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Pentatonic Archives

Talking Technique: Thinking Inside the Box – Upper Structure Pentatonics
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: Thinking Inside the Box – Upper Structure Pentatonics

Today’s episode is all about thinking inside the box. Pentatonic box shapes only on the G and D string are easy to finger and make for quite the pizzazz when you lay them over a variety of chords. Check out the PDF to guide you along the easy shape and what colors you introduce using them with various chords.

Talking Technique: Pull Off Pentatonics
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: Pull Off Pentatonics

Pentatonics using hammer-ons and pull-offs sounds great, but maybe you have noticed that if you stay within the same pentatonic pattern, you can only hammer on certain notes. In an effort to go beyond that, we are stringing two pentatonic patterns together so that we can pull off pull offs from every single note. I’ll show you two major pentatonic...

Bass Lick Series: Cool Bluesy Bass Line with Fills in G
Bass Lick Series

Bass Lick Series: Cool Bluesy Bass Line with Fills in G

Here’s a new lick lesson for you, using a good fingering exercise with a Major Pentatonic scale. This is also great for practicing slides and hammer-ons. The fills are mostly Pentatonic, with added flat 3rd (B?) and flat 7th (F). The backing track is a one chord (G7) vamp, but you can transpose it and use it in many blues...

Bass Lick Series: A7?9 Chord Bass Groove with Legato Fill
Bass Lick Series

Bass Lick Series: A7?9 Chord Bass Groove with Legato Fill

The A7?9 chord (referred to by some as the “Jimi Hendrix” chord) is a useful chord to know since you can play both the minor and Major pentatonic over it. Here’s a groove using mostly a minor pentatonic fill in the end, with lots slides, hammerons and pullofs so we get a fluid motion. For the gear heads, I’m playing...

Bass Lick Series: Getting Funky with an Envelope Filter
Bass Lick Series

Bass Lick Series: Getting Funky with an Envelope Filter

Using an envelope filter effect can make a funky bass line sound even funkier. This lick is in Em with a fill based on an Em pentatonic scale motif. It uses pretty much only the top two strings on the bass. Follow along with the video and this transcription. For the gear heads, I’m playing my Sandberg California MarloweDK Signature...

Lesson: Blues Bass Lick Using a Minor Pentatonic
Bass Lessons

Lesson: Blues Bass Lick Using a Minor Pentatonic

Here’s a new lesson in our ongoing series of bass lick lessons. This time, we’ll play around with a minor pentatonic, in the key of A. In the video below, I play the lick at full speed, followed by a demo at a reduced speed. Follow along with the video and this transcription (PDF). If you’d like a refresher, check...

Lesson: Half-Time 16th Note Shuffle Bass Groove
Bass Lessons

Lesson: Half-Time 16th Note Shuffle Bass Groove

Here’s a new lick to add to your bag of tricks: a half-time 16th-note shuffle groove with a hip-hop vibe. The pattern is based on the G minor pentatonic scale. (Note: If you need some background on the pentatonic scale, here’s a good lesson to help you get started.) Follow along with the video and this transcription (PDF with both...

Lesson: Funky Groove with Pentatonic Run
Bass Lessons

Lesson: Funky Groove with Pentatonic Run

Keeping up with this recent series of quick bass lick lessons, here’s a short groove in Em. I’m playing this with an open D string to achieve a note doubling effect. Follow along with the video and this transcription (PDF). For the gear heads: I’m playing a 1964 Fender Jazz bass with Dunlop nickel strings, gauge 45-105 running through a...