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Repeating Licks: Pentatonic Lead Basics

March 11, 2010

from Guitar Works (00695653)
Here are some repeating patterns using the A minor pentatonic scale that you can use when soloing. Examples 1a, 1b, 2a, and 2b provide the basic patterns. Examples 3 and 4 move the 2a pattern through horizontal and vertical treatments, while examples 5 and 6 do the same with the 1b pattern.


Bends and Slides
Now we’re going to treat our A minor pentatonic and blues scales to two expressive techniques: bends and slides. In the examples below, we’re going to be bending the D note on the seventh fret, third string up a whole step to the note E. Using your third finger on the note with the first and second fingers behind it for support, bend the string up until the pitch matches the note E. You can test this by bending the note and then checking the pitch against the E on the second string, fifth fret. For the remaining E and A notes on the fifth frets, use your first finger and “roll” the pressure from the second string to the first string. You could also barre the first two strings and let the notes ring together; these licks are commonly played using both methods.


In the next example, we see a variation of our bending lick, as well as a sliding lick that makes use of the A minor blues scale. For the slide, use the third finger to slide up the Eb and back down to the D again.