#1
Yo! I have recently been practicing the minor pentatonic scale. I've got to the point to know all 5 positions alright. But i am struggling to understand how to use them.

Most video lessons ive been looking at only seem to only show playing in one position. Can you start playing using any of the 5 positions? are all the positions used in ordered whilst moving from one to another or are you only allowed to stick to one?
#2
Check out justinguitar.com he has an awesome blues lead series that covers a lot of them and he even gives advice on how to link them.
#3
Basically, you should just use the position that's most comfortable at the time you're playing that is easiest for you to play the notes you need to. There's no need to stick to any one position, you can start in one and move from one to another as you please (no need to go in order either). They're all the same scale, so there isn't anything terribly different about them.

The important thing to keep in mind is how the note you're playing on the scale sounds in relation to the other notes/chords being played at the time.
#4
lets say you are in Em, you know your Em scale and the 5 positions, play it as you want, really if you watch solos of your favorites guitarrist, and depending on the style, you would see first a lick in the first frets on the lower strings and then other i the high frets of your, g, b and e strings,
#5
Quote by Addy!
Yo! I have recently been practicing the minor pentatonic scale. I've got to the point to know all 5 positions alright. But i am struggling to understand how to use them.

Most video lessons ive been looking at only seem to only show playing in one position. Can you start playing using any of the 5 positions? are all the positions used in ordered whilst moving from one to another or are you only allowed to stick to one?



So, you mean you "memorized" them to the point where you can comfortably and flawlessly improv over a backing track that SOUNDS GOOD to you?

Or do you mean you "memorized" them by just sitting down for hours without any type of musical context and just stare at the fretboard for hours?

Not to sound rude, but there is a big difference here.
#6
Quote by Appetite_4_GNR


Or do you mean you "memorized" them by just sitting down for hours without any type of musical context and just stare at the fretboard for hours?



this is the problem with calling them positions, beginners don't know that its a series of notes, not just a series of places to put your finger
#7
ok my understanding which i was thought was from a box diagram the scale such as this...




This is what i ment by all the positions played in order. I was looking at songs which used the minor pentatonic scale and found they played notes outside of this diagram. If i was playing in A minor do I have to stick to this pattern?
#8
Dont focus too much on these "boxes", know what the notes are. The pentatonic scale is made up of 5 notes, which repeat in different positions on the entire fretboard. One you know the notes of the scale and where to find them on the fretboard you are set.
#9
You're being anal, Addy. Hear it out mah friend.

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Last edited by river.wild at Dec 11, 2011,
#10
apollogises for being such a retart i understand it. it was learning it in the the 5 patterns that threw my off. cheers for the help guys.
#11
Quote by Appetite_4_GNR
So, you mean you "memorized" them to the point where you can comfortably and flawlessly improv over a backing track that SOUNDS GOOD to you?

Or do you mean you "memorized" them by just sitting down for hours without any type of musical context and just stare at the fretboard for hours?

Not to sound rude, but there is a big difference here.


Lol that is so true and recognizable, remember when i started out i spend like 2 weeks to be able to play all 5 pentatonics and then i was like... now what? It took me another couple of YEARS to establish a personal "lick library" in which i can now grab a lick, turn it around, have fun with it, within the pentatonics. I guess this will go on for your entire guitar playing life.
#12
Quote by Addy!
If i was playing in A minor do I have to stick to this pattern?

Barring all the pattern talk, no, you don't have to stick to the notes in the scales. Do whatever sounds good. But obviously if you land more than just a few notes outside the scale then there's a possibility whatever you're playing won't sound good.
#14
Quote by Addy!
Yo! I have recently been practicing the minor pentatonic scale. I've got to the point to know all 5 positions alright. But i am struggling to understand how to use them.

Most video lessons ive been looking at only seem to only show playing in one position. Can you start playing using any of the 5 positions? are all the positions used in ordered whilst moving from one to another or are you only allowed to stick to one?

The notes of the Am pentatonic are A C D E G, wherever they are on the neck. Play them wherever you are and you're working within that scale.

Scales are notes and intervals, not shapes - learn them as such.

EDIT: No, you don't have to "stick to" anything - you can play any notes you want. If it sounds good, then it's good.
#15
Contradicting what everyone always says.. positions are a really good start, we forget what it was to be a beginner.. they tell us to just find the notes on the fretboard.. if it was as easy as that on the beginning..

You know the poisitions, now memorize the scale degrees, pay especially close attention to the first degree and then start practicing each scale to really internalise the sound.. improvise, sing them.. play around with them, experiment to your hearts content, it is not so hard to break out of the box once you have the mechanical part down. Patterns are a guideline if you can however see the intervals on the fretboard so clear screw patterns.. i know no beginners who could right away..
#16
Quote by Addy!
This is what i ment by all the positions played in order. I was looking at songs which used the minor pentatonic scale and found they played notes outside of this diagram.

Chromatic passing notes and approach notes.
If i was playing in A minor do I have to stick to this pattern?

No. If all the solos in the world had to stay within the confines of a scale, how boring would it be?
Last edited by mdc at Dec 12, 2011,
#17
Quote by Slashiepie
Contradicting what everyone always says.. positions are a really good start, we forget what it was to be a beginner.. they tell us to just find the notes on the fretboard.. if it was as easy as that on the beginning..

Nobody's saying that knowing the fingerings are bad, just that in order to understand the scales fully he'll need to know the notes.

The reason "everyone always says it" is that it's good advice.
#18
Quote by :-D
Nobody's saying that knowing the fingerings are bad, just that in order to understand the scales fully he'll need to know the notes.

The reason "everyone always says it" is that it's good advice.


Indeed one of the best advices, it just never clicked with me at the beginning.

I am geniunely curious , you seem to be an advanced player right?

Do you guys and everyone at a highe level not see shapes at all anymore ?
Last edited by Slashiepie at Dec 12, 2011,
#19
Of course players still see shapes, it's just that won't understand what they are or what you can do with them until you look at the whole picture, the notes, sounds and intervals.

Those things ARE " the scale", those are the things that define it. The pattern doesn't, in isolation a pattern doesnt actually mean anything...after all in different contexts the same pattern could represent several scales. Without the underpinning theory knowledge youre pretty much judt trying to visually memorise a seemingly arbitrary pattern of dots. Patterns are just incidental, a quirk of how scales are implemented on the guitar because of the way notes appear in multiple places. Just think about it logically, isn't it normal to acquire knowledge before trying to apply it?

Learning the pattern isn't teaching you anything other than how to apply your knowledge and understanding of a scale to one particular instrument, the guitar - so obviously you're going to be a bit lost if you've effectively started trying to use something you don't actually know yet!
Actually called Mark!

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#20
Quote by Slashiepie
Indeed one of the best advices, it just never clicked with me at the beginning.

I am geniunely curious , you seem to be an advanced player right?

Do you guys and everyone at a highe level not see shapes at all anymore ?

I wouldn't really call myself an advanced player, but I'd like to think I know what I'm doing to a certain degree.

I still know where the shapes are, and that's why I said it's fine to have those under your fingers as a reference. When I'm playing I don't really think of anything in terms of shapes, though - part of it is that I've played enough to just have the shapes be automatic, and the other part is that when I'm deciding where to go it's generally based on what I hear. If I'm playing something and I hear that a specific note will sound good, going to it isn't really based on anything in terms of a position on the fretboard, but rather on the musical context it's in.

I don't know if that made sense, it's somewhat difficult to explain now that I actually think about it.