Minor Pentatonic Modes

The three Minor Modes

Dorian, Aeolian, Phrygian

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Minor pentatonic modes

Build the minor modes from the Minor Pentatonic scale

The minor modes are easy to learn on the guitar because of their relationship with the Minor Pentatonic.

Simply start with a Minor Pentatonic scale shape, add either the b2 or 2 as well as either the b6 or 6 to create the desired mode.

Below, you’ll find a diagram displaying the intervals as well as what it looks like on the guitar fretboard.

When you practice any of these modes, start by playing the Minor Pentatonic, then add the desired interval, one at a time.

Minor Pentatonic
m3 4 5 b7
Aeolian 2 b6
Dorian 2 6
Phrygian b2 b6

Minor Modes in Chordacus

In Chordacus, these modes are highlighted around the chord and pentatonic scale like this:

  • Chord shape – Red
  • Minor Pentatonic – Blue
  • 6 and 2 – Light Lilac
  • b6 and b2 – Dark Lilac
A Aeolian Aemsa A Dorian Aemsd A Phrygian Aemsp

How to best practice the Minor Modes

The best way to practice the minor modes is to allow each important note to pop out, one after another, like this:

  1. Chord shape
  2. Minor Pentatonic
  3. add b2nd or 2nd
  4. Minor Pentatonic
  5. add b6th or 6th
  6. Minor Pentatonic
  7. Full mode
  8. Chord shape

Follow this routine and your hands will be quicker than your head.

The step by step course will get you there quicker than if you try to organize this into a practice routine yourself.

Related Pages


Learning how to play guitar is best done through playing and learning from songs.

The advanced songs require you to learn 7th note chords, arpeggios, and modal scales. This will be revolutionary for your understanding of the guitar fret board.

Go to Advanced guitar course.


These are pretty advanced exercises. You’ll be playing 7th note chords, arpeggios and modes all over the neck.

But don’t fret – As you’ve already mapped out the fret board with pentatonic scales and barre chords, extending the concept is actually really simple.

Go to Advanced guitar exercises.


You can learn how to play these advanced songs on the acoustic guitar.

Angels, Baby Won’t You Please Come Home, Blackbird, Cannonball, Don’t Wait Too Long, I Shot The Sheriff, Over The Rainbow, Roxanne, Scarborough Fair, Sunshine Of Your Love, Take Me To The River, Tears In Heaven, and Wish You Were Here.

Go to Advanced acoustic songs.

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