In this unit we build upont he foundations we have learnt in Unit 2, and take a deeper dive into the world of the pentatonic scale. We will expand your skills by showing you how to easily move keys, then add the major 3rd with an aim to move over to the major pentatonic for a touch of extra blues class! We’ll also give you some great tools you can use to get this into your playing. Let’s get cracking!
Let’s first cover the root note method. This is the concept of using our root notes to launch into any of the pentatonic shapes in any key. We will do it by trial and error, working with a range of keys. We can then use the linking patterns we learnt previously to quickly run between the shapes. Those 5 pentatonic shapes and the root notes within them can be found in the fretboard diagrams.
So, as long as you know the root notes on the E and A string, you can really get moving with this. If you can also find the root notes on the D string, you’ve got even more options available! Have some fun with these guys, either with some backing tracks or a looper!
Now that we have been through all the shapes in such detail, and spent the time changing keys, we can now start quite easily adding some of the more advanced concepts. The first thing to do, and something we see from Eric Clapton a lot, is to add the major third. This is essentially targeting that major 3rd chord tone from the b7th of the dominant chord, and can really add an extra bluesy spice to your playing. So, let’s start by trying to do this in box 1.
This is the first step to this, but you can do it in every single position of the 5 pentatonic scales. We cover this shape predominantly in the video, but your homework is to try it out in all 5 shapes.
We don’t want to learn it as a scale shape, we simply want to know that we can alter the Flat 3rd.
In this super cool video, Dan takes you through a number of great examples where you can use this b3rd to natural 3rd approach, often also utilising the notes around them. The three main ideas are in the tab section (and are shown in one position).
Your task is to play around with this idea all over the fretboard, in various keys, and over various blues-based tracks. As long as you’re playing over a 12 bar blues, this will sound great! Have fun!
This is going to be a knockout lesson for you guys, so get strapped in! Our venture into the major 3rd will inevitably lead us to one perfect conclusion - The jump to the major pentatonic. Here is the big thing to remember
Whatever minor pentatonic shape you are playing, the major pentatonic shape is up one
This does take some visualisation initially, but once you’ve practiced it a few times, it’s all good! You will be able to use this “entry point” of the major third to seamlessly jump between the major and minor pentatonic scales in any blues key. How cool is that!?
This section is all about the “doing”. At the end of the day, it’s all very well knowing all the theory, but it’s far more powerful applying that theory and learning by doing. Make mistakes, enjoy the mistakes and know that it’s all part of the process of your growth as a guitar player. So, in this lesson, we play! Enjoy!
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