Listening To Advice Given And A Short Pentatonic Lick Series

Hello everyone!

I’ve been revamping some of the material from my last clinic for some upcoming events and considering some of the really insightful comments I got there and emails sent here in an effort to make improvements on that material (and things presented here) .

I’ve been told recently with regards to the lesson material here that much of it is very rich in content and a lot to digest.  When I posted lesson material here in the past, my idea was always that people would simply take what they got from it and come back as they needed to.  But one thing the clinic reminded me of is that sometimes people just want a bit of something and not the whole shebang.

With that in mind, I thought I’d take a couple of posts and put up one lick/approach in each one.  A sonic amuse-bouche if you will (and if we’re going to take this questionable post holiday meal / sound analogy any further).

Life in the Shawn Lane

One idea I copped a while ago from Shawn Lane was modifying pentatonic patterns to create things that work for you.

For example, let’s say I was going to play a pentatonic sequence in E Minor Pentatonic:

Here’s the initial idea using a 2-string shape starting from A and one from B:

Pentatonic Sequence 1

Maybe I’ll take this idea and move it in octaves:

Pentatonic Sequence 2

Even playing this legato, there are some technical challenges as you get into faster tempos and the fingering creates an 1/8 note accent that makes the phrase less legato than I like.

By moving the second note of each pattern to the next string:

Pentatonic Sequence 3

I create a fingering pattern with some plusses and a minus.

On the plus side:

  • Each pattern now uses the same fret hand fingers (2-1-2-4)
  • Picking is simply downstrokes (although you could use hammer ons for every note)
  • The patterns only accents the first note. (Special playing tip – if you play this as sextuplets, it gives the lick an even more legato feel!)

On the minus side:

  • The patterns use some WIDE intervals.  (Player’s tip – you may want to modulate this to other keys where the frets are closer together or use right hand taps for the top note if the stretch is too wide for you – if you experience any fret hand pain when playing this – stop immediately!  Playing through pain can cause long term damage to you hands!!!)

For me, the pluses outweigh the minus.  When I initially approached this idea, I just worked on the initial pattern for a while before moving it into octaves.

Lick #1

Pentatonic Sequence 4

And here’s the audio:


Remember to keep your hands relaxed and focus on the 3 T’s (Timing, Tone and (hand) Tension).

Try playing this over various harmonic contexts (like Emin, Amin, G major, etc.)

If you like this idea, you may want to check out my not-peggio lesson posts as they use a similar alternating 1-note-per-string-3-note-per-string idea.

That’s it for now!  (Trust me getting that in the pocket may take some time!)  Lick #2 will be up next week.

As always!  Thanks for reading!



ps – for those of you who are interested, this was tracked entirely on my iPhone using JamUpPro and a Line 6 Sonic Port.  Still tweaking the tones a bit but there’s a lot of potential in this rig (particularly with the Air Turn integration and the upcoming BIAS release)!

Pentatonic %22rig%22

p.s.s. – If you like this idea you may dig my Pentatonic Visualization Book!


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