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Electric Country Guitar Lessons: Pentatonic Shapes

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This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Country Guitar with Guthrie Trapp. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Electric Country Guitar Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

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[MUSIC]
Hey there.
So up to now we've covered a lot of
fundamentals and we're getting there.
We're covering a lot of stuff in this
basic curriculum leading up into
the intermediate and advanced coming.
We've covered major cords, some minor
cords, some different picking patterns.
And a lot of good fundamentals that
are gonna build what we need to do,
to be able to really express ourselves,
and play some really good country guitar.
And getting into this next section where
we're looking at pentatonic shapes,
which are a great foundation and
framework for lead playing and
working up the neck, which we're
not gonna discuss that right now.
We're gonna get into working up the neck
in different positions in the next
intermediate section.
But right now I wanna introduce the major
pentatonics in the open
more basic chord forms.
So we are gonna do E and
then A, G, D and C.
So we've got E,
I want you to play the chord.
[MUSIC]
And then the pentatonic shape around
this is gonna be based
on the scale degrees.
[MUSIC]
But instead of playing
every note of the scale,
we're just outlining
the keynotes, which will be,
it will sound like this
[MUSIC]
which is a basic framework
of the scale and the chord.
But it's extremely important, this is
a wonderful fundamental exercise and
something you need to visualize and
really see how
that outlines the scale and the chord
[MUSIC].
And this will really really
help once we get into
more advanced techniques
of soloing up the neck and
really visualizing what the fret
board looks like in all this stuff.
The different chords, shapes and
positions up the neck,
this is all gonna be very valuable.
And so that was E and what it is,
we are going to take the scale.
[MUSIC]
And we're basically taking
the half-steps out of it.
And we're just playing,
like I said, it's just a pattern.
It's gonna help build speed later,
and the muscle memory for
these positions is really important.
So let's start on the high E string,
we'll work down and we'll go high E string
[MUSIC].
We'll go C sharp on the B string
[MUSIC].
Open B
[MUSIC]
major third, G sharp on the G string.
So
[MUSIC]
F sharp on the D string.
[MUSIC]
E on the D string so so
far we've got
[MUSIC]
and
then C sharp
[MUSIC]
B
[MUSIC]
G sharp
[MUSIC]
F sharp and open E.
So that's gonna outline the chord and
the scale with just
the bare bones framework of this
pentatonic shape and sound.
and focus on the sound too,
not just the shape.
It's very important to know the shape, but
it's even more important to
know what this sounds like.
And it's over E major
[MUSIC],
which means it has,
[MUSIC]
it's got the third end which defines
major.
So we're gonna let one more time,
play with me,
going down from the high to the low.
It's the E major pentatonic shape.
So we'll do one,
two, three,
four
[MUSIC].
Okay, that's high to low.
Now let's go low to high and
we'll do the same thing.
One, two, three, four.
[MUSIC]
Do it
one more time.
One, two,
three, four,
[MUSIC].
That's the basic
pentatonic shape around E.
Now we're gonna move on and
go to the A pentatonic in your
open pattern here,
[MUSIC]
open chord
[MUSIC]
pattern.
So we're gonna
start on the low A and
we're gonna go
[MUSIC].
We are gonna go up to this fifth fret and
hit this high A string right here
[MUSIC].
So we will do that one more time,
I think I missed one note and
I think it's this first one, the B.
So we're gonna go A
[MUSIC]
B second fret A string up to the third,
which will be C sharp on the fourth fret.
So
[MUSIC]
so that's A, second fret B,
fourth fret C sharp,
E on the D string second fret,
F sharp on the D string, fourth fret,
A on the G string second fret,
B on the open B, so far we've got
[MUSIC].
Now we'll go to open B
[MUSIC].
First finger,
second fret on the B string,
so, so far
[MUSIC].
Up to the high A note
on the E string
[MUSIC].
So,
[MUSIC]
so once we get here,
open B, C sharp first finger, open E,
F sharp right up to
the high A on the E string.
So all together,
one, two,
three, four
[MUSIC].
Okay, so we'll do that one more time,
from the bottom,
lowest strings to the highest strings.
One more time, one, two, three, four.
[MUSIC]
So that's
a major pentatonic
shape in A.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
And then we're gonna
do the same thing in G,
so here's your G chord.
[MUSIC]
And
then we're gonna do the same thing in G,
we're gonna start on the high G.
And we're gonna walk down to the low G
on the major pentatonic shape,
one, two, three, four.
[MUSIC]
Okay, now we'll
go down from the low to the high.
[MUSIC]
Now let's do that together,
we'll go high to low and then low to high,
one, two, three, four.
