#1
I have been trying for quite a wile and i still cannot rip through the pentatonic scale and make it sound good, any excersizes or things i can do to get moving on it?
#2
you've probably heard this a million times but the only way to get faster is to PRACTISE IT! try doing it in different spots around the neck and work it out from there. its usually easier and sometimes faster to do it around the 12th fret and up because your fingers stay closer together.
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#3
Always practice with a metronome.... Start slowly and then build up. when u reach ur cap (highest tempo) reduce it by about 5 bpm then start again... u have to keep at it for quite a while before u can shred. also practice with 3rd jumps (play 1,3,2,4,6,5 etc,etc) or 4th or mabye 5th. Octaves are easy enough
#4
my problem is not speed my problem is that it sounds like crap. and i cannot get the scale to sound good like everyone else in the world can
#5
Yeah, speed doesn't always sound good. So whilst you might think everyone in the world who shreds through the pentatonic scale can make it sound good, there are many who are deluded into thinking that a persons 'nps' is the root of their playing ability.

I'd suggest trying to learn any cool sounding licks you hear. Pick some artists that use the pentatonic scale, and give them a listen. Learn the stuff you think sounds cool and then try to incorporate it into your own playing.

A bit of theory never hurt anyone either. If you don't know about intervals yet, I'd suggest learning a little about them. Learning about intervals will help you to identify certain notes within a scale that'll give you the particular sound that you might be after.

Don't be pressured into thinking you need to sit down for hours and hours doing speed building exercises. You'll pick up speed with no problem as you become more and more comfortable with the fretboard, and used to playing your favourite licks. Speed is great. But it's not worth the sacrifice when there are so many other elements that go into improvising a good solo.

Hope that helps in some way.
#8
Quote by DirtyMcCurty
do people read or do they just skip over when i say speed is not a problem
I can read. So shut the hell up and listen to me.

Sit down with a metronome/click track. Set it at 100 bpm. Play through the pentatonic with 8th notes, cleanly alternate picking (or whatever technique you want, but the key is to be "clean"). When that is flawless, move the tempo up a notch. Repeat this process many times. Before you get to 200 bpm, go back to 100 and play 16th notes. Do the exercise in 16th notes until you can flawlessly play 16th notes at the maximum speed on the metronome.

You will find this exercise fairly boring. If you're really good at the beginning, jump right into 16th notes or bump up the tempo. You can also bump up the tempo by more than 1 bpm each time, but the key is to take things slow and work yourself up to speed.
#9
Quote by bangoodcharlote
I can read. So shut the hell up and listen to me.

Sit down with a metronome/click track. Set it at 100 bpm. Play through the pentatonic with 8th notes, cleanly alternate picking (or whatever technique you want, but the key is to be "clean"). When that is flawless, move the tempo up a notch. Repeat this process many times. Before you get to 200 bpm, go back to 100 and play 16th notes. Do the exercise in 16th notes until you can flawlessly play 16th notes at the maximum speed on the metronome.

You will find this exercise fairly boring. If you're really good at the beginning, jump right into 16th notes or bump up the tempo. You can also bump up the tempo by more than 1 bpm each time, but the key is to take things slow and work yourself up to speed.


Tell me this post was a joke...
#11
HE IS NOT ASKING HOW TO PLAY FASTER!!!
HE IS NOT ASKING HOW TO PLAY FASTER!!!
HE IS NOT ASKING HOW TO PLAY FASTER!!!

He's asking how to make the pentatonic scale sound good.

In my experience, the only way to make something sound good is to give it a good rhythm, try just messing around with the scale with different rhythms eg. 8th note, 8th note, quater note, 16th note... (Bear in mind that probably sounds crap but you get the idea of the rhythms)
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#12
Quote by bangoodcharlote
You're laughing? I'm not laughing.


Yeah, that was good advice. I'd suggest starting even slower.

Generally, if you can snap out a speedy run -- even if its a simple scale run -- it
will probably sound pretty good. As long as can play it in time and can phrase it.
If you can't, then you DO have a speed problem.
#14
well, there's been enough speed practicing crap so i'll try to say something more useful. as someone already said, learn some basic theory, so you know when you're playing 3rd note or 7th and so on... try to skip notes sometimes, like 3rd jumps (already mentioned). also, don't just stuck in the 5 notes in the scale, try to add some other notes as passing tones, like flat 5th (bluesy), or 6th. if you listen to some guitarists that base their soloing on pentatonics, you'll see that they don't use only 5 notes (slash, angus young...). they often play something like dorian, so you can add 2nd and 6th to your pentatonic scale occasionally (listen to you shook me all night long - ACDC). or in some other situation add notes from natural or harmonic minor scale. learn to incorporate bending and wide vibrato to your playing, it's a big part of blues/rock/hard rock solos... also, practice licks that you like and use them in your solos. speed will come with accuracy...
hope i helped.
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Last edited by 666_Belial at Jan 28, 2008,
#15
sounds like what you need to focus on is your note choice and phrasing. most of the notes that fall on the beats should be a note from the chord you're playing over. i don't know the proper name, but notes that fall on the strong beats and are not from the necessary chord i call colour tones. they change the feel of the chord you're playing over and can sound great when used effectively. notes which don't fall on the beat are passing notes. these can be any note you want as long as they don't run over onto the beat. this is a great way to use chromatics.

