How to Effortlessly Play Pentatonic Scale Over Three Octaves

Improvising With The Pentatonic Scale

In this lesson, we are going to expand on my previous lessons—“How to Seamlessly Play Arpeggios Over Three Octaves” and“How to Seamlessly Play 7th Arpeggios Over Three Octaves” —while adding pentatonic scale to the mix. Not only will this lesson help expand your musical vocabulary, but it may also change how you visualise and navigate the fretboard.

So what is the pentatonic melody? 

Pent stands for the number five which is how many notes this scale contains and Tonic means the root note of the key which is called the tonic note as in the C Major scale the C is the tonic or first not of the key. This scale is believed to have originated from Asia and is known as an exotic scale leaving out some important intervals like in the pentatonic minor scale omitting the 2nd and 7th notes of the major scale which are very resolving notes in the scale allowing you to play it over other chords with no clashing notes.

The six strings of the guitar can be looked at as three pairs of strings. The first pair being the low E and A strings. The second pair being the “middle” D and G strings, and the third pair being the B and high E strings.

Whatever pattern of notes you play on the first pair of strings, you can repeat an octave higher by simply performing the same thing on the next pair of strings, but two frets higher. You can do it again, another octave higher, by performing the same thing on the next pair of strings, albeit three frets higher up the neck than before.

In this lesson, we will do this with the five positions of the A minor pentatonic scale. Below are the five positions of the pentatonic scale played over three octaves. Check out the video above for specific fingerings, and to see and hear these examples.

A Minor Pentatonic Scale

The pentatonic scale is very often used in writing vocal melodies Make sure to practice these slowly, with alternate picking, transitioning from octave to octave by simply moving your whole hand up the neck, keeping the ‘shape’ of the pentatonic scales in your hand.

Guitarist Adrian Galysh is a solo artist, session musician, composer and educator. He’s the author of Progressive Guitar Warmups and Exercises. Adrian uses Suhr Guitars, SIT Strings, Seymour Duncan pickups and effects, Brian Moore guitars, Voodoo Labs, D’Angelico guitars and Morley pedals. For more information, visit readers can enjoy a FREE five-song EP download by clicking HERE.

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The Three Pillars of Improvisation

Guitar Improvisation Techniques

Guitar Improvisation

In one of Jude Gold’s recent No Guitar is Safe podcasts, we got to hear fusion extraordinaire Dean Brown discuss a bunch of interesting topics including guitar improvisation.

The interview took a turn mainly down the path of guitar impro. and inspired me to create an in-depth video based on Dean’s wisdom—plus some experiences I’ve had along the way.

The three pillars of solo improvisation support one another, so the stronger you get in one, the more effective you’ll be at improving the others. Ear training is the first pillar, and it’s also the hardest to quantify. Possessing a “good ear” can be subjective, but typically it means being able to fit into a band situation seamlessly, using good vibrato and playing off of other musicians in a lyrical way. The best way to improve this pillar is to learn some of your favourite guitar players’ riffs and guitar improvisation without any tabs or notation. This method forces you to depend on your ear to navigate the neck.

Pillar two is lexicon (that’s Dean’s word, not mine). You want to have a strong vocabulary of licks when using guitar improvisation to be fluent in whatever genre you choose. Ear training is obviously important as a supporting pillar, as you’ll rely on it to learn the licks of those who came before you.

Watch the video below to learn the final pillar of guitar improvisation and how they each support the other to help you focus on becoming the best improviser you can be.

Tyler Larson is the founder of the guitar-centric website Music is Win. His entertaining guitar-related content receives hundreds of thousands of video views on Facebook per month, and his online guitar courses that talks about guitar improvisation a lot, has more than 1,500 students with a cumulative 4.7 rating on Udemy. Get in touch with Tyler on Facebook, watch more of his guitar lessons and vlogs on YouTube, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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Enhancing Blues Progressions with 7th and “Jimi Hendrix” Chords

Blues Progressions And Jimi Hendrix

Blues Progressions On Guitar

Kenny “Blue” Ray is a life-long blues musician who has played with blues legends such as Stevie Ray Vaughan. Kenny also is a JamPlay instructor who teaches lives and pre-recorded class on blues progressions on guitar.

In this lesson, Kenny discusses 7th chords and how they can be used to enhance any off-colors progression.

He likewise describes short forms of the chords that can be used for a softer feel. While discussing the 7th chords, he also talks about some of Jimi Hendrix’s favourites.

Check out the Jimi Hendrix video below — using blues progressions. For more JamPlay tasks on, check out Andy James’ “Three Pentatonic Hybrid-Picked Runs to Increase Speed and Dexterity” and Glen Drover’s Mysterious Harmonic Minor Walk Down .

Why Using Chord Finger Positions To Springboard Your Soloing Helps

Chord Finger Positions For Different Melodic Sounds

Chord Finger Positions

In the past, we’ve focused on applying various approaches to two-chord vamps for both rhythm guitar chord finger positions and soloing.

