Three Notes Per String Pentatonic Scales
As guitar players’ delicacies and abilities abide, and they begin to gravitate toward an appreciation for, and desire to learn, more technically necessitating music, the pentatonic scale often gets a bad rap.
It’s often considered cliche and not as impressive as three-note-per string( 3NPS) diatonic scales.
But if you enjoy roaring, distorted guitar, somewhere early on in your exploitation as a guitar player you were turned on to the minor pentatonic “box” shape, such as the Am pentatonic in EXAMPLE 1A, and its older brother, the C major( A minor’s related major) “box” in EXAMPLE 1B. Attentive of the missing notes shared between them, EXAMPLE 1C mixes the two scales into one 3NPS scale.
Unfortunately, while this 3NPS fingering immediately opens the way to a multitude of patterns the chances of re-harmonizing any previously perfected diatonic tones, there can sometimes be a problem with reproduced “double” sounds as you span from string to string.
EXAMPLE2 shows how this problem can be an asset by exploiting a fairly favourite 3NPS structure with the brand-new pentatonic fingering. As a co-occurrence of the pattern’s shape, the lick accentuates the repeated memory on adjacent chords ( three times in a row in cuts 1 and 3, and 2x in outstrips 2 and 4 of each bar ). Play it hard, close-fisted and rhythmic, and control the dynamics differences between the picked tones and the palm-muted legato hammers and you’ll see the possibilities.
EXAMPLE3 compounds tapping and legato and escapes any redoubling/ echoed passages while it generates a cold melodic sixth sound of “down 5, up 1, restart one higher.” Be sure to indicate the “hammer-on-from-nowhere” that begins the latter third of each sixth and the subsequent hammer-on to the next higher note in the scale. Start slowly and affected/ pull every sound hard and in tempo until you get the feel for the tapped “launch” of each sixth. I expect you’ll instantly see how this same blueprint is also possible re-purposed with mentions from diatonic 3NPS scales.
I recommend experimenting with combinations of this and the same structure exercising the related 3NPS diatonic scales. Analyse different chord intersections/string skim, etc, while altering and desegregating different permutations of the basic lick.
Emphasizing the “pentatonic-ness” of the fingering, EXAMPLE4A is an extremely-easy-to-execute picking pattern that descends the neck through the remaining parts of the scale and substantiates the visceral ability of these blended fingerings when they’re played through appropriately. EXAMPLE4B is a fluctuation on the same blueprint with an intelligently referred legato terming in the second half of each thump ( Rip into the upstroke that propels the attracts ).
As ever, I guided you to use these examples as an inspiration to explore the possibilities of this concept all over the fretboard, in other keys and with your own variants. Happy shredding!
Scott Marano has dedicated their own life to the study of the guitar, sharpening his riffs at the Berklee College of Music under the tutelage of Jon Finn and Joe Stump and directing as a competent guitarist, musician, songwriter and in-demand teacher. In 2007, Scott developed the Guitar Strength program to induce and furnish intensified education to guitarists of all ages and in all genders through state-of-the-art private guitar instructions in his home state of Rhode Island and around the world via Skype.
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