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> Higgy's Speedy Pentatonics
Ben Higgins
post Jun 26 2015, 11:31 AM
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Group: GMC Instructor
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Greetings boys and girls, how about an easy-to-learn approach to blazing through some pentatonic shapes? You down for that?
Of course you are. Let's get down to it.

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First of all, I'm showing you 16th note triplet ideas because a lot of you like using that stuff. You're all pretty familiar with the whole Zakk Wylde style 2 note picking licks, right? We're going to be achieving a similar sort of sequence in a different way.

This approach uses a combo of economy picking and legato. Why? Because it does. The finger pattern you use is going to require some stretching so be prepared to spend some time on this. I recommend getting each pattern down separately and getting comfortable with them before trying to run through the whole thing together. Even if you don't learn the whole sequences you can take these shapes with you and use them however you like.

Ok, let's have a gander at the first sequence. It's an ascending run in B Minor Pentatonic. Notice that I'm essentially repeating 2 patterns up an octave until I reach the high E string where I then ascend via the next adjacent shape in the scale. Enough theory mumbo jumbo, just start with the twiddly bits!

Main thing to note: Look at the picking pattern. It shows you where there is an economy picking stroke (the clue is the 2 downstrokes that follow each other - that is a sweep, not 2 separate downstrokes!)

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Attached File  Economy_Penta_1.pdf ( 90.9K ) Number of downloads: 59

Attached File  economy_penta_1.mp3 ( 927.98K ) Number of downloads: 85

The 2nd evil lick descends using a shape that you saw in the 1st lick. It's a 9 note sequence that we were using to move up on the E string. Well all you do this time is play a 9 note sequence and then just move down to the next string and do the next one. When you get to the D string you have to move to an adjacent shape on the same string but it's no problem. The picking / legato approach remains the same.

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Attached File  Economy_Penta_2.pdf ( 84.37K ) Number of downloads: 53

Attached File  economy_penta_2.mp3 ( 756.62K ) Number of downloads: 59

Now, even if you are a fast picker and can blaze through the pentatonic shapes as you wish, the chances are you will be able to hit highers speeds using this technique. It does require a lot of stamina from your fretting hand but it is a fun technique and offers a different sound than picking every note. And music is all about sound as we know!

So, bring up the tab, sit yo' ass down and start stealing this stuff!

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