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Old 06-22-2014, 07:04 PM   #1
Guitarxor
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Pentatonic positions strategy

I've been playing around some with the minor pentatonic in the standard position and feel quiet comfortable with it.

Now I'm thinking about moving on to learn different positions. As I understand that is a neat way to add more flavor and dynamics to the playing.

However, it's kind of messy to learn all five positions at once. How should I focus here?

Should I begin to localize root notes all over the neck, and play small well known boxes around them?

Or pick a specific of the five positions and really work it through back and forth, like I did with the "standard" position? If the "standard position" is most important, likely there is a number two in importancy?
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:09 PM   #2
Jasonbts
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Play out from the center you know and start to expand up and down the neck.

For example, instead of:
E|--------------------------1-4---|
B|---------------------1-4--------|
G|----------------1-3-------------|
D|-----------1-3------------------|
A|------1-3-----------------------|
E|-1-4----------------------------|

Try:
E|-------------------------------------------11-13------|
B|--------------------------------9-11-13--------------|
G|----------------------5-8-10--------------------------|
D|--------------3-6-8------------------------------------|
A|------1-3-6---------------------------------------------|
E|-1-4----------------------------------------------------|



Try things like that that will help you learn the scale all across the neck, and once you kind of have it, just start improvising with it over a backing track. All those shapes will start to come to you naturally and their be locked into your brain. You'll start seeing more options.

A more extreme option but one that helped me, is take tiny pieces of masking tape and mark all the notes of the scale in a key of your choice completely across every string. Then like before, improvise. Soon you won't need the markings (and the masking tape will come off clean and won't in any way harm your fretboard.

I'm convinced that the best way to learn scales and modes is by working them out in your own head and playing them in the context of music, not rep'ing scales. That said each player is different, so find what works for you.
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Old 06-26-2014, 08:30 AM   #3
Guitarxor
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I played around some the way you describe and it made a lot of sense. I got a few more options without the situation being confusing.

For most soloing, isn't the standard pentatonic shapes sort of the foundation? It feels like the best options for bend definitely lies there, and that the geometric layout is such that it's well suited for speed. But perhaps it's just that I'm used to it.

From my limited studies I get the picture that for instance Tony Iommi does most of his solos in the "standard position" pentatonic.
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Old 06-26-2014, 09:41 AM   #4
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With your boxes

http://i702.photobucket.com/albums/...ng?t=1403789730

I suppose patterns 3 & 4 are the most useful after pattern 1, but it would be kind of weird to know those two without knowing patterns 2 & 5 which fall between them and 1. So you might just want to learn 2 & 5 and then expand out to 3 & 4.

Learning to, as you put it, " localize root notes all over the neck, and play small well known boxes around them" is an excellent thing to do once you've learned the other boxes.
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Old 06-29-2014, 07:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtc83
With your boxes

http://i702.photobucket.com/albums/...ng?t=1403789730

I suppose patterns 3 & 4 are the most useful after pattern 1, but it would be kind of weird to know those two without knowing patterns 2 & 5 which fall between them and 1. So you might just want to learn 2 & 5 and then expand out to 3 & 4.

Learning to, as you put it, " localize root notes all over the neck, and play small well known boxes around them" is an excellent thing to do once you've learned the other boxes.


Alright! I realize now that I have derived pattern 3 and 5 by myself.

Can you recommend some online clip regarding how to combine the positions in an effective way?
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Old 06-29-2014, 01:06 PM   #6
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^ try using diagonals, maybe. where you play in one box, more or less, but at the top (in pitch, I mean) you slide up to the next box, and at the bottom you slide down to the one below.

if you google (or youtube search) "diagonals pentatonics" or something like that I'm guessing you'll get some hits.
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Old 06-29-2014, 01:36 PM   #7
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^On top of that,Whilst improvising make yourself play licks in different positions,So play a lick in your 'standard' position and then make sure your next lick is on a different part of the neck and so on.Also practice playing up and down the neck on a single string.Then when you are comfortable with each position make your licks span 2 positions and then 3 positions, A good tool to use for this are 'slides'.Once you know where to locate the notes in the key start to think horizontally rather than vertically.
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Old 06-29-2014, 01:55 PM   #8
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yeah that's also good advice.

(DAIS,NAID... 99% of my playing is pentatonic minor position 1 )
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Old 06-29-2014, 03:44 PM   #9
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The Hopscotch Method is what you want to try. There are a couple of lessons on it on Ultimate Guitar. It basically connects the boxes and creates a Scale Map across the entire neck.
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Old 07-04-2014, 10:52 AM   #10
Guitarxor
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Thank you for the material!

I've also began to glance on how to play the pentatonic according to changes, like here:


Now what should I focus on first? Becoming better at playing over changes or practising playing in different positions? Or perhaps both? Maybe playing over changes will come naturally when the positions are mastered, as it can be done by moving the root note?
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Old 07-04-2014, 11:15 AM   #11
reverb66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitarxor

Should I begin to localize root notes all over the neck, and play small well known boxes around them?


Do that first and then learn the other patterns ( i.e starting on the minor third, fourth etc.).

Always be aware of where the root note is in relation to everything you are doing for any scale - it will help with learning the sounds of the intervals.
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