Monday, November 10, 2008

Pentatonic Scale Patterns With Blues Notes

You've done a great book, but when I was working through the blues section I noticed something which might be improved upon. You show the blues notes in the first pentatonic shape in the Em, Fm, Gm and Am positions (on page 16). I thought that in future editions you might be willing to show the blues notes in all of the pentatonic shapes, i.e. the diagrams on page 9 but with the blues notes added to them.

This brings up a good point. In Fretboard Theory I purposely didn't illustrate all of the possible blues scale pentatonic patterns for a reason. It's possible to focus too much on technical things and miss the practical applications.

As stated in the book, the blues scale is really just a musical idea that stems from adding chromatic passing tones to bridge the gaps between the scale intervals. So if you really want to cover all your bases, I guess you should memorize the pentatonic patterns with every possible gap filled. In case you haven't already drawn this conclusion, that would be every note on the whole fretboard! This is not going to help you.

Instead, focus on memorizing the core five pentatonic scale patterns. Then learn how to play melodies, riffs, lead solos and bass lines that are based in the scale. Finally, consider the addition of extra notes and study songs that incorporate the technique. You'll learn how the patterns change as you go. And most importantly, you'll understand the practical application of the blues scale which is worth far more than more patterns!

Play Until Yer Fingers Bleed!
Mr. Desi Serna (Google me!)


Nick Johnson said...

I am a beginner guitar player. For years I have used the guitar for initial melodic ideas in tunes. Now studying Desi's methods I have opened up a whole new world for writing. I have been using either a looper or a looping in a sequencer, different chord progressions. Then over top I have been exploring the melodic possibilities of the pentatonic pattern bring. I think it would be a good idea for us, as early learners, to have aplace to post some things ( recordings) we have been working on. Desi could listen and critique. I'm sure this would be an additional service i.e. fee, but could be helpful fo some students.

Thanks Desi

Nick J

Anonymous said...

For years I have off & on tried learing the guitar,buying many learn to play guitar books only to be bored & frustrated, I put my guitar away. Now My family has grown up and I have more time on my hands I have once again ventured into my passion for learing the guitar, I stumbled across Desi Serna fretboard theory on the net. What caught my attention was the idea of teaching the guitar through a exactly what is advertised fretboard theory. I took a chance & odered the fretboard theory book & DVD's , Now I have to say, it has been the best investment I have made in my quest to learn the guitar. All notations,cordings,scales started to make sence. My guitar playing has advanced more so in the last year, with the referencing of this material,than it had done so over the past 15 years.