scale pattern

Which Scale: Improvising With Pentatonics

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The stage is set.

The fans have gathered and the band opens up with it’s first song. Quick, it’s time for a solo, but what do you play?

That’s easy. We’ll just improvise!

“To improvise means to make it up on the spot, right?”, you ask.

Yes, we’re going to make the solo up as we go along. All we need to know is what key the song is in and then we can find which scale to use.

It’s easy and I’ll show you…Read More »Which Scale: Improvising With Pentatonics

Pentatonic Scale

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The word pentatonic gets it’s name from the Greek word “penta” which means 5 and tonic which stands for tone. That’s what pentatonic scales are: 5 tone scales.

There are only 5 basic pentatonic patterns. They are the C, A, G, E, and D. They are similar to the 5 basic chord patterns, because they can be closely associated with their chord counterparts. These patterns interlock with each other, meaning each pattern has notes that overlap with patterns adjacent to it.

To play in different key signatures we move the patterns around. The pictures on the left are the shapes with their suggested fingerings. The pictures on the right show how the scale shapes overlap the chord shape.

  • These shapes are in their movable form. Learn about moving scale shapes to play in different keys besides C, A, G, E, and D.
  • Also, check out the open pentatonic scale shapes, too. They are the same shapes, but we have to make a couple of alterations that you’ll want to be aware of.
  • Check out the scale sequence charts: C scale sequence, A scale sequence, G scale sequence, E scale sequence, D scale sequence.  Scale sequence charts are a way for us to see how the basic scale patterns are laid out on the fretboard in a particular key.
  • There are five minor pentatonic scale shapes as well. They are actually the same shapes, but are associated with different chords in the CAGED sequence.

Read More »Pentatonic Scale

Moving Scale Shapes

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There is a big difference between a scale pattern and the actual scale. The actual scale is only 5 notes. When we are learning scale patterns we are learning the location of the notes from the scale as they appear on the fretboard. The same 5 notes repeat themselves over and over on the guitar’s fretboard. What we need to be able to do in order to play from the scale is memorize these fretboard patterns.Read More »Moving Scale Shapes

What is chord phrasing?

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Chord phrasing is art of taking a chord progression and turning it into a means of personal expression. Chord phrasing allows you total freedom during the performance of a song to do anything you can imagine with the song’s chord structure. In other words, when playing rhythm guitar you don’t have to just play the chords that go along with the progression. Playing just the chords can, and will get boring rather quickly.Read More »What is chord phrasing?

Beginner Lead Lesson #1

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A lot of blues guitar leads are improvised. That means that they are making up their leads as they go along, right? That’s true to a certain extent, but every good guitar player has a “trick bag” of guitar licks that he/she can pull from at any time. In this beginner blues lead lesson you’ll add several common licks to your “trick bag”.

Read More »Beginner Lead Lesson #1

Moving The C Scale Shape Around To Play In Different Keys

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There is a big difference between a scale pattern and the actual scale. The actual scale is only 5 notes. When we are learning scale patterns we are learning the location of the notes from the scale as they appear on the fretboard. The same 5 notes repeat themselves over and over on the guitar’s fretboard. What we need to be able to do in order to play from the scale is memorize these fretboard patterns.

They Move!Read More »Moving The C Scale Shape Around To Play In Different Keys