Zakk Wylde's Brewtality: Pentatonics — Connecting the Dots and Climbing the Neck

by Zakk Wylde
Posted Jan 22, 2013 at 3:37pm

In another entry from his classic Guitar World column, "Brewtality," Zakk Wylde shows you how to connect the dots and move up the neck while playing pentatonic patterns.

Welcome to Brewtality No. 3. I’m writing this month’s installment while out on the road on the Merry Mayhem tour, with Ozzy Osbourne and Rob Zombie, and I’m having a total blast. Ozzy is singing his a-- off and the band is slamming so goddamned hard it’s beyond brewtal!

Last time we started playing “connect the dots” by checking out some licks that combine notes from the first three of the five A minor pentatonic scale patterns we learned in Brewtality No. 1. In this lesson we’re gonna connect all five scale patterns together. Once again, we’re gonna be utilizing strict alternate picking (down, up, down, up, etc.) on every run, so grab a pick and let’s get to it.

brew3_1.gif

FIGURE 1 illustrates the five A minor pentatonic scale patterns we’ve been working with in the last two lessons, with the notes on the top two strings circled. This will serve as a visual reference for the following exercises. Now check out the first bar of FIGURE 2, which shows a repeated picking sequence of 16th notes on the top two strings in scale pattern 1.

brew3_2.gif

What we’re going to do is continue this picking sequence while moving up the neck through the other four scale patterns, as depicted in the remaining six bars of the run. Start off playing this figure slowly, then build up speed as you see fit. As you’ll hear, the faster you play it, the cooler it sounds. FIGURE 3 is basically the same deal as FIGURE 2, but here you just play the picking sequence once in each scale position and then move up to the next one until you get to the 17th position.

brew3_3.gif

FIGURE 4 uses the same picking pattern as FIGURES 2 and 3 but with different rhythmic phrasing, which gives the run a completely fresh vibe.

brew3_4.gif

FIGURES 5 and 6 are more phrasing variations based on this picking sequence. They both sound pretty rippin’ when played fast. FIGURE 5 is an especially good alternate picking exercise.

brew3_5.gif

brew3_6.gif

Like I said earlier, all we’re doing here is connecting the A minor pentatonic notes on the B and high E strings and using them to climb up the neck. This is a pretty simple concept, but as you’ve probably just realized, when these kinds of licks are played at a fast tempo, they sound pretty f---in’ kick-a--! Being able to quickly shift positions from one scale pattern to another like this is also a great way of moving up or down the neck without leaving any “holes” in your lines.

Now that I’ve shown you a few examples of this concept, try experimenting with it on your own by finding a picking pattern you dig and then moving it up the neck through the scale patterns we’ve learned. It’s also good to practice this in different keys. I’m sure you’ll come up with a million different combinations of patterns before you know it. Time for a brew…see ya next time.


