#1
In E minor pentatonic box 1, is it more efficient to use your 1st and 2nd fingers for the A, D and G strings rather than 1st and 3rd? How do you guys find it to be most efficient, personally?

I'm sorry, I'm self taught and have been playing for 20 years. I think I may very well have developed some bad mechanics. I think I should get lessons soon.
#2
To be honest it largely depends on what else you're playing - in practical terms you're rarely going to be simply running up all those scale notes when playing a song, so what's most efficient depends on where your fingers need to go next. If you're purely running through the scale as an exercise then arguably sticking to one finger/one fret is the most sensible way to approach it

Just keep in mind that drilling scales that way isn't particularly useful in the greater scheme of things. Muscle memory plays an important part in getting good at playing something, you practice it until your hand simply knows where its supposed to go next. So that means every song is different and requires a certain amount of practicing to get good at it and drill the particular sequence of actions that song requires into muscle memory. Likewise running straight up the minor pentatonic is just one sequence of actions, and the problem is if you fixate on doing that too much it becomes so entrenched in muscle memory that your hand keeps wanting to go back to it. That can make it harder to make your hand do what you actually want it to do when it comes to learning something new or improvise your own stuff.
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#3
You're so very right, SS. My hand is already obsessed with pentatonic shapes . I'm a very sloppy player and need to work on my alternate picking, finger independence and hand coordination. I always go back to the pentatonic shapes for that, but if I'm honest, I don't think I'm improving.

also, apologies if this is very obvious, but when you say "one finger per fret" do you mean that i would be playing box 1 e minor on a, d, g strings with my first and 3rd finger, and the 2nd finger would play the fret inbetween those notes if necessary?
Last edited by RyanMW2010 at Nov 20, 2013,
#4
The shape itself covers 4 frets in total, so if you use one finger for each of the four you can cover the whole pattern without having to shift positions.

Again that's not a hard and fast rule, and sometimes there's a more practical way of doing things, however for the purpose of using the scale as a picking exercise its the most logical way to do it and a good habit to develop.
Actually called Mark!

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