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Exotic Techniques: Chromatic Blues Shred Pattern Lesson

Exotic Techniques: Chromatic Blues Shred Pattern Lesson

In this lesson, we are going to learn a chromatic pattern that will allow you to shred over blues, country and any other scenario that could call for a major pentatonic sound.

It works over major and dominant chords, particularly around I-IV-V scenarios and other similar progressions.

Remember to check out my other columns under RELATED CONTENT at left -- and note there's a video at the bottom of this column, plus three figures.

FIGURE A shows us the fingering for this pattern, which can be thought of as somewhat of a chromatic major pentatonic scale (without the prefix “penta” having much meaning of course) that starts on the dominant seventh below the actual root, being E.

Technically, the scale begins at the 12th fret on the sixth string, which is an E, and ends on the ninth fret on the third string, which is its octave. I have started the scale on D and ended the scale on E in FIGURE A to show you all the available notes in this position that you can use.

This will help you creatively transcend the licks I will present to you in this lesson so that you can make the concept your own.

Chromatic Blues Shred Scale Fig A.jpg

In FIGURE B you can see the scale utilized in a run that is grouped in patterns of three, or 'triplets.' As for picking, I tend to start off each new string with a downstroke, but if you would like to alternate pick straight through for the triplets, it would work just as well.

Chromatic Blues Shred Patterns Fig B.jpg

Last but not least, FIGURE C introduces a run in patterns of four using this scale. In the key and position I have written this example, I have a tendency to randomly make use of my pinky instead of my ring finger. Those that have longer fingers than myself may not need to make any variation in their finger combination while executing this lick.

Either way, enjoy!

Chromatic Blues Shred Patterns Fig C.jpg

Cyamak Ashtiani is an award-winning rock/pop guitarist and songwriter who has written, toured and recorded with a multitude of major and indie recording artists. Recently, he has toured with Rockstar: Supernova's Lukas Rossi and country/rap artist Mikel Knight. You can catch his new project with former Dry Cell frontman Jeff Gutt at and his clothing line at, of which he is a cofounder.

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