This week’s post is on Pentatonic scales and just how easy it is to learn! I was honestly scared to learn more than I knew when I started guitar.
Let me paint a picture. I was two years into learning guitar. I knew a bunch of songs, and I had a couple of boxes filled with printed chord sheets. I was set! I was writing (terrible) songs. I head a heart full of dreams. I would go to open min nights and get more than a little intimidated (a medium intimidated) by these “monster guitarist.” I put that in air quotes because they perceived that way. I’m sure they were great, but they were doing anything that you can’t do with a year’s worth of an average amount of practice.
I thought I’m a rhythm guitarist. I don’t need to work on that. Or “I have a cool voice. I will just get someone else to play that hard parts.” I didn’t have a good voice at the time, so I don’t know why I thought that would work, and honestly, it’s a pretty piss-poor excuse to not get better at something I loved. ESPECIALLY WHEN IT’S SO EASY TO LEARN!
Scales bleed their way into everything we do with our instrument. The C chord you’ve learned on day one is made up of three notes from the scale.
1 – 3 – 5
The way you learn ANYTHING is by talking about it a little bit every day. It’s not sitting for three hours once a month working on it. It’s 15 minutes of, let me remind you, doing something you love, EVERYDAY (or 4 times a week, I get it and I space on playing sometimes too).
Thanks to the CAGED system it’s super easy to learn this stuff. We break the neck down into 5 simple boxes. Learn these boxes just like how you learned your C chord, or your E chord.
Then relish the fact that you can move these simple boxes and play that same shape in ANY KEY! That’s right! All you have to do is learn five boxes!
It gets better! All those boxes are really just a skeleton for bigger boxes. So you’ll never be too far from what you’ve learned!
Do you need to learn a Locrian scale? Not right now! How about a blues? not so fast! You just need to learn the 5 boxes. I promise it makes the whole thing easy!
Take a quick look, and if you want it broken down for you even further, we can have a quick 30 min lesson, and I’ll teach you the first one for FREE! WHAT THE HELL?! I know! I just want you to get better that much! I want you to feel happy and love what you’re doing!
Here we go! First box…
Anyone can learn this in a day! It’s simple! And after you learn the notes on the 6th string, you can improve a solo with just about any group. Sure, it’ll be a boring solo, but you can do it! Hell, with a little delay, drive and verb it’ll sound just as good as any Guns and Roses solo.
Shots fired! Just kidding, I’m not jumping on the hating Slash bandwagon.
Get this down this week! I’ll post the next box next week and go into some cool details on how this fits into major scales and you really don’t have to learn 7297423 scale shapes, you only the the skeleton of 5 and you can play most things you want to play! Its that damn easy!
Lastly, here’s a video of me showing you a trick I’ve learned that helped me to memorize these (and other) shapes. It’s about 30 seconds long, so don’t worry, you don’t have to stare at this ugly mug for too long. Have a good week and keep playing!
I’m not sure if the video will come through in the email, so if you’re reading this from your inbox, you might have to click a link to see the video! Just FYI.