link and analysis about the tritone substitution.
  • 10 Minor 7 Arpeggio Patterns

    This printable PDF eBook offers 10 easy minor 7 arpeggio patterns with its related YouTube video for beginner guitarists.
  • 10 Easy Major 7 Arpeggio Licks

    This is a printable PDF for beginner jazz guitar players providing 10 easy licks to practice major 7 arpeggios.
  • 10 Chord Melody Lines

    Within this package, you'll discover a set of ten chord melody exercises for beginners. Printable PDFaudio files, a backing track, and a link to the associated YouTube video.
  • 10 Minor Blues Scale Licks

    You'll find here a PDF with 10 easy jazz guitar licks to practice the minor blues scale on guitar.
  • Mini Lesson 01 (ML 01)

    You'll find a mini guitar lesson about walking bass lines and chords containing a PDF with tab, score analysis, shapes, a video and a guitar pro file.
  • Mini Lesson 02 (ML 02)

    In this mini jazz guitar lesson you will learn how to play easy and cool jazz lines over basic chord changes found in jazz. Pdf, tab and video included.
  • Mini Lesson 03 (ML 03)

    With this short lesson you will learn how to play and connect basic guitar arpeggios over a diatonic chord progression.
  • Mini Lesson 04 (ML 04)

    This is a downloadable package with PDF, Tab, guitar pro file and video to practice guitar arpeggios over a jazz blues chord progression.
  • Mini Lesson 05 (ML 05)

    This downloadable package provides a PDF with Tab/score, a guitar pro file and a short video for practicing guitar arpeggios on a jazz blues progression in Bb.
  • Mini Lesson 06 (ML 06)

    This package for guitarists contains a PDF with tab, video, backing track and guitar pro file for practicing arpeggios over a basic jazz blues progression.
  • Mini Lesson 07 (ML 07)

    With this mini guitar lesson you will learn how to superimpose arpeggios over a diatonic chord progression. Video, pdf, jamtrack and guitar pro file included.
  • Mini Lesson 08 (ML08)

    Mini lesson with PDF, guitar pro file, video and backing track for practicing scale and arpeggio connections over a Bb jazz blues progression.
  • Mini Lesson 09 (ML09)

    This mini lesson is a downloadable package containing a PDF, video, backing track and guitar pro file of a jazz blues progression study in B.
  • Mini Lesson 10 (ML 10)

    This mini guitar lesson provides a printable PDF with tab/notation, video, backing track and guitar pro file for practicing open triads over Fly Me To The Moon.
  • Mini Lesson 11 (ML 11)

    This guitar lesson is a package inlcuding a PDF transcription with analysis, a short video, a backing track and a guitar pro file to learn to play jazz solo lines over Blue Bossa.
  • Guitar Cheat Sheets 12

    Downloadable and printable music cheat sheets for guitar teachers and students.
  • Guitar Posters - Wall Art 10

    Educational and decorative guitar posters and wall art for students and instructors. Scales, chords, licks, arpeggios, triads and music theory.

Guitar theory Minor pentatonic scale harmonization guitar techniques guitar chords guitar scales guitar improvisation Guitar soloing music theory guitar lessons

Add a comment




Free pdf guitar