Guitar Tutorial- Improvisational Toolbox lesson 1 : Pentatonic shapes

in #music6 years ago

Hello steemit !

Today I'm signing in for a quick lesson , talking a bit with @dreamrafa , I got a little motivation to create a series of lessons for music improvisation purposes , these lessons/tutorials will be oriented mostly for guitar players , but maybe some other instruments can grab ideas from them and adapt them to their instruments.

So , first of all.... why pentatonics as a start-up for improvisation?

Well , at least to me this makes sense because I started as a blues/rock guy , then got interested in different styles , but pentatonic scales have that '' home '' feeling to me , and they are very compatible with the guitar .

If you think a little about it , the guitar is tuned to a Pentatonic Scale :

EBGDAE put into order would be E G A B D E which is basically an E minor pentatonic scale ! this is why this particular scale is one of the first things we learn on the instrument . At least this is my conclusion :p .

When I first got into music theory , and learning chords and scales I got frustrated very quickly because I was not being able to make good ''musical statements'' with the tools I was using.

Music Theory should be used to HELP us and provide us with solutions over musical situations rather than making it more complicated.I think choosing the correct tools is very important , like choosing a hammer or a screwdriver for a particular task , choosing the wrong one will make us go through some hard times .

I decided to start building up information from a more comfortable place in the instrument , so I decided to explore and adapt my basic pentatonic licks to more possibilities.

For me , most of the time , chords can be put into 5 main families :

Major 7 family
Dominant 7 family
Minor 7 family
Minor 7b5 family
Diminished family

These are 4 note chord families but triads depending on the harmonic situation can also be placed in one of these families.

*I'm leaving out the Augmented chord family because it's quite rare to find it in popular music , so I put it on a ''special family'' , I will be talking about them on a second lesson

80% of the chords you will come across in popular music will fall into one of these categories.

So , Here is my ''tool of the day'' :

Each one of these pentatonic scales work over the different chord families and give a good strong starting point , a ''skeleton'' for improvisation because all of these outline the chord family very strongly.

*Explore these notes through the whole guitar!

A good way to practice these is to play them and adapt the notes to fit the next family .

I'm sharing a little practice backing track with the following chords :

Cmaj7 - C7 - Cm7 - Cm7b5 - Cdim .

Try playing and adapting these shapes as the chords change , once you get the hang of it , you will be surprised how the melodies will start to flow with ease.

Here's a little demonstration of these shapes ''put to use'' :

Remember this is only ONE tool , we need to collect and learn as many as possible , to have a solid foundation , and an interesting ''toolbox'' for improvisation

Here is the backing track if you want to try playing over these shapes :

I hope you get a little inspiration from this concept and let me know what you think!
Thanks for reading and listening

Signing off

Pechiche Mena

P.D : I'll upload a longer improv on a later post with all the pentatonic shape diagrams , and also this lesson in spanish :) , I have to run to a concert now :D ! cheers!


Hi, @pechichemena! :) I’ll go back to this and open my laptop, I just woke up. 😴 This blog is just great to put up some guitar tutorial. Simple but rock! 🤘 You’re the best! 😎 Thank you for this :)

Thank you @angelicagarcia for your support ! , I am also learning as I upload this videos , there is always space to learn some more :p . I hope you find these lessons useful , i'll be uploading more . I'd like to see some of your guitar playing btw :) .

Super you try and give some lessons to those in the community who likes to learn to play guitar.

Hey @qsounds ! yes , I'd like to share as much as possible with the community , I learn a lot when I teach too :) . So I'm very passionate when it comes to sharing whatever I might know . Thanks for your comment ! Cheers!

Super, looking forward to more :)

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