The Minor 6 Pentatonic Scale - Guitar Lesson With Shapes And Licks

What's The Minor 6 Pentatonic Scale?

The minor 6 pentatonic scale formula is tonic (1), minor third (b3), fourth (4), Fifth (5) and sixth (6). This is an intereresting alternative to the common minor pentatonic scale and useful tool for improvising over minor 6, dominant 7 and half-diminished chords.

Difference With The Minor Pentatonic Scale

As you see in the chart below the minor 6 pentatonic scale contains a 6 instead of a b7. 

Minor Pentatonic Scale 1 b3 4 5 b7
Minor 6 Pentatonic Scale b3 4 5 6


Minor penatonic vs minor 6 pentatonic scale 

Minor 6 Pentatonic Shapes

One-Octave Shapes

The fours diagrams show how to play the minor 6 pentatonic scale on guitar within the space of one octave, starting on the 6th, 5th, 4th and 3rd string.

You have to play these four forms in every key, anywhere on the guitar neck and try to associate the related chords.


Minor 6 pentatonic scale guitar charts

Five Positions of The Minor 6 pentatonic Scale

Here are the five forms of the minor 6 pentatonic scale covering the whole neck

Minor 6 pentatonic scale guitar shapes

How To Use The Minor 6 Pentatonic Scale?

Chords Within The Minor 6 Pentatonic Scale

You need to know that the minor 6 pentatonic scale is a very versatile scale, it is made up of three chord types. Let's take for example the A minor 6 pentatonic scale (A - C - D - E - F#). We get three chords (arpeggios) :

  • Am6 (A - C - E - F#) - Starting on the root note. In comparison with the minor 6 pentatonic scale, one note is missing, the 4th / 11th (D).

A minor 6 arpeggio

  • D7 (D - F# - A - G) - Starting on the fourth of A minor 6 penta. Just add the 5th of A minor 6 penta and you get a D9 arpeggio (D - F# - A - G - E)

D7 arpeggio

  • F#m7b5 (F# - A - C - E) - Starting on the 6th. Add the 4th (D) and you get the A minor 6 pentatonic scale.

minor7b5 arpeggio

In other words, you can use the minor 6 pentatonic scale over :

  • Minor 6 chords (obvious choice). A min6 penta over Am6 for example.
  • Minor 7 chords to highlight the 13th. Amin6 pentat over Am7.
  • Dominant 7 chord starting on the fifth of this chord. Example: Amin 6 penta over D7.
  • Half-diminished chord starting on the b3. For example Amin6 penta over F#dim7.

Here are some examples.

Minor 6 pentatonic Licks

The two easy exercises below show how to use the minor 6 pentatonic scale in minor and major 2 5 1 progressions.

In the first bar of the tab below, F minor penta (F - Ab - Bb - C - D) is employed over Dm7b5.

Minor 6 pentatonic guitar line 1

In the bar 1 of this major II V I sequence in C, A minor 6 penta is played over Am6. It starts with an Am7 arpeggio (A - C - E - G) leading to to the 6th of A (F#).

Minor 6 pentatonic guitar lick

  • 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 guitar.
  • 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 Smooth Jazz Guitar Licks

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

    This pdf method for guitar contains 40 II V I jazz guitar lines with tab, standard notation, analysis, scale charts and audio files.
  • 50 II-V-I voicings

    This guitar method is a printable PDF eBook containing 50 exercises with audio files, analysis, tab & standard notation.
  • 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 II V I jazz licks.
  • II V I Bundle

    This package contains 3 PDF methods for jazz guitarists with tabs, audio files, analysis about the II V I progression.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

    This PDF method contains 11 guitar lessons with chord studies, tabs, standard notation, analysis & audio files about the main blues progressions used in jazz music.
  • 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.

Last edited: 2021-05-17

Add a comment