How to create fluid streams of notes like Eric Johnson by combining economy picking with legato pentatonics

Eric Johnson
(Image credit: Chris McKay/Getty Images)

This column continues our investigation of the use of sextuplet rhythms. This time we explore economy picking and position shifting. Both of these techniques constitute a huge part of the great Eric Johnson’s technique. Don’t worry! We won’t go for the blazing speed that Eric is known for, plus many of these lines rely on the minor pentatonic scale.

However, I thought I’d push the envelope a little by being a bit more adventurous with the last two examples. In these I’ll combine classic blues scale and minor pentatonic ideas with the half-whole diminished scale over a D7 chord. The notes of this scale are D-Eb-F-F#-G#-A-B.

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Andy G Jones

A professional guitarist for many years, Andy G Jones has played with Van Morrison, James Ingram, Lamont Dozier, Queen (Brian May and Roger Taylor), Robben Ford, Billy Cobham, John Illsley (Dire Straits), KT Tunstall, Albert Lee (featured on Andy's upcoming CD), Mike Finnigan, Dave Landreth and Ryan Voth from The Bros. Landreth, Malford Milligan, The BBC Radio Big Band, Patti Austin, Hamish Stuart (Average White Band), Lalo Schifrin (Hollywood film composer Bullitt, Mission Impossible), Hank Marvin, James Dean Bradfield (the Manic Street Preachers), Grady Tate, Agnetha from ABBA, Cliff Richard, Dudley Moore, Nathan James (Inglorious), Joey Tempest (Europe) and Kelsey Grammar.