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Minor Pentatonic Pattern

The Beginner's Course

Mixing scales and maths... yeah, great fun this, Justin!

If you practise playing scales a lot, when you try and improvise, it is likely that your muscle memory will limit you to playing up and down the scale. Using melodic patterns to train your fingers to play the notes in different orders will help you get to know the scale really well. Picking should be alternate picking the whole way through. I know at some points it seems kind of tricky but as you speed up you really want your alternate picking to be able to handle small jumps and complicated patterns!

Watch The Video Lesson


Download a printable pdf file of the TAB for these melodic patterns here.

Download a Guitar Pro 6 file for these melodic patterns here - but you'll need to have the player too, it's a very useful practice tool and you can adjust the speed and play along with the exercises. More of these coming in the future. Get Guitar pro 6 20% discount through my site here!

Pentatonic pattern 1

Pentatonic pattern 2

Pentatonic pattern 3

Pentatonic pattern 4


Picking should be alternate picking the whole way through, so start with a down pick and alternate all the way through. With both there patterns you pick the top note twice because (only because it keeps the patterns more consistent) but just stick with alternate picking. If you are separating the ascending and descending you'll start each one with a down pick.

I know at some points it seems kinda tricky but as you speed up you really want your alternate picking to be able to handle small jumps and complicated patterns! If ou find it tricky them you'll get even more benefit from practicing it :)

If you *really* struggle then it would be ok to use all down picks too but you'd be much better of working on your alternate picking and getting it figured out and facing it than running away.

When doing the second pattern you need to 'roll' your finger from one string to the one next to it - try not to lift the finger off because it takes too long. At this stage it's not a big deal but if you want to explore the technique a bit more then have a look at the Lesson on Rolling.

If you use a metronome you will be playing triplets (3 notes per click) for the "3-in-a-line" pattern and two notes per click for the other pattern (playing in 4ths) - because the second pattern is a bit trickier, you might find the same tempo is good for both! Make sure you keep it slow and keep in time.

Moving On...

After you have looked at the patterns in the video - why not try and make up some of your own? You reakly can make up any numbers game you like :) Here's some to play about with - but don't let yourself get to bogged down in number games with scales!! There is more fun to be had playing songs and you'll have plenty of time to drill this stuff later in your journey! Just have some fun with it for now!

4-in-a-line: 1234, 2345, 3456, 4567 ,5678 etc.

Up-3-and-down: 1321, 2432, 3543, 4654, 5765 etc.

Go Crazy: 13543423, 24654534, 35765645 etc. (you can make them as long and interesting as you like!)


OK, time make up some stuff... BC-196 • Basic Blues Improvisation

Beginner products you may like from
Justinguitar Beginner's Course DVD set
Justinguitar Beginners Songbook
Justinguitar Beginners Songbook
Beginners Course Book
Practical Music Theory

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Lesson ID: BC-195