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The 5 notes of the Pentatonic scale are found all over the fretboard.  Take the Am Pentatonic for example:

Am Pentatonic Notes

Fig.1. Shows ALL of the Am Pentatonic notes (A-C-D-E-G).  They Repeat across the fretboard (the “A note” repeats        10 times).

-These are the notes an Am lead passage is constructed from.

-These notes are grouped into easy to play Boxes which are used as references for lead improvising and song writing.
The Boxes are a tool you can use to help sort out the notes in the above fretboard diagram.

-The next logical step after becoming familiar with the 5 Pentatonic Boxes is to learn how to extend each one outside its box and into the next.  This will bring you a step closer to understanding the layout of the Pentatonic scale on the fretboard.

-Take the 1st Position of the Am Pentatonic Scale for example:

Am Pentatonic with green dots

Fig.2. The 1st Position of the Am Pentatonic Scale.

There are a number of ways to extend this scale.
The easiest and most basic is to simply go lower on the Low E string & higher on the High E string.

Extended Am Pentatonic Scale

Fig.3. The 1st Position of the Am Pentatonic Scale extended off the High & Low E Strings.

-You may also transpose 2 of the notes to create a variation of the above extended scale:

Transpose Note

Fig.4. Grouping the notes into a tighter formation creates a variation of the extended scale in figure 3.

Video 1. The extended Am Pentatonic scale shown in Fig4.

-You can further transcend the Boxes to climb the entire Pentatonic scale along the length of the fretboard.

Fully extended Am Pentatonic scale

Fig.5. The fully extended Am scale.

Am Pent Box

Fig.6. The fully extended Am scale with the 1st position Am Pentatonic position shown.
Note: The missing notes from the Box have been transposed into the scale extension.

It is important to understand that you can extend the Box on any string & from any note.  Simply maintain the sequence of notes for the given Key (e.g. A-C-D-E-G for Key of Am).  This can be utilized to incorporate different lead techniques.  Refer to Fig.1 for a visual of all the available notes in the Key of Am.


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