C major pentatonic scale guitar tab, notation & fretboard patterns: a complete lesson on how to play the pentatonic scale in C on guitar.
- 1 Octave C Major Pentatonic Scale Guitar TAB in Open Position
- 2 Octave C Major Pentatonic Scale Guitar TAB (5th Position)
- C Major Pentatonic Scale Guitar Patterns
- C Major Pentatonic Scale Pattern 1 (2 Octaves)
- C Major Pentatonic Scale Pattern 2 (1 Octave)
- C Major Pentatonic Scale Pattern 3 (1 Octave)
- C Major Pentatonic Scale Pattern 4 (1 Octave)
- C Major Pentatonic Scale Pattern 5 (2 Octaves)
- The Notes In C Major Pentatonic Scale
C Major Pentatonic Scale Guitar TAB, Notation, Fretboard Pattern & Lesson
With its clean, folky sound, the major pentatonic scale is a common scale in folk, blues, country and pop music.
There are many different ways of playing a C major pentatonic scale on guitar; on this page you’ll find some of the best and most widely-used fingerings.
Use the TABs, notation and patterns below to play the scale in one and two octaves – all over the guitar neck.
Related Pages on Guitar Command
- Find out how to play pentatonic major scales in any key: Major Pentatonic Scale Guitar
- How to read guitar TAB: How To Read TAB
- Complete guitar scale reference: Guitar Scales
- Download our comprehensive Guitar Scales Chart
- Jam along to our professional Guitar Backing Tracks
Play this scale in other keys:
1 Octave C Major Pentatonic Scale Guitar TAB in Open Position
The notation and TAB below shows you how to play a 1 octave C major pentatonic scale in open position.
2 Octave C Major Pentatonic Scale Guitar TAB
The TAB below shows a 2 octave C major pentatonic scale starting on the 8th fret of the 6th (bottom E) string. This is one of the most common (and easiest) ways of playing this scale in C on guitar.
(Another great way of playing a 2 octave C major pentatonic scale is shown under pattern 5, further down the page.)
(Note: the TAB above is the same scale as that represented by major pentatonic pattern 1, which is shown further down the page.)
C Major Pentatonic Scale Guitar Patterns
- You can find out how to use guitar scale patterns on this page: Guitar Scale Patterns
- For more information on playing major pentatonic scales all over the neck, visit this page: Major Pentatonic Major Scale Guitar
You can use the patterns below to play C major pentatonic scales all over the guitar neck. The figures by the side of the patterns tell you at which fret the patterns should be played.
The green circles represent the tonic notes (i.e. the ‘C’ notes) of the scale. Play from a green circle to the next green circle for a 1 octave scale.
Patterns 1 and 5, each of which contains 3 tonic notes, can be used to play 2 octave C major pentatonic scales. (The other patterns, having only 2 green circles, can be used to play 1 octave C major pentatonic scales.)
All of the patterns contain additional notes allowing you to extend the scale without changing fretboard position. The TABs below each pattern show the scales represented by the patterns and omit these extra notes.
C Major Pentatonic Pattern 1
2 Octave C Major Pentatonic TAB Using Pattern 1
C Major Pentatonic Pattern 2
1 Octave C Major Pentatonic Scale TAB Using Pattern 2
C Major Pentatonic Pattern 3
1 Octave C Major Pentatonic Scale TAB Using Pattern 3
C Major Pentatonic Pattern 4
1 Octave C Major Pentatonic Scale TAB Using Pattern 4
C Major Pentatonic Pattern 5
2 Octave C Major Pentatonic Scale TAB Using Pattern 5
Play Other Major Pentatonic Scales Using The Above Patterns
The major pentatonic scale patterns above are ‘movable’ (transposable). The numbers by the sides of the patterns show you where to play C pentatonic major scales, but you can play the scales in other positions in order to play other pentatonic major scales.
For example, you could move any of the patterns 2 frets higher in order to play a D major pentatonic scale.
The green circles on the patterns represent the tonic note of the scale (i.e. the ‘C’ notes in an C scale). Move your fingers so that the green circles are positioned over the tonic note of the scale you want to play (i.e. if you want to play a D major pentatonic scale, position your hands so that the green notes are over D notes on the fretboard.)
Notes In The C Major Pentatonic Scale
The C pentatonic major scale contains the following notes:
C, D, E, G, A
The scale formula of the scale is : 1, 2, 3, 5, 6