The Arabian Pentatonic Minor Scale

This simple 5-tone scale pattern is easy to convert from off of the basic Minor Pentatonic, making it simple to understand. But, simplicity aside, it actually provides a series of Minor tones that are quite unique and offer a fresh approach as to what you’d come to expect from using the normal layout of Minor Pentatonic Scale... 

Back in 2015, I published a Micro-Lesson, (Micro-lesson 073 on my Guitar Blog YouTube channel), in where I demonstrated the sound of a unique Pentatonic scale layout that is called the "Arabian Pentatonic Minor."

In this lesson, I will experiment further with you on applying the tones of the, “Arabian Pentatonic Minor,” so that you can start incorporating this scales unique tones into your own guitar playing and music compositions.


The Arabian Pentatonic Minor scale is really easy to start using because it’s so similar to the basic Minor Pentatonic. All that happens (in the Arabian Pentatonic Minor), is we end up swapping two tones, (the 2nd and 7th switch - with the 2nd entering and the 7th leaving).

Essentially, we add the 2nd degree from the Natural Minor Scale. And, we drop out the minor 7th degree (that’s normally situated in the basic Minor Pentatonic).

Let’s get things started in this lesson by learning a few scale shapes for the “Arabian Pentatonic Minor.” Here are 2-shapes that are based upon the 6th and the 5th string roots in the key of “A.”

Arabian Pentatonic Minor: 6th string

Arabian Pentatonic Minor: 5th string

Chord Progressions and Melodies:
The tones used in the Arabian Pentatonic Minor follow right in step with the standard Natural Minor. So, no alterations to the harmony of the chords will end up taking place when applying the Arabian Pentatonic Minor.

The result is an easy to apply scale sound that’s tied directly to the tones of the Natural Minor chord progressions. This makes the application of Arabian Pentatonic Minor, strictly one of a new interval arrangement...

Anyplace you would use Minor Pentatonic, you can also apply Arabian Pentatonic Minor. Let’s study this further by taking a typical key of “A Minor” chord progression and creating a melody over it using the Arabian Pentatonic Minor scale.

Key of “A Minor” chord progression…

Using this chord progression, (as our line of thought for the harmony), let’s apply the 5th string root pattern, (key of “A” Arabian Pentatonic Minor scale). We'll use this pattern to create a melody for those key of “A” Minor chord changes.

Limiting or Adding Notes:
One of the really interesting learning aspects that will occur with the study of a scale like the Arabian Pentatonic Minor, is that we get the chance to think of scale tones in a unique way – in a different way.

This type of interval process is really good for trying out with a lot of other scales that you already know. For example, in this case, our process simply involves the limiting of, and the adding in, of scale tones from Minor Pentatonic.

In our case, the Arabian Pentatonic Minor scale added a 2nd degree from the Natural Minor scale, and it also left out the minor 7th (typically found in the Minor Pentatonic Scale). This limiting or adding of tones is something that’s easy to do, and it’s something that we can do with any scale that we already know and that we’re using right now.

The process creates interesting and fresh optional sounds, plus it helps build new ways of applying scale tones in our melodies.

Well, I'd like to end the discussion by saying, thanks for joining me... If you want to learn more about what I do as an online guitar teacher, then head over to my website at and sign up your FREE lifetime membership.

When you want more, you can always upgrade to either a Basic, or a Premium lesson package and start studying the guitar courses I've organized for the members of my website.

I'd also be interested to hear your thoughts on all of this in the comment section below... if you enjoyed this video, give it a thumbs up and subscribe for more on YouTube. Thanks again and we'll catch up next week, for another episode of the, "Guitar Blog Insider."



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