#1
Ok i need some help with the minor pentatonic scale and my improvising using it. I know everyone regards it as the most basic scale and you should move on to modes and many other arious scales, but when i listen to guys like Hendrix, Clapton, Page etc who stick almost completely to it i see so much variation in the solos they play and yet when i play it all my solos seem to sound fairly similar based around the same sort of licks. How can i improve this part of guitar playing?
#2
sit down with powertab, type in numbers you know are in the scale, and press play. What yoiu will find is that when you pick up an instrument, you have natural tendencies to fall into patterns.
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#3
Try to learn all the positions of the pentationic scales, I could type them out if you want me to.
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#4
try mixing it up diagonally, instead of sticking to the same box pattern
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#5
try adding "sweet notes" that are out of scale which are inbetween the notes that are in key but only like use one and use it near the end of the solo on a lower sounding string will give u a more classic rock sound and a awsum sound of resolution plus dont use shapes
#6
Learn how to play the scale all over the neck and move between positions all the time. Force yourself to do it at first. Eventually it will become natural.

And yes, this is possible. I used to like to stay in my comfy three fret span. Now I probably use 18 frets in any given solo. I'm all over the place. It's a matter of practice.


Another thing: The greats, and even just you normal good guitarist (this is true for me) knows what he is going to play before he plays it. Hear your way through a solo or melody line or lick before you actually play it. Eventually you will hear something and your fingers will just know where to go to make that sound.

And when I say we hear it before we play it, I mean we know what we're going to play a milisecond before we play it.

Don't let that discourage you from experimenting and messing around, just keep anything too weird limited to practice time. You don't want to be trying something for the first time when you're performing!
Last edited by bangoodcharlote at Dec 7, 2007,
#7
Quote by JimmyStradlin33
Ok i need some help with the minor pentatonic scale and my improvising using it. I know everyone regards it as the most basic scale and you should move on to modes and many other arious scales, but when i listen to guys like Hendrix, Clapton, Page etc who stick almost completely to it i see so much variation in the solos they play and yet when i play it all my solos seem to sound fairly similar based around the same sort of licks. How can i improve this part of guitar playing?


stop playing so lick based. listen to eric johnson. he relies more on horizontal playing than standard licks. he also mostly uses the pentatonic but it sounds a little different than normal. you should learn how to move freely around the fret board and not stick to boxes and standard licks so much.

but learning modes isnt a bad idea. learning how to add them into the pentatonic is a good way to play as well. i try to look at the pentatonic as a good base scale that i can build from. you shouldnt be bound by it. so learn the modes as well so you can mix it up. and not just modes. there are many passing tones you can use all around the notes of the pentatonic. try them out. just dont rest on the or stress them too much or it might sound off.
#8
Teh GIR is absolutly correct.
Moving diagnolly will make your playing greatly improve.
Rather than just using the standard pentatonic, learn it up and down the whole neck, and then right it out and work diagnolly.
#10
Quote by JimmyStradlin33
Ok i need some help with the minor pentatonic scale and my improvising using it. I know everyone regards it as the most basic scale and you should move on to modes and many other arious scales, but when i listen to guys like Hendrix, Clapton, Page etc who stick almost completely to it i see so much variation in the solos they play and yet when i play it all my solos seem to sound fairly similar based around the same sort of licks. How can i improve this part of guitar playing?



The guys you listed above (and many others as well) will also superimpose major pentatonic over the minor pentatonic. So for instance they will use notes from both A major pentatonic & A minor pentatonic in the same solo, which helps to add some variety. Also experimenting with different rhythms & timing can be very useful

learning the scales over the whole fretboard helps as others have said, as well as thinking in terms of melodies like bangoodcharlote says is also a very good approach which can help to break out of playing redundant licks
#11
Quote by Stash Jam
So for instance they will use notes from both A major pentatonic & A minor pentatonic in the same solo, which helps to add some variety.
This is a great idea for blues. You just have to be careful when using minor chords. C sounds fine over A7, but C# doesn't sound so great over Am7 or even Am.

Actually, if you combine the major and minor pentatonics and get rid of the major third, you get Dorian. Likewise, if you combine them and get rid of the minor third, you get Mixolydian.


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#12
I think its fair to say there's a lot of uses for pentatonic minor, but rock and blues
pretty much just use it one way (as a tonic scale).

There's actually 3 pentatonic minor/majors in the major scale so they're related in
that respect.

Anyway, if you don't want to delve deeply into the theory, take whatever pentatonic
minor you're using and compare it to the notes from the chord progression. Usually
the progression will add additional notes in which will give you a clue about when
and where you can add those "extra" notes to the minor pent scale. Even a
major blues progression has a number of those extra notes.
#13
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Learn how to play the scale all over the neck and move between positions all the time. Force yourself to do it at first. Eventually it will become natural.

And yes, this is possible. I used to like to stay in my comfy three fret span. Now I probably use 18 frets in any given solo. I'm all over the place. It's a matter of practice.


Another thing: The greats, and even just you normal good guitarist (this is true for me) knows what he is going to play before he plays it. Hear your way through a solo or melody line or lick before you actually play it. Eventually you will hear something and your fingers will just know where to go to make that sound.

And when I say we hear it before we play it, I mean we know what we're going to play a milisecond before we play it.

Don't let that discourage you from experimenting and messing around, just keep anything too weird limited to practice time. You don't want to be trying something for the first time when you're performing!

Unless you're doing a sort of blues improvisation, which is what I do.

Also, while playing lead, don't cram bunch of unnecessary notes. Less is more.

And for the first person that replied to this thread, just sitting town and putting something in Power Tab or any tab program won't let you get any better. It's best to try ideas yourself.
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#14
learn over-bends passing tones, etc mess around and just keep jamming with it you'll pick it up eventually
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#15
Quote by edg
I think its fair to say there's a lot of uses for pentatonic minor, but rock and blues
pretty much just use it one way (as a tonic scale).

There's actually 3 pentatonic minor/majors in the major scale so they're related in
that respect.

Anyway, if you don't want to delve deeply into the theory, take whatever pentatonic
minor you're using and compare it to the notes from the chord progression. Usually
the progression will add additional notes in which will give you a clue about when
and where you can add those "extra" notes to the minor pent scale. Even a
major blues progression has a number of those extra notes.

It's not that i dont want to learn theory, i actually know natural minor melodic minor harmonic minor, major and dorian, i just feel that theres no point really trying to learn more scales and modes if im just recycling the same old licks within them. Anyway thanks for all the help guys it's definitely given me some new ideas to try out
#16
You're right, there isn't much point in learning a lot of new scales. What you do
need to do is understand the ones you know better.

A scale just gives you a collection of notes to play with notes serving a specific
function (on their scale degree). What is often not really understood is that this
also describes the functions of notes NOT in the given scale. Using a scale doesn't
mean you *have* to play only certain notes, only that any note you want to use
will have a specific relationship to the scale.

From a practical standpoint, memorizing scale finger positions up and down the neck
is the first step to using them. Then, you can start building useful structures on top
of any scale you memorized. I'd say the next most important structures to work
on are the scale's harmonized triads (R 3 5 where R starts on each note of the scale).
A good knowledge of those is incredibly useful in soloing and understanding the
scales better.