This guitar lesson is all about sequencing pentatonic scales in groups of six. If you have been playing for a while, you have probably heard quite a bit of playing like this. If you have not been playing for long, keep an ear out for this type of playing in music that you enjoy. You can find examples of sequencing like this in just about any kind of music. This kind of playing can require a lot of practice on the guitar but once you get it down you can use it in jazz guitar playing, fusion guitar playing, blues guitar playing, rock guitar playing, and metal guitar playing. It is important to start a sequence like this slowly and build up your speed a bit at a time. We will start out by reviewing the E minor pentatonic scale shape that we will be using in this lesson. Once we have the shape down, we will learn how to sequence the scale in groups of six. Be sure to use alternate picking throughout the entire example. We have provided you with the E minor pentatonic scale diagram and the guitar tab for the example.
Here is a diagram of the E minor pentatonic scale shape that starts with the 1st finger on the 12th fret of the low E string. This is a pretty common shape. If you already know this shape, just skip down to the sequencing example. If you do not know this shape, you can go to the lesson on minor pentatonic scales.
The idea behind playing pentatonic sequencing in 6’s is to play the first six notes of the scale, move to the next string, play the next six notes, and so on. Start off by placing your 1st finger on the 12th fret of your low E string. Now play the first six notes of the E minor pentatonic scale. Move to the 12th fret of the A string and play the next six notes of the scale. Do the same thing starting on the 12th fret of the D string. Finish the ascending part of the sequence by starting on the 12th fret of the G string and playing then next six notes. The descending part of this sequence is very similar to that ascending part. The only difference is which fret you start on. Instead of starting on the 12th fret of the high E string, just start on the 15th fret and play 6 descending notes in the scale. Now start on the 15th fret of the B string and play the next 6 descending notes. Continue until you end up on back on the 12th fret of the low E string.
When playing something like this, you can pick every note of this sequence for a more snappy aggressive sound, or you can play it in a more legato style. Playing this type of passage with a more legato feel can give a really nice violin effect to your playing. Practicing guitar sequences like this is great for your chops, but you don’t necessarily have to play the whole scale sequence all the way through from beginning to end. Using little fragments of sequencing here and there in your playing is bit more realistic. Try to use this sequence in your playing right away, but be careful not to over use it.