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 by this point in the course, you understand how to join pentatonic shape one and two. The next job for us is to get them linked across the fretboard. In this exercise, we will be ‘linking like Clapton’, which basically means we will be joining the shapes in a very cool, blues / rock fashion. Here is a fretboard diagram 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.
Here is the tab for the linking pattern in A minor. Make sure that as you go through the pattern, you are always aware of which pentatonic shape you are in.
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 below shows how the linking pattern looks in each of these three keys:
This exercise can be a little confusing at first, so it is worth going through the tab below properly. Once again, use the tempo change and looping facilities to be sure you get each part perfect!
When you are ready, you have the backing track and full exercise here 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. Also, the audio file here loops the exercise a few times round!
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 below.
Here we have the full exercise in tab. Once again, be sure you are visualising all the shapes and try to get used to where the major root note is, in comparison to the minor root note. You can also see the fretboard diagrams for all 3 keys of the exercise below.
When you are ready, you have the backing track and full exercise here 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. Also, the audio file here loops the exercise a few times!
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 the pentatonic shapes look like this:
The link to the full solo tab is below but remember to only tackle the licks we have looked at in the video. Use the looping and speed-changing functions to get the first half of the solo learnt well.
We will now learn the second half of the solo and put it together. You can now use the full tab below and start to piece all of the licks together.
When you are ready, you have the backing track and full solo here 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!