How to break out of the pentatonic box with your solos

Eric Johnson
(Image credit: Scott Legato/Getty Images)

It would be misleading to deny how useful the five pentatonic shapes are when mentally mapping out the fretboard. However, as with any shape or scale, there is a risk of feeling ‘boxed’ into a safe zone, both in terms of melody and the physical patterns we come to habitually play. 

When we’ve played the same licks to the point of overfamiliarity (even though they most likely still sound great to others), it can be a good idea to take back the initiative and break some habits.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Richard Barrett

As well as a longtime contributor to Guitarist and Guitar Techniques, Richard is Tony Hadley’s longstanding guitarist, and has worked with everyone from Roger Daltrey to Ronan Keating.