The “Secret” Pentatonic Shapes
- Wednesday, August 27, 2008, 21:24
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The Minor Pentatonic scale is one of the most widely used scales in improvisation in every musical style so it makes sense to know it well all over the guitar neck. When it comes to moving beyond the first pattern learned (see my lesson on 4 Scales You Should Know) the next step is usually to introduce five overlapping patterns, each staying strictly in position on the neck. In reality, most Blues and Rock soloists connect these positions in very repeatable ways creating just two patterns that cover the entire neck. These are shown below in the key of A:
From the fingering you can see that you play these patterns with just two fingers, sliding every other string. I would recommend practicing these patterns descending as well, usually sliding back with the index finger.
Update (8/11/10) – Video for this lesson is now available here: http://guitarteacher.com/2010/08/11/secret-pentatonic-patterns-video-guitar-lesson/