King Of Scales - The Pentatonic

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons, Tutorials & Tips' started by jayanth, Aug 25, 2004.

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  1. jayanth

    jayanth <.: : Call Quits : :.>


    The guitar makes learning scales easy! To most players, a scale is
    just a memorized fingering pattern. Sure, the pattern contains notes, and
    the notes have names, but its still just a pattern. I will use the term
    'pattern' to refer to a set of places (frets) on the guitar neck where you
    will find the notes in a scale.

    Here is a pentatonic pattern:


    E ||-----|-----|--O--|-----|-----|--O--|-----|
    B ||-----|-----|--O--|-----|-----|--O--|-----|
    G ||-----|-----|--O--|-----|--O--|-----|-----|
    D ||-----|-----|--O--|-----|--O--|-----|-----|
    A ||-----|-----|--O--|-----|--O--|-----|-----|
    E ||-----|-----|--O--|-----|-----|--O--|-----|

    The picture shows a 'top view' of a right handed neck. The horizontal
    lines are strings and the vertical lines are frets. The letters to the left
    side of the 'neck' are the string names (and tunings).

    The O's are the places to play. We will soon see that this pattern is
    one of many ways to play a pentatonic scale. Remember we are really talking
    about patterns *NOT* scales.

    Another look at the pattern:


    E ||-----|-----|--1--|-----|-----|--2--|-----|
    B ||-----|-----|--4--|-----|-----|--5--|-----|
    G ||-----|-----|--2--|-----|--3--|-----|-----|
    D ||-----|-----|--5--|-----|--1--|-----|-----|
    A ||-----|-----|--3--|-----|--4--|-----|-----|
    E ||-----|-----|--1--|-----|-----|--2--|-----|

    The numbers represent each unique note in the pattern. If we start
    on the bottom string and play from left to right, we will be playing the notes
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 1, 2). There are only 5 unique notes! No duh?
    Thats why it's called a PENTA(meaning 5) TONIC(meaning note or tone) pattern.


    Now what? Well, as most experienced players will tell you, this is
    the pattern to learn. Although there are *MANY* ways to memorize the notes
    in a pentatonic scale, this is the most common way to do it.


    I will leave you with the following exercises in TAB to help you get
    familiar with the given pentatonic pattern. Next week, we will take a look
    at ocatves and more pentatonic fingerings. In a couple of weeks we will give
    the pattern a good work-out by having a technique/lick lesson.


    exercise: (playing the pentatonic scale at the 5th fret)

    ---------------------------------5--8--------------------------------8--5---
    ---------------------------5--8--------------------------------8--5---------
    ---------------------5--7--------------------------------7--5---------------
    ---------------5--7--------------------------------7--5---------------------
    ---------5--7--------------------------------7--5---------------------------
    ---5--8--------------------------------8--5---------------------------------


    exercise: (play '3 notes down' then 'back up')

    ---8--5-----5---------------------------------------------------------------
    ---------8-----8--5--8--5-----5---------------------------------------------
    ---------------------------7-----7--5--7--5-----5---------------------------
    ---------------------------------------------7----7--5--7--5----------------
    --------------------------------------------------------------7-------------
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    exercise: (skipping strings)

    -------------------------5--------------------------------------------------
    ---5--------------8---------------------------------------------------------
    ----------5-----------------7-----------------------------------------------
    ------7--------------7------------------------------------------------------
    --------------7-------------------------------------------------------------
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  2. esgallindeion

    esgallindeion Minstrel Knight

    Just to add to the exercise on pentatonic triplets...

    A. Triplets
    ---8--5-----5---------------------------------------------------------------
    ---------8-----8--5--8--5-----5---------------------------------------------
    ---------------------------7-----7--5--7--5-----5---------------------------
    ---------------------------------------------7----7--5--7--5----------------
    --------------------------------------------------------------7-------------

    B. Sixes
    ---------------------------------------------------5-8----
    -------------------------------------5-8------5-8---------
    -----------------------5-7------5-7------5-7--------------
    ----------5-7-----5-7------5-7----------------------------
    ------5-7-----5-7-----------------------------------------
    --5-8-----------------------------------------------------

    I prefer playing this is position 12, ie, beginning from 12th fret onwards.
     
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