Pentatonic Short Lick Part III

Hello everyone!

If you haven’t had a chance to check out part one or part two 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.

Prepping The Lick

In this lesson I’m going to combine a few penatatonic shapes to make a shape that can be played with sweep picking for a more legato sound.


Sticking with E Minor Pentatonic from the previous licks, in the example below I’ve taken a two-note per string fingering starting from D in the first measure.  In the second measure, I’ve started the sequence from the root, E, and changed the fingerings of the notes so that it alternates from 1 note-per-string to 3 notes-per-string.

Positional Explanation

This allows me to use all down-strokes and hammer-ons when ascending the scale which helps create a more fluid sound.

Lick #3

This lick is simply an ascending and descending run to demonstrate the fingering and sweep picking approach.  As a lick, it’s something I would use typically either ascending or descending to get into another register of the guitar when improvising.

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):

Pentatonic Lick #3

Here’s a mp3 at different tempos.  As with lick #2, 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 experimenting with this idea starting from other notes in the scale and/or modulating the ideas to other tonal centers!

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!

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.

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

Click Cover For Book Link

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