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Weekly Workout: Pentatonic Patterns

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Most guitarists are familiar with pentatonic scales, the basis of many beginning lead guitar lessons for blues, rock, and country music. But as musicians increase their knowledge of theory and harmony, the pentatonic scale can get a bad rap as a simple fallback scale to noodle on when the guitarist doesn't really know what he/she is doing. Yes, it is true. The pentatonic scale has been abused to create way too much formless, meandering lead guitar nonsense. But, if looked at in different ways, the pentatonic scale can reveal some unusual sounds, as many post-John Coltrane jazz musicians have discovered.
Most guitarists are familiar with pentatonic scales, the basis of many beginning lead guitar lessons for blues, rock, and country music. But as musicians increase their knowledge of theory and harmony, the pentatonic scale can get a bad rap as a simple fallback scale to noodle on when the guitarist doesn't really know what he/she is doing. Yes, it is true. The pentatonic scale has been abused to create way too much formless, meandering lead guitar nonsense. But, if looked at in different ways, the pentatonic scale can reveal some unusual sounds, as many post-John Coltrane jazz musicians have discovered.