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Bluegrass Guitar Lessons: Pentatonic Scales - Closed Position

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[MUSIC]
We're
gonna move into pentatonic scales now.
Discussed in the basics level, these major
pentatonic scale forms,
in their open positions and how they apply
directly, to playing,
some of the, it was Gold Rush and Red
Haired Boy.
And there's tunes, so many tunes use a
basic, pentatonic scale.
Open scale form.
And basically, as we, as we improve and as
we, move, move on and,
make things a little more complex, we're
talking about how to move up and
down the neck and opening the doors for
that.
So we're gonna look at these scale
positions,
scale positions, closed with no open
strings.
And so, once again, our basic approach
with these is,
four fingers on four frets using all six
strings.
And so we've located G down here on the
bottom-
[MUSIC]
as our basic G.
And, the thing about pentatonic scales as
far as you know,
quick theory, it's, pentatonic has, it's a
scale with five notes.
It's the one, the two, three, the fifth
degree, and the sixth degree.
So, there's one-
[MUSIC]
two-
[MUSIC]
and third-
[MUSIC]
and moving up to the fifth degree-
[MUSIC]
The D.
E is next, the sixth-
[MUSIC]
And then back to one-
[MUSIC]
And so we're gonna keep climbing here,
to our next scale degree, the second, the
A-
[MUSIC]
Moving on up-
[MUSIC]
And then there's G again,
and, and we're sticking with our, four
frets, six strings.
[MUSIC]
As,
as many notes as we can grab in this
position from G.
[MUSIC]
Gets us to the A.
So we'll work our way down.
And there's our G again.
[MUSIC]
Third.
[MUSIC]
One more time, all the way through.
[MUSIC]
And one of the reasons that I like,
especially with these, lower positions on
the neck,
as they relate directly to how, how
they're used most in bluegrass is that-
[MUSIC]
We discovered how, the, the,
like the open pentatonic scale-
[MUSIC]
And so
this closed position is an extension of
that.
Just naturally up the neck.
[MUSIC]
Excuse me.
[MUSIC]
So, that's the G pentatonic scale.
We've, we're gonna cover, three more here,
in this series on the major pentatonics.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
We're
gonna move now into C C C pentatonic major
pentatonic out of this second position.
One of the neat things about pentatonic
scales compared to the major scales
usually on most of the major scales that
we've covered in the closed position,
you'll notice that there's three notes on
each string for the majority.
And that sorta creates more of the major
scale, scale climb up and down.
One thing you'll notice on, on the
fingerboard of the guitar is that
pentatonic scales sorta block out a little
more of a shape.
And you'll notice that as we work through
these things and, I say that to say this
about C is that it actually represents you
know, something that we need to know.
It's, there's other, other scale forms
that we're gonna get into,
the next two that are used a little more.
But this is and nonetheless just as
important to, to know for, again,
building strong awareness and, and
technique.
So jump right in.
Locate our C right there.
[MUSIC]
And, and there's, again, we're,
four fingers, four frets using, you know,
trying to grab all the notes that we can
on all six strings.
Pentatonic is one, two, three, five and
six, so
let's go work our way down first, so.
[MUSIC]
I kinda cover some of that, so
if we wanna actually start here on the G.
[MUSIC]
That moves up to our second degree,
then the third is E.
[MUSIC]
And
there's one of the first, you can sort of
detect a four string pattern right there.
Two notes, two notes.
And then another two notes four frets
apart.
[MUSIC]
And then keep up,
we're back into a two fret stretch, or a
one fret space between two frets.
[MUSIC]
On our way up.
So the pattern there is our, our this,
this space which uses the pinky and
the ring finger,
[MUSIC]
And again, and the pinky and
the index finger.
[MUSIC]
Again, and then back to pinky and
middle finger for the D.
[MUSIC]
The C and the A and the G.
[MUSIC]
So I'll show you that one more time up and
down slowly.
[MUSIC]
And, you know, it's one thing that's good
about this as far as just practicing this
form is that it, you know,
every, every string involves a pinky and
then a fret jump.
There's not a lot of just chromatic action
going on here.
And so there's, there's always ,you know,
a lot of, lot of finger kind of stepping.
And so it's built in to these pentatonic
scales.
And the more you can kinda commit to these
shapes and once again,
you know, you'll, you'll realize this
later on down that, you know,
your muscles are set in your fingers and
muscle memory can kinda take over.
And and the music will happen a lot more
naturally.
So we're gonna move on to two more forms.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
All right, the D
major pentatonic is the third third major
pentatonic scale form we're gonna look at.
That and these are all, all, all forms
that are so
important for every flatpicker to know, as
they apply directly to playing tunes.
And so jumping right in, we're gonna just
here's D is on the fifth fret.
I mean the fifth fret of the fifth string.
And we'll put our pinkie there, we're
gonna keep our four four fret access.
So we're there's a little bit of a pattern
right there.
[MUSIC]
And then moving our way on up.
[MUSIC]
Moving on up.
[MUSIC]
There's the basic form.
And one of the reasons this is important
and I showed you in the major, in the D
closed position, from this D major scale,
how this chord position is formed.
[MUSIC]
And
essentially as we get into working up on
the the finger board.
[MUSIC]
This is gonna be a very useful shape in
the future.
So you know, if you do anything commit to
this one.
[MUSIC]
And, and,
one of these other ones I'm gonna show
you.
But, here's how like mus,
musically just from this here as we commit
to a left hand.
Look at the neck like that and, you know,
if we can grab all these notes then, it's,
you're just noodling around here.
[MUSIC]
And
those are all notes out of that D
pentatonic scale.
And and the beauty of being closed, you
know, if I wanna play it, for
some reason I'm working with a singer that
wants to be in E flat.
[MUSIC]
You know,
it's all, all the same thing there.
So, that's an important position right
there and
we're gonna refer to that a little bit
later.
But but really work on, on on getting
your, getting your hands and your muscles
sort of geared around that kind of shape,
and, and that D major pentatonic scale.
We've got one more after this.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
This A pentatonic major sale form
is probably the most used pentatonic scale
form of, of everything I've shown you.
And if you learn anything, this is so
important, this one here.
For how you can play up and down the neck.
And we'll get into the specifics of this
later.
But right now, we're gonna look at the
form and and
how your fingers following the frets.
And, and, you know, and review all the,
all our concepts that we've got going
with, with four, four fingers, four frets.
You know, look at all the notes.
And so from, starting from A.
[MUSIC]
And
getting all the notes on all six strings.
From the pentatonic, from our root note,
the next note down will be a sixth, the
sixth degree, which is an F sharp.
And working our way up.
[SOUND]
There's the top of it.
Working our way down.
[MUSIC]
One more time, slowly.
[MUSIC]
There's A,.
[MUSIC]
And back to A.
[MUSIC]
And once again, the form of what the scale
is, and, and we're going to get into, sort
of, the hows and whys a little bit later.
And, and in the advanced, it's going to
show up again.
But this is such a useful chord, or a
scale form I mean,
in jazz, in rock, and in any form of music
where a guitar takes a solo these days.
This, this Panasonic scale form is
probably one of
the most used forms on the guitar neck.
So, I'll show you why in a minute,
but, but right now just, work on this and
all the other ones.
And, we're gonna move to the minor
pentatonic next and
four more, four more forms, to, to kind of
work on.
Getting your muscles around and all, all,
all this is building technique.
And then we're going to, I appreciate you
working through all these things and, and
we'll start playing some tunes in a
minute.
[MUSIC]