Licks from the Pentatonic Blues Scale Part #2

Author: Ed Cupler

Licks from the Pentatonic Blues Scale Part #2 expands on Licks from the Pentatonic Blues Scale Part #1. Most of the following guitar licks are based on pentatonic blues scales with the exception of example #4, which uses only the 5 notes of the standard pentatonic scale. While these do use the blues scale, they’re not standard blues riffs. They’re more of an example of the role that blues plays in rock and heavy metal guitar styles.

Pentatonic Blues Scale Lick #4

Pentatonic minor scale is used in the key of E again, but this time with no flat 5th. Instead it only uses the 5 notes of the standard pentatonic scale with a pattern that starts on the D and G strings then repeats the same pattern an octave higher on the B and high E strings.

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Audio example:
Normal Speed
Slow Speed

E|------------------------------------------------12-------12-15-17----|
B|---------------------------------------12-15-17----15-17-------------|
G|---------9-------9-12-14-p12-p9-12-14--------------------------------|
D|-9-12-14---12-14-----------------------------------------------------|
A|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------|

E|-p15-p12-------------------------------------------------------------|
B|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
D|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
A|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------|

Pentatonic Blues Scale Lick #5

In Example #5 we’re back to adding the flat 5th for a little more blues flavoring in this repeating pattern. It still uses the E minor pentatonic scale.

Audio example:
Normal Speed
Slow Speed

E|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
D|-----8-9-12-p9-p8-h9-p8--------8-9-12-p9-p8-h9-p8--------8-9-12-p9---|
A|-7-9--------------------9-p7-9--------------------9-p7-9-------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------|

E|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|------------------------------------9\-------------------------------|
D|-p8-h9-p8--------8-9-12-p9-p8-h9-p8-9\-------------------------------|
A|----------9-p7-9-----------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------|

 

Pentatonic Blues Scale Lick #6

In Example #6 we add another note to the pentatonic scale, D#. This is only used as a passing note in a chromatic run down the scale. Often, notes that aren’t in a scale can add to a chromatic run, just use your own judgment. The end of this guitar lick places emphasis on the use of a hammer-on, bend and pull-off combination. Hammer-on the 11th fret on the B string (the flatted 5th) and bend to the tone of the 12th fret on the B string then release the bend and pull-off to the 8th fret on the B string.

Audio example:

Normal Speed
Slow Speed

E|--------12-----------------------------------------------------------|
B|-15-b17----16-p15-p12-16-p15-p12----15-p12----12-\11-12-15-p12-p11-\8|
G|---------------------------------15--------15------------------------|
D|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
A|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------|

E|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|-h11-b12r-11-p8--h11-b12r-11-p8--h11-b12r-11-p8--h11-b12r-11-p8------|
G|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
D|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
A|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------|

E|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|-\5-h7-b8r-7-5-h7-p5-------------------------------------------------|
G|---------------------4~~~~~~~~---------------------------------------|
D|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
A|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
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