LESSON PLAN: Open Pentatonic Scales


Students will be able to play a pentatonic scale using open strings and notes in the first position to take solos and develop their understanding of the guitar.


Handout from Teacher Manual titled “Scales to Jam by”

Vocabulary and Terms


Review the lesson plan on finger numbers and positions, using notes only in the 1st position as the example.

  1. Work out which fingers play the notes in the G Major/E minor pentatonic scale. Start with the 1st string and work your way toward the lower notes. Since guitar solos use mostly higher notes (so they can be heard over the bass notes and chord notes) it’s a good idea to teach kids the notes they will be using in their solos in this order. A lot of times we teach students how to play scales beginning with their lowest notes, but this can be problematic when they try to take a solo playing the notes in the order they learned them. If they’re familiar with the higher notes first, beginning soloists will gravitate toward using these more useful notes first.
  2. Proceed one string at a time from highest sounding to lowest sounding, strings 1 to 6. If you’re teaching them to relate finger numbers to fret numbers in positions this process will reinforce that. After adopting both the open and fretted note on each new string, review all of the strings learned thus far playing the down and back up over and over. Continue this process until the scale uses all 6 strings. Depending on the age and level of the students in your group this may take 1 lesson or several.


  1. Using one note at a time, have students repeat rhythmic phrases back to you. This is a good way to reinforce the concept of alternate picking (for more information check out the lesson plan “Alternate Picking”)
  2. Using both notes on the 1st string, make up a phrase that is both melodic and rhythmic

Fig AFig B

National Core Arts Standards (Music)

Anchor Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work. Example: General Music MU:Cr1.1.2 a. Improvise rhythmic and melodic patterns and musical ideas for a specific purpose. Example: Music Traditional and Emerging Ensembles MU:Cr1.1.E.5a (Novice) Compose and improvise melodic and rhythmic ideas or motives that reflect characteristic(s) of music or text(s) studied in rehearsal. Anchor Standard 2: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work. Example: Music Composition and Theory MU:Cr2.1.C.Ia (High School Proficient) Assemble and organize sounds or short musical ideas to create initial expressions of selected experiences, moods, images, or storylines. Anchor Standard 7: Perceive and analyze artistic work. Example: Music Traditional and Emerging Ensembles MU:Re7.2.E.8a (Intermediate) Describe how understanding context and the way the elements of music are manipulated inform the response to music. Common Core Correlations: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.2 Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

    Metadata Displayer Example

    Little Kids Rock logo

    Media Release Waiver 

    (Autorización Para Realizar Fotografías Filmaciones o Grabaciones)

    Of photo / statements / correspondence of

    I understand that Little Kids Rock (“LKR”), a national nonprofit music education organization, promotes its programs
    through its websites (including, but not limited to, littlekidsrock.org), social media channels, brochures, newsletters,
    annual reports, press releases, and other media and communication channels and formats (collectively, “LKR Media”).

    For good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which I hereby acknowledge, I agree as follows:
    • Whether I am a presenter, student, registrant, attendee, panelist, or any other participant of any kind, or parent or legal guardian of such participant (“Participant”), in an LKR conference, class, or any other event or gathering, or in a promotional or other program sponsored or conducted by LKR (“LKR Event”), whether such LKR Event is in person or so-called “virtual” (by way of example only, Zoom conferences, Facebook or Google digital meetings, WebEx, Instagram, etc.), I hereby grant permission for me (and, if applicable, my minor child) to be interviewed, photographed, filmed or otherwise have my (our) name(s), image(s) and/or voice(s) recorded by all audiovisual or audio-only means, now known or hereafter devised (collectively, “LKR Event Recordings”), at or in connection with the LKR Event, by LKR, its affiliates, assigns, licensees or designees, for use by any news or media organization or entity, or for any promotional purpose that the directors of LKR deem appropriate in connection with LKR and its programs.
    • I hereby grant to LKR and its licensees, assignees, designees, affiliates, and partners the perpetual and irrevocable right to use my (or my minor child’s) name(s), image(s), likeness(es), voice(s), musical performances, musical compositions, recordings, presentations, and/or words, as embodied in LKR Event Recordings or any material submitted by me or my designee to LKR in connection with an LKR Event (collectively, the “Materials”) in any and all LKR Media, now known or hereafter devised, without notice or payment or any other compensation of any kind.
    • I understand and agree that the Materials will be deemed irrevocably and perpetually licensed to LKR by this Media Release Waiver. In addition, I waive (to the fullest extent possible) the right to inspect or approve the use of any finished product that includes the Materials, including, but not limited to, written or electronic copy.
    • I hereby irrevocably authorize LKR to edit, alter, adapt, copy, exhibit, publish or distribute any Materials for purposes of providing educational resources to teachers, students and families, furthering LKR’s mission, publicizing LKR’s programs or LKR itself, for any other lawful purpose. Consequently, I (and minor child, if applicable) forever waive (to the fullest extent possible) so-called “droit morale” or “moral rights” of authors.
    • I hereby indemnify, hold harmless, release, and forever discharge LKR and its officers, directors, employees, agents, affiliates, licensees, and partners, and their respective officers, directors, and employees, from all claims, demands, and causes of action which I (and my minor child), my/our heirs, representatives, executors, administrators, or any other persons acting on my/our behalf or on behalf of my/our estate have or may have by reason of this authorization or LKR’s use of the Materials.
    De fotografías / declaraciones/ correspondencia de:

