Finding Major Pentatonics From A Shape Barre Chords

If you know the Major Pentatonic/Blues Scale, chances are you only know it from a 6th string root, which is fine until you need one from a 5th string root…

Here is a great trick to use a chord shape that you probably use all the time, and good old box 1, which you probably know the best, to quickly “see” the Major Pentatonic/Blues sound and grab it right away.

As some sidebar fun, I’ll pretty much show you how to play “Gimme Three Steps” by Lynyrd Skynyrd because the chord progression lends itself really well to this type of playing.


Download this video HERE


  • Brian

    Reply Reply March 27, 2019

    I really enjoyed the lesson which reinforced some of the things I have been working on: 1st position pentatonic scale with bend of G string a whole step up is the shape of the root chord if top note is trout note, in this case, D; licks are transferable from 1, D, to 4 chord, A, and using the A shape for the root chord D is the shape base for the riffs and runs. Good lesson, thanks Griff.

    • Brian

      Reply Reply March 27, 2019

      Root note, not trout, not fishing season yet!

  • Jim Russell (UK)

    Reply Reply March 27, 2019

    Hi Griff
    Another brilliant lesson, a little over my head yet but I (roughly) understand.
    I could listen to that playing all day.
    I personally think it’s great that you don’t play that tune exactly the same as the original or it would just be a copy rather than a cover if you see what I mean.
    If you cover a song, you have to put your own twist on it and play it your way otherwise just listen to the original.

  • Steve Fahle

    Reply Reply March 26, 2019

    Great lesson. Real world example pulls it together nicely.

  • Jeff Clesius aka Swiss Elk

    Reply Reply March 26, 2019

    Wow! I watched this three times. Theory in the context of a song I know – suddenly, I could hear the lights flashing and see the bells ringing (you know what I mean!). Use the CAGED system to ‘root’ the boxes to their key (duh!), what a powerful concept. Time to revisit the boxes, one by one and plant into my brain where the root is for each box, maybe using a particular string or strings for the box (major and minor) and the chord shape as a guide. Seemed so daunting before this video.. now, not so much!

    Thanks Griff,
    Jeff (Swiss)

  • Kimberley

    Reply Reply March 25, 2019

    Hi Griff
    Well I watched this, over my head, but is this true? That you can play box 1 at different places up and down the neck, or just at 5th fret starting at A on the 6th string?

  • Chicago Charlie

    Reply Reply March 25, 2019

    Stuff from the video and random association:

    the 3 and 2 pattern [ major ]

    The CAGE Method

    The Little Wing Lesson
    If you are having trouble with major – minor scale connections, this lesson might be well worth looking into. This was a problem area for me and this lesson opened the connection for me.

  • Lynne

    Reply Reply March 25, 2019

    Many thanks for the Blues Scale Training Tool… really works!!! All of your courses are excellent as well as your email lessons. I just wish that I were a bigger Blues fan. You are a born teacher….thanks for your huge contribution to my guitar experience.

  • Bob S.

    Reply Reply March 25, 2019

    G’morning Griff, I’m getting an error message when I try to view the video online. Your pal, Bob S

    • Bob S

      Reply Reply March 25, 2019

      Had no problem launching it from the email though. Great lesson, as always. You’re magical as far as unlocking the fretboard, my friend. Thanks. Bob S.

  • eieio

    Reply Reply March 25, 2019

    Thanks Griff, using box 1 below the Barr chord is great.

  • Morris Cooper

    Reply Reply March 25, 2019

    Thanks. 😊

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