Linking Box Positions

by Ben Higgins

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  • Hi and welcome to my latest lesson!

    My goal this time is to help you break out of those pentatonic box positions.

    A box position takes you through a scale in the most convenient way from the low E string to the high E string. With the pentatonic scale, it entails 2 notes on each string. The 1st box position would start on the root note, the 2nd box position would start on the 2nd interval etc. However, if we want to be effective at playing lead guitar it's not practical to only move up and down in a box position. We don't want to be "boxed" in, do we?

    So, the logical approach is to start looking at other ways in which we can move around the neck. Moving laterally, on the same string, allows us to reach another area of the neck in a different way than if we just stuck to box positions. Another thing to help us break out of pentatonic boxes is to start adding notes from either minor or major scales. For example, we're in the key of G Minor in this lesson. So we'll be using the G Minor Pentatonic. But we could also add notes from the G Natural Minor scale. Doing so would give us more than just 2 notes per string. We would have to start adding more notes and this means we start to move laterally. Now, imagine you combine lateral movement with adding extra notes... now you've started to break free of the box!

    As well as giving you the keys to freedom you will also work on:

    -Hammer-ons & pull-offs

    If you're one of those people who finds themselves getting stuck playing the same positions all the time then this lesson was created for YOU. So don't let yourself down, give this a proper go and see for yourself!

    TIP 1: If you use the GMC Scale Generator you can select any scale and move it through 4 different positions. Choose 2 different box positions and try moving from one to another in a creative way.

    TIP 2: If you need a refresher on the different pentatonic box positions I recommend this Wylde Penta Shifts lesson.

    Tuning: E A D G B E - Standard Tuning

    Tempo: 100 bpm

    Key: Gm

    Gear: Rhythm: Marshall JVM. Lead: Nick Crow 8505 Amp Plugin, Guitar Suite Tube Screamer, Poulin LeCab 2.


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