Like most beginners (I think?) I diligently practice my A-minor pentatonic shapes and positions but really had no idea why it was important. I know the shapes and positions for Am pentatonic and can play them with my eyes closed, up and down the neck.
Yesterday, the lights came on for me! I understand why I learned the shapes so well and why it was important. As soon as I added a little theory to the shapes, magic happened! I could see how Am Pentatonic was different from Amaj and could figure out the notes of the scale in any key because I already knew the shapes. Wow. That is huge for me.
No more blindly bumbling around. I know where the notes are, even if I don’t have them memorized. I can just work it out and memorize them as I practice my scales now.