Many players have a difficult time breaking away from commonly used chord shapes when playing rhythm; in truth, moving to new areas of the fretboard for your rhythm parts will also inspire different melodic shapes. Let’s continue our look at a two-chord I-IV (one-to-four) vamp in the key of E, comprised of a repeating, two-bar E7-A7 progression.

Of the many songs built from I-IV progressions, the most common jam tunes using different chord finger positions are “Turn on Your Love Light,” originally cut by Bobby “Blue” Bland and famously covered by the Grateful Dead, as well as Traffic’s “Feeling Alright” and the Allman Brothers’ “Blue Sky.”

We began our investigation into playing an E7-A7 vamp, with accompanying solo lines, in fifth position and then moved the same approach down to second position. We’ll now do the same thing in seventh and ninth positions. The overall objective here is to become familiar with each fretboard area so that, ultimately, we can move freely from one position to another while playing rhythm and/or soloing, which will add variety to your musical options and performances.

FIGURE 1 illustrates a repeating E7-A7 rhythm part and different chord finger positions as played in ninth and seventh chords. Notice that the open low E and A strings are conveniently used as the bass notes for the chords. Allowing the open string to ring with each chord will serve as a pedal tone when solo lines are added in the gaps between the chordal accents.

An effective scale to use for soloing over the dominant seventh-based progression in the key of E is the E blues scale (E G A Bb B D), shown in FIGURE 2 in seventh position, starting from A. Remember that the idea is to add the single-note phrases in the same position as the rhythm part you’re playing.

FIGURE 3 brings the major third, Gs, into the mix, which serves to strengthen the connection to the E7 chord while also presenting greater melodic variation, resulting in an ascending note pattern of A Bb B D E G G# A Bb B D; the descending pattern also places the G natural before the G# in order for the major third, G#, to take intervallic precedence.

We can expand our melodic terrain even further using other chord finger positions by additionally bringing in the sixth, C#, at the top of our hybrid scale, as illustrated in FIGURE 4, resulting in an ascending pattern of A Bb B D E G G# A Bb B C# D. Now let’s apply these patterns to single-note melodies: in FIGURES 5 and 6, I play an E7 chord at the beginning of each two-bar phrase, adding solo lines following the A7 chord in bars 2, 4, 6 and 8.

Once you have these licks down, try improvising your own original chord-and melody phrases using this same approach.

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Playing The Easy Way Using Online Guitar Tuition

If you are quite the enthusiast when it comes to musical instruments and you have your heart set on that beautiful you saw last week, better start brushing on those fingers. There are some ways you can learn on how to become an excellent guitarist. But first, the basics.

First and foremost, you must have your own guitar. How can you learn to play without the proper instrument at hand? You have to determine first what type of guitar to play. Borrowing a guitar would be okay, but what if you can’t borrow it on a regular basis? Your training and practice will be hampered.


Then choose a particular song that you like, something that always sets you in the mood for a good vibe. Better yet, something inspiring. Inspiring enough to encourage you to try and play the chords over and over again, and something you know really well which will allow you to monitor your progress by hearing your own mistakes. Don’t worry mistakes are good things and by making them your guitar skills will get better and better over time. I recommend guitar as it will really speed up the process immensely.

Play In Any Key

Once you have decided on which particular song gets you going and yet you don’t have any idea on how to put on a tune, ask someone who has the knowledge in playing a guitar work it out for you. Let him read the tabs. If you don’t know how, let someone interpret it for you. Here, teamwork is essential. The same person may also be able to help you in determining which finger goes where to achieve the right sound.

A very good advice on learning is listening by heart. It doesn’t depend on the chords themselves but the musician. He creates a melody just by listening to every strum of his guitar.

Statistics show that almost 90% of those who plays the guitar admit they learned it the hard way. In fact, playing the guitar is quite harder than it looks like. It is by far easier to hear than to comprehend. Learning without some background or even a slight help from someone is difficult for a newbie.

If you can’t afford a personal instructor, might as well buy a book about the do’s and don’ts of learning a guitar. Aside from that, it would also be challenging on your part to guess where to put the most important finger on the most important string. Buy a step by step guide on acquiring the basic and most vital chords that usually appears on almost every song and melody. Then theres the beat or rhythm of the song which I like to refer to as the musical clock.

Time For Blues Music

Then you ask, do you still need a guide. It is necessary though. You need someone to listen to you. He or she must determine if your fingers are positioned in their proper places. A reference material or an online tutorial will surely be of big help but it won’t be able to hear if you’re out of tune or if you’re really playing on the right track. Call out for help and monitoring.

First, focus yourself on the basic chords and not the hard ones. Chords like A, A minor, E, E minor, D, G are easier to work on. There are varieties of songs which contain only these chords. Mastering your fingers to change strings every change of tempo enables a beginner to develop a faster pace.

Take your time. A lot of great guitarists acquired the skill only after a long period of time. Apply no pressure on yourself. Be patient when you’re not getting it right. The trick in learning is to create a positive attitude.

I believe the best and fastest way to Learn Guitar in this day and age is by sourcing good online Guitar tuition like the ones I have found below for you.

Heres My 2 Recommendations As The Best Online Guitar Lessons.


This Is A Course