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Pentatonic Forms/Fun

Bradley Smith (202) · [archive]
Style: Theory/Reference · Level: Intermediate · Tempo: 120
Pages: 1

The following is an illustration of the first position box for the pentatonic minor scale. I'm sure you know the others. If you don't, go learn them all and then come back.



I'm just going to show two ideas in this lesson. For the first idea, we'll use the first position as an example. If you like the idea, go use it on the other positions too.



I'll talk about the note numbers instead of fret numbers. If you've clicked on the second diagram, the play is starting with the root first, then the 5 on the next string, then the 7 on the next string, then the 4 on the next string, then the 5 on the next string, then the 3 on the top string, then coming back down starting with then root on the high string, then the 7 on the next string, then the 3 on the next string, then the root on the next string, then the 4 on the next string, then the 3 on the bottom string. Notice the visual alternating from one "side" of the form to the other as you play one note and move on to the next string till the top, then start the pattern over from the top string but on the "other side" of the patern. If you're playing in 4/4 time, you can either play them all as triplets, or play them as 8th notes till the first note on the top string which should be a dotted quarter (I think!), then starting with the next note on the top string 8ths and the last note another dotted quarter. You could make the sequence go the opposite way, hack it shorter, or take it somewhere else. Try practicing it with alternate picking or sweeping it. Try it on the other positions.

NOW try the second idea. It's not directly related, but just another wake up that may also get you more familiar with what you know. Following is a diagram for the first two positions presented as if it were one position.



Now listen to what happens if you treat the above like a large three note per string position and "sort-of arpeggiate". The result (if you look at the notes played) will be more of a sequence than a classic arpeggio.



Starting with the root on the low string, there will be two notes on the low string, then one note on the next string, then two notes on the next, then one on the next, then two on the next, then one on the top string , then the direction will change and you'll play two, one, two one, then just one if you want to end easily for 4/4 time, or keep going down if you want. So starting from the beginning, the root and 4 on the low string, then the 5 on the next, then the 7 and 3 on the next, then the 4 on the next, then the 5 and root on the next, then the 3 on the top string, then you'll be changed direction, the 4 and root on the top string, the 7 on the next, the 5 and 3 on the next, the root on the next, the 7 on the next and stop or keep going down using the same pattern (which would be 4 on same and then 3 on low string). You have the same options as before about how you use or change this idea. Try it for all five positions. Take a second and give me a rating mark on this lesson so I get some feedback. Best, Newbie Brad