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Monster Licks: E Minor Pentatonic Scale

In this lick I'm using the pentatonic scale in the key of E minor. 

One of the challenges I had when I was first experimenting with the pentatonic scale was breaking out of the two notes per string box formation that the scale is traditionally taught in. While the box formation has many amazing applications, I was searching for a way to approach the scale in a three notes per string style that would enable more coverage over the fretboard. The end result—shown in the lick above—is a combination of the three notes per string approach and arpeggios, which really opens up the fretboard and will help you to create monster runs and licks!

The Lick

There isn't a single picked note in this lick—it's entirely legato and tapping. You must be very conscious of sounding out every note clearly with both your left and right hands. Some of the sections get very tricky, especially when I incorporate the two-note tapping lines with the right hand, so it's best to work through these slowly, then build up the pace as you get more confident. 

I tend to practice things like this with a clean sound as, once you start to use gain, it can be easy to lose focus and lose track of the individual notes.

There's a lot to digest here, so I simply suggest that you work through it section by section. It isn't necessary to be able to play the whole lick from start to finish—the idea should be that you find a couple of things you like in it, work on them, then apply them to your own playing and soloing. 

Thanks and I hope you enjoy! 

(Image credit: Glenn Proudfoot)

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