[MUSIC]
Okay, the D
pentatonic shape,
out of the D chord,
and we're gonna
work out of that
D major scale.
[MUSIC]
We're gonna do the pentatonic shape going,
starting on the third on this one,
we're gonna go
first finger,
second fret on the E string, open E,
D on the second finger third fret,
second string.
[MUSIC]
Open B.
[MUSIC]
A on the second fret of the G string.
[MUSIC]
And then F sharp,
fourth fret on the D string, third finger,
E on the second fret of the D string,
and then open.
So let's do that together one time,
one, two, three, four.
[MUSIC]
Again, one,
two, three, four.
[MUSIC]
That's the D,
and then we're gonna
do the C pentatonic,
simple pentatonic shape
basic first position.
So based around the C chord.
[MUSIC]
I think that's
actually right with
the D in there.
So we're gonna go high E
to D with third finger,
third fret third finger, so open E,
D on a third fret third finger,
C first finger first fret,
A middle finger second fret G string, so.
[MUSIC]
And then E on the second fret D string,
open E open D, and then fretted C,
third fret A string, so.
[MUSIC]
Let's see.
[MUSIC]
So we're gonna
go from the bottom to the top,
high E starting on high E,
one, two, three, four.
[MUSIC]
And then from the top down to the bottom,
one, two, three, four.
[MUSIC]
And then one more time from the bottom to
the top, let's go a little bit faster and
the alternating picking up down up down,
one, two, three, four.
[MUSIC]
So that covers
the pentatonic shapes and
the basic major keys.
So now, we're going to move on.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
Okay, just a little bit about
the pentatonics shapes,
it is a five note scale,
it's taken out some of the other
degrees of the scale and
getting down right to the bear
key notes of the framework
of the chord and
the scale that this comes out of.
So like what we just did
a second ago where we
picked apart the G major pentatonic.
[MUSIC]
So the five note scale would be G,
A, B, open D, E, and
then back to the one again on open G.
So with this pattern,
it's very important because
this is something that a lot
of soloing is built on.
And a lot of people, eventually a big
challenge to a lot of people is getting
away from the pentatonic shapes.
But it's a very important framework for
soloing and
working up the neck and linking these
chord shapes and stuff together.
So, with that being said,
I'm gonna play the scale one more time.
And then I am just going to demonstrate
a few things that you don't have
to learn right now.
And then maybe I will show
you a little exercise
that you can do using
the pentatonic scale.
And just this open G position here.
So, here's the pentatonic scale
one more time in G, the full two octaves.
[MUSIC]
Now with those notes, you can improvise
with just those simple framework of notes.
And what you can do is that turns into
[MUSIC]
That's all based on the pentatonic and
I'm not expecting you to play that.
That's just an example of
just using those notes and
a couple extra ones towards the very end.
But in the beginning of that run, just
limiting yourself to using those notes,
there's so much you can do once you get
that pattern down under your fingers.
It's a groundwork for
being able to solo and
play up to tempo and stuff up the neck.
And we're gonna get into
a lot more of that stuff.
But that's basically the framework and
the importance behind those simple,
simple shapes.
And again, it's
[MUSIC]
So an exercise you could do is you could
go, you could do something like this
[MUSIC]
Which is taking this simple shape.
[MUSIC]
And it's adding in a little bit more
embellishment to that,
where you're kind of going
in this cyclical pattern,
to where you're going.
It's hard to describe, but
I'll show you how I'm doing it, I'm going.
I'm hitting the G
[MUSIC]
So G [SOUND] E [SOUND] Open [SOUND].
So
[MUSIC]
So I'm doing
this lick twice and
each time I'm gonna
add another note,
so I'm going
[MUSIC]
So
[MUSIC]
So that lick is
[MUSIC].
And that's down, up, down, and
I'm just doing the same lick
up here as I'm doing here.
[MUSIC]
So to break that down,
I'm starting on the high G
note on the high E string.
[MUSIC]
And I'm just going G,
E, D on the B string, open B.
[MUSIC]
And then the same
thing again,
back to back
[MUSIC]
And then
[MUSIC].
So real slow that's
[MUSIC]
And it's just going
round in a circle, so
it's doing this twice.
[MUSIC]
Open B and
then open E
[MUSIC]
So the whole
thing
[MUSIC].
And those are some little exercises you
can do with just that pentatonic shape and
then embellish on that as it goes along.
And then you can end up
doing that little licks that
I was doing a minute ago,
which are taking this
[MUSIC]
and then this
[MUSIC].
And then eventually
getting away from that and
kind of mixing all these
notes up together.
[MUSIC]
And that is the beauty of the pentatonic
scale, is those notes work.
And we'll embellish even more
on that as time goes on.
[MUSIC]