Connecting Minor Pentatonic Fingerings: Lesson 1

A common frustration many guitarists have is the inability to move smoothly through the different minor pentatonic fingerings that they know. They can play each fingering in isolation, but can’t easily play musical ideas that connect the fingerings together. This can often lead to soloing that lacks fluidity and makes them feel like they are “stuck in a box”.

Although there are many thousands of possible ways to connect the minor pentatonic fingerings, in this lesson we’re going to look at one exercise that will help a lot. If you make it a regular part of your weekly practice, it will help train you to effortlessly through the various minor pentatonic fingerings.

The Exercise

Here’s what the exercise looks like…

Two String Minor Pentatonic Exercise:

Two String Minor Pentatonic Exercise

This exercise is written out using the A Minor Pentatonic scale, and involves playing on the D-string and G-string using a five note pattern. If you look closely at the TAB, you’ll notice that each bar of the exercise is articulated in this way…

  • The first note is played using a downstroke.
  • The second note is played using an upstroke.
  • The third note is played using a slide, and isn’t picked.
  • The fourth note is played using a downstroke.
  • The fifth note is played using an upstroke.

It is very important to pay attention to the picking mechanics of the pattern being used because you’ll learn the exercise faster, and also find it easier to apply it to new situations.

A Few Last Words

That’s all for this lesson. Be sure to add the exercise to your weekly practice schedule, and practice it at least a couple of times a week. Once you’ve mastered it, then the next step would be to adapt the exercise to different string pairs and different keys.

Have fun!

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