C Pentatonic Scale On Piano

Want to know how to build and play the C Pentatonic Scale?

Here we have included a page full of information that will help guide you through the steps on how to build the C Pentatonic Major Scale. Included on this page is an explanation of the theory behind the pentatonic scale, and the notes in the scale

There are also easy to read images that will show the notes in the pentatonic scale on the piano and on sheet music, along with audio files so you know for sure that you are playing the exact right notes

Penta-Tonic Scale

The C pentatonic scale is made of 5 notes, the root note and four additional notes. The word tonic is another word that represents the root note of the scale. This scale is going to start with a C. Because the scale is named C Pentatonic, we are going to start on C, the root.

The Notes

The notes in C Pentatonic are C, D, E, G, and A.

Take a look at the image below and you will see the notes labeled on the piano keyboard.

c pentatonic scale

These are the five notes that make up C Pentatonic.

Building The Scale

Using Intervals

To build this scale we need to find the tonic like we discussed above.

The tonic is always going to be the note in which the scale is named after, in this case C.

To start the scale, find any C note on the piano. Because the scale is named after a C note you can start on any C on the piano keyboard.

Find C Note

Then you must follow a set pattern of intervals using whole steps and half steps. The interval patter to build the C Pentatonic Scale is:

Root – Whole Step – Whole Step – Whole Step + Half Step – Whole Step

C Pentatonic Major Scale Intervals

Following this pattern in any key will result in a pentatonic scale. To build this scale start on a C note and follow this pattern to create the scale.


Another approach to find this scale is to follow the number approach. The number approach allows you apply a number to each note in the C Major Scale and then build the Pentatonic Scale using certain numbers in that scale.

First you need to find the notes in the C major scale. Click here to learn how to find those notes.

The seven note in the C Major Scale are C, D, E, F, G, A, and B. You then give each note in the scale a number starting with the root being 1, D being 2, and E being 3 and so on. Number each note up the scale like in the image below.

C Major Numbers

With each note labeled you can then use the following set of numbers to find the notes in the C Pentatonic Scale.


This is the set pattern for the pentatonic scale. This pattern shows that the notes in the C Pentatonic Major Scale are:






C Pentatonic Numbers

This is the easiest and quickest way to find the notes in the C pentatonic scale. Once you learn this scale, you can then use this same approach to find the notes in any other pentatonic scale.

Using the same number method for any scale will result in a pentatonic scale. Start on the root note of the scale and use the 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 methods to create the pentatonic scale.

Treble Clef and Bass Clef C Pentatonic Scale

Here’s the C Major Pentatonic Scale in on sheet music for both the treble clef and bass clef.

Use these images to help you learn the notes in this scale.

Pentatonic Scale

Another helpful use of this scale is playing it ascending followed by descending. The image along with the audio will show you the scale played going up the scale, then going down the scale. Use this scale to help build strength in your fingers, it's a great practice method. This is also the best way to memorize the notes in this scale.

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