Pentatonic Short Lick Part II

Hello everyone!

If you haven’t had a chance to check out part one of this series, I’ve been revamping some of the material from my last clinic for some upcoming events and  I thought I’d take a couple of posts and put up one lick/approach in each one.


One thing that will become apparent if you read this blog with any regularity, is that I recycle licks a lot.  That’s generally because if I’m going to spend the time to really learn a lick, I want to make sure I can get the most mileage from it I can.  In this lesson I’m going to use a pentatonic shape to create a modal sound.

Sticking with E Minor Pentatonic, here’s a 2-string fingering based on an idea in the last lesson.

E Minor Pent 4-note

Taking that same E Minor Pentatonic shape and moving it to F# creates a pentatonic sequence based on E Minor Pentatonic and F# Minor Pentatonic :

E Minor Pent F# Minor Pent

The notes from both patterns produce E, F#, G, A, B, C# (aka E Dorian with no 7th).  This works really well over and E minor chord for a E Dorian type sound or G Major for a G Lydian type sound.

With 8 you get octaves and rhythmic displacement

I’m not counting on many people getting the play on “With 6 you get eggroll” name drop (a feature with Doris Day and George Carlin!!), but I’ll take this idea and move it in octaves:

Lick 2 - Moved in octaves

Click to enlarge:

Depending on what chord I’m playing this over I’ll end on different notes.  For example, when played over E minor, I’ll stop on the B on the 19th fret.

While I practice ideas like this in 16th notes to get them under my fingers, I find the phrasing to be a little mechanical.  So, after I get the fingering down, I’ll typically move it to other rhythmic groupings.  Moving it to sextuplets in this case, puts the accents in more interesting places (and makes it a 4/4 phrase rather than a 3/4 phrase):

Lick 2 Full

Here’s an mp3 at different tempos.  The first pass is phrased at 16th notes and the second at sextuplets.


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

Try playing moving this shape to other areas (This E min shape + D min = E, F, G, A, B which produces a Phrygian-ish type sound).

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 #3 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.

Pentatonic %22rig%22

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


Click Cover For Book Link

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