Spice up your soloing with Eric Johnson’s guide to playing multiple pentatonics over a root chord

Eric Johnson has returned with his fifth video mini-lesson to help support food banks during the coronavirus pandemic.

This time, the electric guitar great goes deep on pentatonic scales.

EJ begins by stating his early interest in pentatonics was sparked by the five-note scale’s use in the blues.

From there, he says, “I got a little more into it with John McLaughlin where he would play different pentatonics over different roots.”

Johnson then demonstrates how, when playing an E chord, you can lay not only an E pentatonic scale over it, but also F#, G#, B and C# pentatonic scales in order to achieve different colors and sounds.

Taking this idea a step further, Johnson then shows how you can “hinge” these various scales together into a single idea.

You can check out the full lesson above.

And as always, Johnson ends the mini-lesson with a plea to donate to your local food bank

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.