Add a Comment
0 Comments

Similar Guitar News

Zakk Wylde, Michael Schenker and Yngwie Malmsteen to Headline Axes & Anchors Cruise — Video (10/30/2015)
Breaking Benjamin, Zakk Wylde, Michael Schenker and Yngwie Malmsteen will headline the 2016 Axes & Anchors Cruise. The event will feature more than 40 concerts and 25 workshops and clinics by the likes of Breaking Benjamin, Zakk Wylde, Micha...
Zakk Sabbath, Zakk Wylde's Black Sabbath Cover Band, Play "War Pigs" (10/12/2015)
Late last week, Zakk Wylde's Black Sabbath cover band, Zakk Sabbath, performed a set at the Slidebar in Fullerton, California. Below, you can watch two decent fan-filmed clips of the band playing "War Pigs" from the October 8 show. Besides Wylde...
Tony Iommi, Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde, Warren Haynes Recruited for 2016 Rock Fantasy Camp (10/12/2015)
Steve Vai, Tony Iommi, Zakk Wylde and Warren Haynes have signed on for the 2016 edition of Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy Camp, taking place February 11–14 in Los Angeles. The guitarists will take part in the camp’s Q&A sessions and the concluding ja...
Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde and John 5 Join Benefit for Tony MacAlpine (11/6/2015)
Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde and John 5, along with Mike Portnoy, Billy Sheehan and Derek Sherinian are joining forces to play a benefit concert for guitar and keyboard virtuoso Tony MacAlpine, who was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. The Benefit...
Forgotten Guitar: Zakk Wylde Plays a Blistering Extended “Sold My Soul” Solo in 1997 — Video (11/16/2015)
In 1997, Zakk Wylde seemed like an unstoppable force. Although he was still one year away from launching Black Label Society, he had already carved out a prestigious career for himself. He had played on three Ozzy Osbourne studio albums and the...
Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen, Michael Schenker, Alex Skolnick and More to Set Sail on Axes & Anchors Cruise (4/24/2015)
Imagine a cruise exclusively planned for guitarists and instrumentalists, featuring performances and lessons from some of the greatest guitar gods on the planet. Prepare to learn from the masters on what fans have dubbed the “shredders cruise”—t...
Zakk Wylde Shreds and Discusses Wylde Audio Guitars and Amps on 'That Metal Show' — Video (4/20/2015)
Inspired by this morning's post about Kirk Hammett and Michael Schenker's jam session on the April 18 edition of That Metal Show, we thought we'd share this clip of Zakk Wylde's recent visit to the VH1 show. In the video, which you can check out...
Zakk Wylde on his first guitar, bar shows and brown M&Ms (3/9/2015)
Read more about Zakk Wylde on his first guitar, bar shows and brown M&Ms at MusicRadar.com The shred berserker and Black Label Society chief talks guitars, washing machines and brown M&Ms.I got my first real six-string"My first good guit...
Zakk Wylde Discusses Wylde Audio, His New Line of Guitars, Amps and Effects — Video (2/20/2015)
“This is my new paper route!” Wylde tells Guitar World in the upcoming April 2015 issue. And while the notion of the mammoth metal guitar legend slinging newspapers from the back of a 10-speed bike offers up an intriguing visual, the reality is...
NAMM 2015: Zakk Wylde launches Wylde Audio (1/24/2015)
Read more about NAMM 2015: Zakk Wylde launches Wylde Audio at MusicRadar.com NAMM 2015: In the most unexpected guitar news of NAMM 2015, Zakk Wylde has launched his own range of guitars and amps under the new brand Wylde Audio, with more product...
Jim Dunlop Effect Pedal Throwdown, Round 3: Zakk Wylde Signature Cry Baby Vs. Cry Baby Multi-Wah (11/24/2014)
GuitarWorld.com's latest readers poll—the first annual Jim Dunlop Effect Pedal Throwdown—has reached Round 3! For the past month, we've been pitting Dunlop, MXR and Way Huge pedals against each other in a no-holds-barred shootout. Now the compet...
Jim Dunlop Effect Pedal Throwdown, Round 2: Zakk Wylde Cry Baby Vs. Joe Bonamassa Cry Baby (11/12/2014)
GuitarWorld.com's latest readers poll—the first annual Jim Dunlop Effect Pedal Throwdown—has reached Round 2! For the past month, we've been pitting Dunlop, MXR and Way Huge pedals against each other in a no-holds-barred shootout. Now the compet...
Buy their sound: Zakk Wylde (10/28/2014)
Read more about Buy their sound: Zakk Wylde at MusicRadar.com There's only only one Zakk Wylde. Good thing, because the planet couldn't cope wit
Jim Dunlop Effect Pedal Throwdown, Round 1: EVH95 Eddie Van Halen Cry Baby Vs. ZW95 Zakk Wylde Cry Baby (10/21/2014)
It's time to compare the mettle of Jim Dunlop pedals! In GuitarWorld.com's latest readers poll — the first annual Jim Dunlop Effect Pedal Throwdown — we're pitting Dunlop, MXR and Way Huge pedals against each other in a no-holds-barred shootout....
WIN! A meet & greet with Zakk Wylde & Gus G (10/10/2014)
Read more about WIN! A meet & greet with Zakk Wylde & Gus G at MusicRadar.com On 16 December 2014, London's O2 Academy Brixton plays host to the Metal All Stars, with some of the biggest names in metal, including none other than Black La...
Phil Anselmo Open to Teaming With Zakk Wylde for Dimebag Darrell Tribute (5/15/2014)
Phil Anselmo says he is open to teaming up with Zakk Wylde to write a tribute to Dimebag Darrell. As the 10-year anniversary of Dimebag's death draws nearer, the former Pantera frontman says he'd prefer to write and record a song celebrating the...