Saxophone Major Pentatonic Scales

Saxophone Major Pentatonic Scales

In this guide I want to discuss major pentatonic scales for the saxophone.

If you were looking for just the major scales, here is the saxophone major scales guide. And if you were looking for just the minor scales instead, here is the saxophone minor scales guide.

As the name suggests, a pentatonic scale only has five notes. There are both major and minor pentatonic scales. If you were looking for minor pentatonics, here is the saxophone minor pentatonic scales guide.

As with all other guides in these series, we will focus in playing the scales on saxophone, specifically, how to finger the major pentatonic scale on the saxophone.

Let's dive right in.

Saxophone Major Pentatonic Scales

All Major Pentatonic Scales on the Saxophone

The notes in a pentatonic scale are I, II, III, V and VI from the major scale.

Pentatonic scales have five notes and are quite simple scales to play.

Here is a list of all major scales:

Let's get started.

The D Major Pentatonic Scale

So the first scale on the saxophone is the D major pentatonic scale. This scale has only one sharp: F-sharp because C-sharp is the VII note.

From the D major scale, here are the notes of the D-major pentatonic scale:

  1. Low D
  2. E
  3. F-sharp
  4. A
  5. B
  6. D

And here are the fingering charts of the D major pentatonic scale:

Note I — Low D

It's starts from Low D

The D major pentatonic scale, Low D fingering chart

Note II — E

The D major pentatonic scale, E fingering chart

Note III — F-sharp

There are two fingerings for F-sharp, the main (most common) fingering and the F-sharp side key alternate fingering.

The D major pentatonic scale, f-sharp fingering chart The D major pentatonic scale, Alternate F-sharp fingering chart

Note V — A

The D major pentatonic scale, A fingering chart

Note VI — B

The D major pentatonic scale, B fingering chart

Note I — D

The fingering for this note is similar with the Low D but with the octave key. It is an octave above Low D.

The D major pentatonic scale, D fingering chart

The E-flat Major Pentatonic Scale

The next scale is E-flat major pentatonic scale. This scale has two flats: E-flat and B-flat because A-flat is the VII note.

Here are the notes of the E-flat major pentatonic scale:

  1. E-flat
  2. F
  3. G
  4. B-flat
  5. C
  6. E-flat

And here are the fingering charts of the E-flat major pentatonic scale:

Note I — E-flat

The E-flat major pentatonic scale, E-flat fingering chart

Note II — F

The E-flat major pentatonic scale, F fingering chart

Note III — G

The E-flat major pentatonic scale, G fingering chart

Note V — B-flat

B-flat has a lot of options. There are three main fingerings:

The E-flat major pentatonic scale, G-sharp or A-flat fingering chart The E-flat major pentatonic scale, G-sharp or A-flat fingering chart The E-flat major pentatonic scale, G-sharp or A-flat fingering chart

And then, there are two alternate fingerings:

The E-flat major pentatonic scale, B-flat fingering chart The E-flat major pentatonic scale, B-flat fingering chart

Note VI — C

The E-flat major pentatonic scale, C fingering chart

And there is one alternate fingering:

The E-flat major pentatonic scale, C fingering chart

Note I — E-flat

This E-flat is an octave higher than the previous one above.

The E-flat major pentatonic scale, E-flat fingering chart

The E Major Pentatonic Scale

The next scale we are going to look at is the E major pentatonic scale. This scale has three sharps; F-sharp, G-sharp and C-sharp because D-sharp is the VII note.

Here are the notes of the E major scale:

  1. E
  2. F-sharp
  3. G-sharp
  4. B
  5. C-sharp
  6. E

And here are the fingering charts for the E major pentatonic scale:

Note I — E

The E major pentatonic scale, E with octave fingering chart

Note II — F-sharp

F-sharp has one main fingering:

The E major pentatonic scale, F-sharp fingering chart

And one alternate fingering:

The E major pentatonic scale, F-sharp fingering chart

Note III — G-sharp

G-sharp has one main fingering:

The E major pentatonic scale, G-sharp fingering chart

And three alternate fingerings:

The E major pentatonic scale, G-sharp alternate fingering chart The E major pentatonic scale, G-sharp alternate fingering chart The E major pentatonic scale, G-sharp alternate fingering chart

So you have a lot of options with the table keys here.

Note V — B

The E major pentatonic scale, B fingering chart

Note VI — C-sharp

The E major pentatonic scale, C-sharp fingering chart

Note I — E

This E is an octave above the previous one.

The E major pentatonic scale, E with octave key fingering chart

The F Major Pentatonic Scale

The next scale we are going to look at is the F major pentatonic scale. This scale has no flat because B-flat is the IV note.

Here are the notes of the F major pentatonic scale:

  1. F
  2. G
  3. A
  4. C
  5. D
  6. F

And here are the fingering charts for the F major pentatonic scale:

Note I — F

The F major pentatonic scale, F fingering chart

Note II — G

The F major pentatonic scale, G fingering chart

Note III — A

The F major pentatonic scale, A fingering chart

Note V — C

The main fingering:

The F major pentatonic scale, C fingering chart

The alternate fingering:

The F major pentatonic scale, C fingering chart

Note VI — D

The F major pentatonic scale, D fingering chart

Note I — F

This note is an octave higher than the previous F.

The F major pentatonic scale, F with octave key fingering chart

The F-sharp Major Pentatonic Scale

The next scale we are going to look at is the F-sharp major pentatonic scale. All notes in this scale are sharps because B is the IV note.

Here are the notes of the F-sharp pentatonic scale:

  1. F-sharp
  2. G-sharp
  3. A-sharp
  4. C-sharp
  5. D-sharp
  6. F-sharp

And here are the fingering charts for the F-sharp major pentatonic scale:

Note I — F-sharp

The F major pentatonic scale, key fingering chart The F major pentatonic scale, key fingering chart

Note II — G-sharp

The F major pentatonic scale, key fingering chart The F major pentatonic scale, key fingering chart The F major pentatonic scale, key fingering chart The F major pentatonic scale, key fingering chart

Note III — A-sharp

The F major pentatonic scale, key fingering chart The F major pentatonic scale, key fingering chart The F major pentatonic scale, key fingering chart The F major pentatonic scale, key fingering chart The F major pentatonic scale, key fingering chart

Note V — C-sharp

The F major pentatonic scale, key fingering chart

Note VI — D-sharp

The F major pentatonic scale, key fingering chart

Note I — F-sharp

This note is an octave higher than the previous F-sharp.

The F major pentatonic scale, with octave key fingering chart The F major pentatonic scale, with octave key fingering chart

The G Major Pentatonic Scale

The next scale we are going to look at is the G major pentatonic scale. This scale has no flat or sharp because F-sharp is the VII note.

Here are the notes of the G major pentatonic scale:

  1. G
  2. A
  3. B
  4. D
  5. E
  6. G

And here are the fingering charts for the G major scale:

Note I — G

The G major pentatonic scale, fingering chart

Note II — A

The G major pentatonic scale, fingering chart

Note III — B

The G major pentatonic scale, fingering chart

Note V — D

The G major pentatonic scale, fingering chart

Note VI — E

The G major pentatonic scale, fingering chart

Note I — G

This note is an octave higher than the root G

The G major pentatonic scale, fingering chart

The A-flat Major Pentatonic Scale

The next scale we are going to look at is the G major pentatonic scale. This scale has three flats: A-flat, B-flat and E-flat because D-flat is the IV note.

Here are the notes of the A-flat major pentatonic scale:

  1. A-flat
  2. B-flat
  3. C
  4. E-flat
  5. F
  6. A-flat

And here are the fingering charts for the A-flat major pentatonic scale:

Note I — A-flat

The G pentatonic major scale, fingering chart The A-flat major pentatonic scale, fingering chart The A-flat major pentatonic scale, fingering chart The A-flat major pentatonic scale, fingering chart

Note II — B-flat

The A-flat major pentatonic scale, fingering chart The A-flat major pentatonic scale, fingering chart The A-flat major pentatonic scale, fingering chart The A-flat major pentatonic scale, fingering chart The A-flat major pentatonic scale, fingering chart

Note III — C

The A-flat major pentatonic scale, fingering chart The A-flat major pentatonic scale, fingering chart

Note V — E-flat

The A-flat major pentatonic scale, fingering chart

Note VI — F

The A-flat major pentatonic scale, fingering chart

Note I — A-flat

This note is an octave higher than the root A-flat.

The A-flat major pentatonic scale, fingering chart The A-flat major pentatonic scale, fingering chart The A-flat major pentatonic scale, fingering chart The A-flat major pentatonic scale, fingering chart

The A Major Pentatonic Scale

The next scale we are going to look at is the A major pentatonic scale. This scale has two sharps: C-sharp and F-sharp because G-sharp is the VII note.

Here are the notes of the A major pentatonic scale:

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C-sharp
  4. E
  5. F-sharp
  6. A

And here are the fingering charts for the A major pentatonic scale:

Note I — A

The A major pentatonic scale, fingering chart

Note II — B

The A major pentatonic scale, fingering chart

Note III — C-sharp

The A major pentatonic scale, fingering chart

Note V — E

The A major pentatonic scale, fingering chart

Note VI — F-sharp

The A major pentatonic scale, fingering chart The A major pentatonic scale, fingering chart

Note I — A

This note is an octave higher than the root A note.

The A major pentatonic scale, fingering chart

The B-flat Major Pentatonic Scale

The next scale we are going to look at is the B-flat major pentatonic scale. This scale has one flat: B-flat because E-flat is the IV note.

Here are the notes of the B-flat major pentatonic scale:

  1. B-flat
  2. C
  3. D
  4. F
  5. G
  6. B-flat

And here are the fingering charts for the B-flat major pentatonic scale:

Note I — B-flat

The B-flat major pentatonic scale, fingering chart The B-flat major pentatonic scale, fingering chart The B-flat major pentatonic scale, fingering chart The B-flat major pentatonic scale, fingering chart The B-flat major pentatonic scale, fingering chart

Note II — C

The B-flat major pentatonic scale, fingering chart The B-flat major pentatonic scale, fingering chart

Note III — D

The B-flat major pentatonic scale, fingering chart

Note V — F

The B-flat major pentatonic scale, fingering chart

Note VI — G

The B-flat major pentatonic scale, fingering chart

Note I — B-flat

This note is an octave higher than the root B-flat note.

The B-flat major pentatonic scale, fingering chart The B-flat major pentatonic scale, fingering chart The B-flat major pentatonic scale, fingering chart The B-flat major pentatonic scale, fingering chart The B-flat major pentatonic scale, fingering chart

The B Major Pentatonic Scale

The next scale we are going to look at is the B major pentatonic scale. This scale has four sharps: C-sharp, D-sharp, F-sharp and G-sharp because A-sharp is the VII note.

Here are the notes of the B major pentatonic scale:

  1. B
  2. C-sharp
  3. D-sharp
  4. F-sharp
  5. G-sharp
  6. B

And here are the fingering charts for the B major pentatonic scale:

Note I — B

The B major pentatonic scale, B fingering chart

Note II — C-sharp

The B major pentatonic scale, C-sharp fingering chart

Note III — D-sharp

The B major pentatonic scale, D-sharp fingering chart

Note V — F-sharp

The B major pentatonic scale, F-sharp fingering chart The B major pentatonic scale, F-sharp fingering chart

Note VI — G-sharp

The B major pentatonic scale, G-sharp fingering chart The B major pentatonic scale, G-sharp fingering chart The B major pentatonic scale, G-sharp fingering chart The B major pentatonic scale, G-sharp fingering chart

Note I — B

This note is an octave higher than root B note.

The B major pentatonic scale, B fingering chart

The C Major Pentatonic Scale

The next scale we are going to look at is the C major pentatonic scale. This scale has no sharp or flat.

Here are the notes of the C major pentatonic scale:

  1. C
  2. D
  3. E
  4. G
  5. A
  6. C

And here are the fingering charts for the C major pentatonic scale:

Note I — C

The C major pentatonic scale, C fingering chart The C major pentatonic scale, C fingering chart

Note II — D

The C major pentatonic scale, D fingering chart

Note III — E

The C major pentatonic scale, E fingering chart

Note V — G

The C major pentatonic scale, G fingering chart

Note VI — A

The C major pentatonic scale, A fingering chart

Note I — C

This note is an octave higher than root C note.

The C major pentatonic scale, C fingering chart The C major pentatonic scale, C fingering chart

The C-sharp Major Pentatonic Scale

The next scale we are going to look at is the C-sharp major pentatonic scale. This scale has 5 sharps.

Here are the notes of the C-sharp major pentatonic scale:

  1. C-sharp
  2. D-sharp
  3. E-sharp
  4. G-sharp
  5. A-sharp
  6. C-sharp

And here are the fingering charts for the C-sharp major pentatonic scale:

Note I — C-sharp

The C-sharp major pentatonic scale, fingering chart

Note II — D-sharp

The C-sharp major pentatonic scale, fingering chart

Note III — E-sharp

The C-sharp major pentatonic scale, fingering chart

Note V — G-sharp

The C-sharp major pentatonic scale, fingering chart The C-sharp major pentatonic scale, fingering chart The C-sharp major pentatonic scale, fingering chart The C-sharp major pentatonic scale, fingering chart

Note VI — A-sharp

The C-sharp major pentatonic scale, fingering chart The C-sharp major pentatonic scale, fingering chart The C-sharp major pentatonic scale, fingering chart The C-sharp major pentatonic scale, fingering chart The C-sharp major pentatonic scale, fingering chart

Note I — C-sharp

The C-sharp major pentatonic scale, fingering chart
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DuckingBeast

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I've played the alto and then the tenor saxophone for close to a decade now. I gig with several bands around the world for most months in a year. I created SqueakingSax to share with you some interesting tips and techniques I've picked up along the way.

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