A bit of theory and some simple patterns to easily play major and minor scales on ukulele.


A pentatonic scale is a musical scale with five notes per octave, very common in many musical cultures all over the world.

Pentatonics scales are characterized not only by their lack of semitone intervals, but also by the fact that each of the five notes can be a final note. Therefore it “is inappropriate to distinguish between a major and minor pentatonic scale, but it is evident that into the pentatonic scale there are two tonal modes, major and minor”.

(from Wikipedia)

Major pentatonic scale

The major pentatonic scale may be thought of as an incomplete major scale.

However, the pentatonic scale has a unique character and is complete in terms of tonality.

Can be created taking five consecutive pitches from the circle of fifths: for example, starting on C, these are C, G, D, A, and E.

This is a simple pattern that can be easily played on all the fretboard:

Minor pentatonic scale

Minor pentatonic scales are built on a natural minor scale without the second and the sixth grade. For example, the “minor” pentatonic of A has the same notes of the “major” pentatonic of C, simply played from A, and has a minor third interval from the start.

The pattern on ukulele is:

Adding to this scale the fourth degree increased (the blue note) you get the blues scale:

Download all patterns from the link below:

Pentatonic scales on Ukulele