    Por la presente yo consiento y acuerdo que Little Kids Rock (“LKR”), una organización de educación musical sin fines de lucro, promueve su programa en sus páginas de web, (inclusive. entre otros, de littlekidsrock.org), medios sociales, folletos, boletines, reportes anuales, boletines de prensa y otros canales de media y comunicación y formatos (denominados de forma colectiva, los “Medios de Comunicación de LKR”). En consideración de ello, cuyo recibo y entendimiento aquí constato, estoy de acuerdo con lo siguiente:


        Si soy un presentador, estudiante, registrante, asistente, panelista o cualquier otro participante de cualquier tipo, o padre o tutor legal de dicho participante (“Participante”), en una conferencia, clase, o otra reunión de LKR, o en un programa promocional o de otro tipo patrocinado o realizado por LKR (“Evento de LKR”), si tal Evento de LKR es en persona o apodado “virtual” (por ejemplo solamente, conferencias por Zoom, Facebook or reuniones digitales por Google, WebEx, Instagram, etc.), por la presente yo doy mi consentimiento para que yo / mi hijo o hija  sea entrevistado, fotografiado o filmado y para que mi / su nombre, imagen, y/o voz grabada (denominados de forma colectiva, los “Grabaciones de Evento de LKR”), en o en conexión con el Evento de LKR, por LKR, sea utilizada por cualquier organización de medios o de comunicación de noticias o sea utilizada para usos promocionales que los directores de LKR consideren apropiada.

        Por la presente otorgo a LKR, así como a sus licenciatarios, cesionarios, y socios, el derecho perpetuo y irrevocable para utilizar mi (o de mi hijo o hija menor) nombre(s), imagen(es), retrato(s), voz(es), actuaciones musicales, composiciones musicales, grabaciones, presentaciones y/o declaraciones, como de incorporan en Grabaciones de Evento de LKR o cualquier material presentado por mi o mi designado a LKR en conexión con un Evento de LKR (denominados de forma colectiva, los “Materiales”) en todas y cada Medios de Comunicación de LKR, actualmente conocido o que se cree en el futuro, sin notificación o ningún tipo indemnización ni remuneración.

        Comprendo y acepto que, por el presente Autorización, se considerará que los Materiales sean licenciadas de manera irrevocable y perpetua a LKR. Asimismo, en mi nombre y/o en nombre de mi hijo o hija, renuncio (en la mayor medida posible) al derecho a revisar o aprobar el uso de cualquier producto final que incluyan los Materiales, inclusive, entre otros, versiones electrónicas o por escrito.

        Por la presente, autorizo de forma irrevocable a LKR para que edite, altere, adapte, copie, exhiba, publique o distribuya cualquier Material con la finalidad de divulgar los programas de LKR o con cualquier otra finalidad legítima. En consecuencia, en mi nombre y/o en nombre de mi hijo o hija, renuncio para siempre (en la mayor medida posible) al denominado “droit morale” o “derechos morales” de los autores.

        Por la presente eximo y exonero para siempre a LKR y a sus licenciatarios y socios, así como a sus respectivos responsables, directores y empleados, ante cualquier demanda, reclamación y acción judicial que yo y/o mi hijo o hija, mis herederos, representantes, albaceas, administradores o cualquier otra persona que actúe en mi nombre o en nuestro nombre, o en nombre de mi patrimonio, haya realizado o pueda realizar en virtud de la presente autorización o del uso de los Materiales por parte de LKR.