The pentatonic scale is must-know for any mandolin player looking to improve their soloing chops on the instrument. This tab will show you how the G pentatonic scale lays on the mandolin fretboard and give you two licks based on the scale to use fragments of or as endings for fiddle tunes in the key of G.
A couple tips for learning and practicing this:
- The pentatonic scale is a five note scale pattern. If you’re having trouble learning the entire scale in one go, split it up into sections of five or six notes.
- Whenever you’re learning a scale practice it starting from different notes in the scale or using different note combinations rather than just playing it ascending and descending. You’ll hear this scale a ton in bluegrass but it’s rare that someone will play it up and down. It’s important to practice variations of the scale. This could be melodic or rhythmic variation and the two licks in the tab may give you some ideas on how to do this on your own.
- As always, go slow. This will let your fingers better communicate with your mind (and vice versa) so you can commit it to memory faster and start actually using it in your solos.
- Pay attention to how this scale sounds and try to figure it out on your own in the keys of C, D, and E. This is a great ear training exercise and it’s an amazing way to learn about your fretboard.
Here’s the tab so you can get cracking: