Weekly Workouts: Pentatonic Patterns


The Weekly Workout is a series of monthly exercises made up of interesting technical workouts that will get your fretting- and picking-hand fingers working in different ways, and offer musical studies that will help you visualize and explore the fingerboard. In every lesson, you'll get a different exercise to work on for each week of the month, as well as a few extra variations and extended practice ideas. Although we're presenting these as weekly exercises, there are numerous ways you can approach them, of course. Do whatever feels right for you.

This Weekly Workout is titled Pentatonic Patterns, and it invites players to create new pentatonic melodic lines by looking at the five-note scale in a different way. From Scott Nygaard's introduction:

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.

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