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Exploring the Minor Pentatonic Scale – Linear Sequences
Playbassnow.com proudly presents a lesson from: Adam Neely
Add to favorites So for a lot of people, the minor pentatonic scale is the "default" sound for improvisation over a wide range of genres. It's easy to understand, easy to implement, and if the situation calls for that sound, it's impossible to play a wrong-sounding note if you stick to notes in the scale. No wonder rock guitarists love it so much!
In fact, it's too perfect. Intermediate improvisers will often just let there fingers fly up and down the scale without much thought into how to get the most intervallic and rhythmic interest out of those five notes, and then assume that there isn't anything else to the scale.
One way we can remedy this is by creating patterned material from the scale that doesn't rely wholly on ascending and descending the scale at your fingers whim (I know I've been guilty of this a LOT). The first of these techniques we'll talk about is called linear sequencing.
Check out what I'm talking about with this YouTube lesson.
Hope you enjoy it! Here's a pdf full of the sorts of ideas that were covered in the video so you can see how these rhythmic concepts are notated. You need to be a member of playbass.com to see it...so be sure and sign up!
Remember to practice the physical pattern all up and down the neck, and be sure to be familiar with as many different ways to shift positions as possible (you don't want to get locked into one position and then run out of room). This will take a while to get fluid, but it's worth it. Then try experimenting with the rhythmic displacements and odd phrases, first slowly and "out of time," then sped up. Remember to practice these displacements both ascending and descending. I've found that starting at quarter note equals 60 is a good benchmark for starting out with a new concept. Don't feel like you need to practice things as fast as I played them in the video at first - I've spent quite a bit of time in the shed, ha. Practicing things slowly is the key to getting them under your fingers and really into your playing.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me on YouTube PM. Happy sequencing!