i'm not sure how well i've explained myself here, but i always find the best way to understand things is by trying them out. look at some of your favorite solos, break them apart, look at which notes fall where, rhythms, what chord they're played over, phrasing, vibrato, etc. and hopefully this will help get you on the right track.

also, i remember seeing a paul gilbert video lesson from Total Guitar in which he talks about strumming a simple rhythm across the strings while muting them with the left hand. then he would slowly add notes into it while keeping on strumming the same rhythm. again, this is hard to explain without a demonstration so i'll look for a video online and post back. It's a great way to keep a strong groove throughout your solos.


EDIT; ok here's the link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOPMTtPYe78 it's a great lesson!
Last edited by Eirien at Jan 28, 2008,
#16
Sounds to me like you need to spend some time copping some pentatonic licks / solos.

Exercises will make you more efficient, but they wont necessarily make you "sound good".

btw, im not suggesting that you shouldn't work on exercises. I am saying though that if you work on some good solos that use pentatonic, you will start sounding better as well. Learning how others "rip" through the pentatonic scale is probably the best way to learn how to do it yourself.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jan 28, 2008,
#17
Try playing it over a backing track. Just a simple one with a few chords, or maybe a I7 IV7 V7 bluesy-type thing (like the current UG jamtrack) and it will probably sound a lot better. The pentatonic scale usually sounds pretty boring if you don't have any context for it, so try this out and see how it works.
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#19
you say that you play it and it doesn't sound good? not good how? are the notes dead? do they sound out of tune? are you hitting the strings as you move to the next one? it could be that your guitar isn't inotated right. it could be out of tune (don't be insulted, it needed to be asked) The easiest place to practice the pentonic is definitely up at the 12th fret. Assuming that everything is sounding the way its supposed to just get friendly with that finger pattern and get used to changing strings(that was the worst part for me) and you should be ripping through the pentonic without any problems
#20
^ i'm thinking he's using the wrong scale degrees around the chords being used. i wonder if he's just running up and down different positions also cuz imo running up and down a scale sounds pretty friggin un-musical.
#21
i've been spending some time with the pentatonic recently and i've also had issues with the 'sound' of the scale. most pent licks are very bluesy/traditional (most, ok, most. sheesh) and right now that's not what i'm into.

i've been taking all those standard shred patterns and re-routing them thru the pentatonics. for example, say a 3nps, 2 string ascending lick that makes a 6note pattern that moves up the fretboard. i keep the 6note feel (and timing, which makes for a nice modern, shreddy vibe) but do 2nps, 3 strings ascending. of course, you could get all cooley and play 3nps pentatonic, but that shiz gets hard and i'm not much for the giant steps at tempo.

so, maybe you wanna change up your approach to the scale and instead of slash, think gilbert.
#22
lol seriously, I don't know how to make the pentatonic scale sounds bad.. as long as its using over the right chords, there is no reason it should sound "bad" as long as you resolve to a note in the chord you are playing it over.. like always.

Maybe you are trying too hard to play fast, speed without phrasing = crap.
#23
Learn alternate picking and incorporate that into your pentatonic scale playing.
#24
Well when I started out I found out what keys my favorite songs were in and started jamming along with them. Of course in the beginning the licks were horrible and not that fast, but after awhile I not only developed an "ear" for improvising, but I was able to copy the phrasing of whatever guitarist I happened to be listening to.

Learning some basic theory will greatly help, because you'll be able to logically place notes in a solo.

Also develop an ear for chord changes, and vary the notes you play accordingly....for example if the chord progression is E (I) to A (IV) and your soloing in the E minor pentatonic scale, try to throw in a C# when it gets to the A. C# is the major third of A, (and the minor 6th of E) so its gonna accentuate that A chord and add a nice tonal colour to your solo.


EDIT: Maybe i should've been more clear on that last paragraph. C# dosen't fall in the E minor pentatonic scale, but it does fall in the E major pentatonic scale...so in reality you are mixing major and minor scales, while accentuating certain tones within whatever chord your playing in
Last edited by rock_and_blues at Jan 28, 2008,