Welcome to the 'Linking Like Clapton' course! In this set of lessons, we will take our 2 pentatonic shapes and learn how to move through them in a more musical and melodic way. These linking patterns really are key to understanding how many of the classic blues and rock players improvise across the entire neck... and the patterns we learn in these lessons will be your first step towards playing like that. As always, take your time and have fun!
Hopefully, you understand how to join pentatonic shapes one and two by this point in the course. The next job for us is to get them linked across the fretboard. In this exercise, we will be ‘linking like Clapton’, which means we will join the shapes in a very cool, blues/rock fashion. Take a look at the fretboard diagrams, showing you pentatonic 1 and 2 in A minor as well as the notes used in this linking pattern. Try to visualise how each note is in a shape.
As we learnt the linking pattern in minor, it makes sense that we start moving the pattern in various minor keys. This process is exactly like moving the pentatonic shapes into any key, except now we are moving the whole linking pattern. We are using G minor, B minor and D minor to demonstrate how to move the pattern. The fretboard diagrams show how the linking pattern look in each of these three keys.
To make our linking patterns major rather than minor, all we have to do is change the root note. The great news is that the major root note is always one note up from the minor root note in the pentatonic scale. Have a look at this diagram:
The circled notes (C) are the major root notes and the A notes are the minor root notes. This means that if we wanted to play our linking pattern in a major key, we find the root note on the A string and play from there. The rest of the pattern is exactly the same, as you will see from the tab.
As you might expect, the linking patterns don’t tend to be played from start to finish when soloing. The reason we learn them in this fashion is to make sure that we get the technique right and have it in our toolbox of guitar runs! When improvising, the linking patterns are still used, just in bits and pieces, as demonstrated with this Clapton style solo that we are learning today. We are in the key of A minor for the entire solo, so take a look at the pentatonic shapes in the fretboard diagrams to familiarise yourself.
We will now learn the second half of the solo and put it together. You can now use the full tab found in the guitar tab section and start to piece all of the licks together.
When you are ready, you have the backing track and full solo to play along to. It is worth trying to play with just the backing track as you will not be 'hiding' behind the recorded guitar part. It will be all up to you to make it sound awesome!
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