Am Pentatonic Scale Use

author: AdamDK date: 05/16/2007 category: for beginners
rating: 8.6 / votes: 114 
New to soloing in the Am Minor Pentatonic scale? Stuck on what to use in your improvisation? Read on for the help your looking for. The first thing you should take into consideration is the what key your backing track will be in. For this lesson, we will use my favourite scale - the A Minor Pentatonic Scale. This makes the Key Am. So you could play to a chord progression of Am-C-G-D. First, you need to know where the positions are of the A Minor Pentatonic scale. Here is the first position of the Am Pentatonic scale, learn this well.
Ascending:
E|---------------------------------------------5---8---|
B|-------------------------------------5---8-----------|
G|----------------------------5---7--------------------|
D|-------------------5---7-----------------------------|
A|----------5---7--------------------------------------|
E|-5---8-----------------------------------------------|

Descending:
E|-8---5-----------------------------------------------|
B|---------8---5---------------------------------------|
G|-------------------7---5-----------------------------|
D|----------------------------7---5--------------------|
A|-------------------------------------7---5-----------|
E|----------------------------------------------8---5--|
Once you have learned that shape well, learn the other A Minor Pentatonic boxes. Ascending and Descending.
1)
E|---------------------------------------------8---11--|
B|-------------------------------------8---11----------|
G|----------------------------8---10-------------------|
D|-------------------8---10----------------------------|
A|----------8---10-------------------------------------|
E|-8---11----------------------------------------------|

2)
E|---------------------------------------------10--13--|
B|-------------------------------------10--13----------|
G|----------------------------10--12-------------------|
D|-------------------10--12----------------------------|
A|----------10--12-------------------------------------|
E|-10--13----------------------------------------------|

3)
E|--------------------------------------------15--18---|
B|------------------------------------15--18-----------|
G|---------------------------15--17--------------------|
D|------------------15--17-----------------------------|
A|---------15--17--------------------------------------|
E|-15--18----------------------------------------------|
Once you have learned them positions ascending and descending, you can move onto the next part of the lesson. Scales And Boxes. The Am Pentatonic boxes are made up from the scale of a note from the Am Pentatonic scale. For example, the first Am Pentatonic (Starting at the 8th fret) is actually the start of the C Minor Pentatonic. So in other words, the boxes are made from the scales from the notes that are in the scale your using. Making A Chord Progression. Although you may have the urge to solo from the Am Pentatonic Scale, and the boxes, you should have a try at making a chord progression. The notes of the Am Pentatonic scale are: A, C, D, E, G. Remembering those notes, you can try playing the chords, which you can then create your own chord progressions, and make your own backing tracks from them. Not only can you do that, but if your for example wanting to play an arpeggio over a backing trac, if you learn the notes of the Am Pentatonic scale boxes, you will be able to switch to a chord from say, one of the C Minor Pentatonic scale's notes, and play an arpeggio of the chord when the backing track gets to the C Chord, or D chord, etc. Techniques. If you want to make your own solo's, you need to know the basic techniques. We will be. When I started improvising from the Am Pentatonic, I made up little licks using basic techniques. You should ensure you're familar with the following techniques:
* Hammer ons: h.
* Pull offs: p.
* Vibrato: ~.
* Bends: b.
* Pre-bends: pb.
* Bend & release: br.
* Slides: /.
1) The Slide, Vibrato, Bend/Release lick:
E|--------------------------|
B|--------------------------|
G|----------5~---7br----5~--|
D|---5/7--------------------|
A|--------------------------|
E|--------------------------|
Simple but effective. I'd often follow it with this lick: 2)
E|---------------------------|
B|---------------------------|
G|-5h7p5---------------------|
D|------------7~----5----7~--|
A|---------------------------|
E|---------------------------|
Those licks sound good in any of the Am Pentatonic box shapes, and to this day, I still frequently use them while playing with backing tracks. When I played with backing tracks, I'd evolve from the licks above into the last Am Pentatonic minor box, which would sound good, like as though you were going from a verse to chorus. The main lick was:
E|---18b----18--15h18p15------------------------|
B|---------------------------------18~--15~-18b-|
G|----------------------------------------------|
D|----------------------------------------------|
A|----------------------------------------------|
E|----------------------------------------------|
Another lick that was popular with me was:
E|-15-----------------------------|
B|-18b----------------------------|
G|---------15h18p15---------------|
D|-------------------------17pb---|
A|--------------------------------|
E|--------------------------------|
Make your own licks, even use some of the licks I use. Your idols use licks similar to these, so why can't you?
Comments
Your captcha is incorrect