#1
I've been playing guitar on and off for several years. I recently decided to pick it up more seriously, so I've been brushing up on my technique and theory. One problem that I'm coming across, and I know this is common, is getting stuck in a very basic pentatonic box.

What do I need to be studying and what kind of exercises do I need to be doing to break out of this pattern? I play a lot of blues, rock, and acoustic folk, so the pentatonic scale is important to what I play and write. I want to be able to apply the basic pentatonic pattern I know throughout the entire fretboard, so that when I'm soloing, I'm not stuck on one set of frets.

Any insight you guys have would be great. Also, any recommendations on books or DVDs would be helpful as well. I've read some things, but they all sound very mechanical and dry.

Thanks!
#2
Learn the major/minor pentatonic scales throughout the fretboard, dont think of them as seperate box's, think of the entire neck as being one box, combine both scales together to create different ideas and most importantly remember the scales are only there for guidance, not rules.
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#3
just learn and practice the other 4 forms of the pentatonic scale try soloing in them, and when you can do that, try moving from one form to another. At first it seems awkward, but in time it becomes much easier.
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#4
first thing to do would be to learn the 5 different minor pentatonic fingerings across the strings... sounds like you have one of these 'shapes' down, so you probably have to just learn what the other four look like... it's just a case of chipping away, up one, down the other.. switching it around and going over and over the

these are what they look like (this is G pentatonic minor):












so, learn em, join em up and play around with them over and over until they become entirely subconscious

in addition to the these, learn what the pentatonic minor looks like diagonally across your fretboard (low E to high E) so you can quickly move up the fretboard...

even better than that, learn the position shifts needed to play it on 2 strings

if you want to start adding non-pentatonic minor notes to your playing, you can easily use these shapes shifted around... for example if you're playing in A minor... the same standard pentatonic minor shape shifted up 2 frets will give you 5 notes from A dorian to play with... similarly if you're playing a dominant blues, instead of wiggling around in pentatonic minor all the time, slide everything down 3 frets and the notes you're picking from will outline the major pentatonic
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#5
Thanks for all the info guys! Inflatablefilth (or anyone), I was wondering if you could elaborate on some of what you said.

even better than that, learn the position shifts needed to play it on 2 strings

if you want to start adding non-pentatonic minor notes to your playing, you can easily use these shapes shifted around... for example if you're playing in A minor... the same standard pentatonic minor shape shifted up 2 frets will give you 5 notes from A dorian to play with... similarly if you're playing a dominant blues, instead of wiggling around in pentatonic minor all the time, slide everything down 3 frets and the notes you're picking from will outline the major pentatonic


What are the position strings you're talking about on two strings? Thanks!
#7
7 note scales, the bebop scales and arpeggios are all good ways to break out of the pentatonic box.
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