3 Note Per String Penatonics With Flat 5

Check out this cool lick to play a cool 3 note per string pentatonic and get that "Dimebag sound" into your playing!

Ultimate Guitar

I was having a gentlemanly shred the other day whilst trying "get out of the box," but was still trying to maintain that bluesy "flat 5" sound.

I've notice Dimebag Darrell uses some really cool and stretchy shapes to create a pentatonic sound that's still very innovative and non-boxey.

This exercise I devised is in the key of "E" minor and we'll be working a 3 note per string pattern using the "E" minor pentatonic with the flat 5 (E G A Bb B D) spanning 3 octaves. We'll be starting each octave from the flat 5 (which in this key is "Bb"). 

This exercise is obviously usable in multiple keys for solo writing or just improvising. Starting from the flat 5 isn't the most conventional place to start a lead line but can be cool and attention grabbing. You'll notice the exercise has a descend in the second half working down a pretty conventional pentatonic box shape. This allows you to jump between quirky/abrasive passages and straight meat and veg pentatonic bluesy rock.

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Hope you guys dig this and can implement it into your playing!

Happy shredding!

By Chris Zoupa

11 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Oh man! Those stretches! Like the sound of it but I'm definitely digging playing this one (especially the ascent) as a '3-note on 2-string' sorta thing. Thanks Chris
    Chris Zoupa
    It breaks from the monotony of 2 note pentatonics with the occasional flat 5th and thats it. It definitely has heaps of vibe.
    how do i get that wu tang sound tho?
    Chris Zoupa
    I don't get it but I assume you're writing this from beneath a craggy bridge.
    Rebel Scum
    I think Eastwinn's referring to your video's introduction, "Howdy Gangsta's". Well I had a chuckle at that intro and Eastwinn's comment. Great lesson!
    HOWDY GANGSTAS! Seriously though, isnt this called the minor blues scale? Excellent lesson, Chris.
    Awesome! Thanks Chris. How bout doing some more Scenes from a Memory solos? There are so many bad tabs. Cheers
    Nice tip! Gonna practice this one a bit Also lol'd harder than I should have at "I was having a gentlemanly shred the other day".
    Very cool lesson. It's amazing how you can make an otherwise routine lead much more interesting by using a non-conventional part of the scale or mode (like the b5) as a jumping-off point or melodic center. Awesome.