Exploring the Minor Pentatonic Scale – Linear Sequences

Adam Neely

Playbassnow.com proudly presents a lesson from:


FavoriteLoadingAdd 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! [display_podcast] 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! -Adam

adamada said,

September 10, 2011 @ 11:13 pm

could you do something on a 4 string?

adamada said,

September 10, 2011 @ 9:48 pm

need tabs!

love the lesson, think more people could make use of it if it were tabbed

Sebu said,

May 7, 2010 @ 7:21 pm

Very good work man, I’m gonna practice it ’til I die!!

FPB said,

April 28, 2010 @ 3:27 pm

Adam, Just starting improv and starving for this kind of info. I’m amazed at how much I don’t know! Thank you for opening my eyes. Can these video lessons be downloaded for use when I’m not online?

zwierzahk said,

April 26, 2010 @ 9:31 pm

I can’t thank you enough for this lesson, dude!

curvedspace said,

April 20, 2010 @ 12:54 pm

Adam, as a beginning improviser I value this. I like how you took something simple (but important) and showed me in concrete ways how to work with that to make it musical. Looking forward to the next chapter.

Exploring the Minor Pentatonic Scale – Non-Linear Sequences 1 | PlayBassNow.com said,

April 20, 2010 @ 8:06 am

[…] favorites Recent postsExploring the Minor Pentatonic Scale – Non-Linear Sequences 1Exploring the Minor Pentatonic Scale – Linear SequencesKenny Kirkland solo on BassHow to Play – Teen Spirit – for beginners03 Bass diaries […]

toshiko said,

April 20, 2010 @ 2:54 am

Minor Pentatonic Madness indeed! This was just what I needed… Thanks Adam!

And of course, huge thanks to MarloweDK for introducing you to so many who will appreciate everything you have to offer.

Yes, yes.

playbass.com « Adam Neely said,

April 19, 2010 @ 7:55 pm

[…] out my first lesson on minor pentatonic sequences. […]


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