Skip to content →

An Alternative to the 5 Pentatonic Shapes

Last updated on July 20, 2019

The 5 pentatonic shapes are a staple of learning rock or blues guitar, though truth be told most guitarists generally use 3 of them at the most. In our latest book, ‘Woodshedder’s Guide to Guitar Scales‘, we reduced the number of pentatonic shapes to just 3, the effects of which can be good for your playing for a number of reasons.

When you first learn scales, the scale pattern itself dictates what you play. It’s only when you’ve been playing for a while that your ear starts to intervene in the process and make note choices. Hence, if you change the pattern, your phrasing and note choice will be affected, if only due to the nature of the guitar’s tuning. In the same vein, another advantage of using an alternative scale shape is that it gets you away from the cliché sounds that everyone else plays. I guarantee that 95% of guitarists haven’t considered using the following patterns to play pentatonic scales, so you’ll be able to stand out from the crowd.

I like these patterns because they’re similar to the famous five shapes, in fact they may even help you bridge the gap between them, but different enough to get you thinking in a different way about phrasing and note choice. The other advantage is that 2 of the 3 minor and major pentatonic shapes are not the same.

Here are the three minor pentatonic shapes in F:

alternative pentatonic shapes guitar
alternative minor pentatonic patterns guitar

If you look carefully, there are no notes missing as the shapes all slot into each other perfectly. Each shape uses 3 notes on one string to break up the monotony of 2 notes on every string and get you thinking in terms of movement or at least the adjacent patterns if you’re still thinking in terms of the classic 5 shapes.

Here are the three major pentatonic shapes:

alternative major pentatonic shapes guitar
alternative major pentatonic scale shapes guitar

Again, the major pentatonic shapes slot into each other perfectly. I also like the fact that the 2 out of the 3 shapes are different, which avoids trying to make those ingrained minor pentatonic patterns sound major and vice versa.

You can find these scale shapes, and a ton of others, in the Woodshedder’s Guide to Guitar Scales.

READ NEXT  How I Use Wayne Krantz' Improviser's OS Book

  • Bitcoin
  • Ethereum
  • Xrp
  • Bitcoin cash
  • Litecoin
  • Tether
  • Cardano
  • Dash
  • Monero
  • Stellar
  • Neo
  • Nano
Scan to Donate Bitcoin to 3QMnkUCnDpurBQhgawmnnJWXhmjBrRdWCH

Support us by donating some Bitcoin to this site

Scan the QR code or copy the address below into your wallet to send some Bitcoin

Scan to Donate Ethereum to 0xce9ddc43f3fd81074652991d161be37cc641da66

Support us by donating some Ethereum to this site

Scan the QR code or copy the address below into your wallet to send some Ethereum

Scan to Donate Xrp to rLSn6Z3T8uCxbcd1oxwfGQN1Fdn5CyGujK

Support us by donating some Xrp to this site

Scan the QR code or copy the address below into your wallet to send some Xrp

Tag/Note:- 72456821
Scan to Donate Bitcoin cash to 35DvF8RMKbKnufPd4yKdAAKNt3quCvn4GK

Support us by donating some Bitcoin cash to this site

Scan the QR code or copy the address below into your wallet to send some Bitcoin cash

Scan to Donate Litecoin to MMxEJDz5MWiw2WGftJLPApTSjSoXnJtXtM

Support us by donating some Litecoin to this site

Scan the QR code or copy the address below into your wallet to send some Litecoin

Scan to Donate Tether to 0x23c7A7985a9Bc3d0320839CA75b7ec7ABA1C66d9

Support us by donating some Tether to this site

Scan the QR code or copy the address below into your wallet to send some Tether

Scan to Donate Cardano to Ae2tdPwUPEZMtA193syAR9pCFPdFtv9HKQNfdCLcQphVZEV2uhFhTnLMGtj

Support us by donating some Cardano to this site

Scan the QR code or copy the address below into your wallet to send some Cardano

Scan to Donate Dash to XvuQfhUWV2WXAvtda5Ya2645Tu2ZCzDEU2

Support us by donating some Dash to this site

Scan the QR code or copy the address below into your wallet to send some Dash

Scan to Donate Monero to 47s7YYjJJb9GVL6USvT4M59ovwRvZbwruMdDJGhuG5m23V9vsm9SCy59obfkbEd5S9cWiV2WJ3Zt2T8dKbCoFQmdUX7byy5

Support us by donating some Monero to this site

Scan the QR code or copy the address below into your wallet to send some Monero

Scan to Donate Stellar to GBRX6VYQHH3KHHTLNO2JMVP6UWJURIA6NDFP4HZ73UG6MTVWSLOYJANP

Support us by donating some Stellar to this site

Scan the QR code or copy the address below into your wallet to send some Stellar

Scan to Donate Neo to AX6xhcjej6nkc4HBNJ2Aiu473zm5q1XEEz

Support us by donating some Neo to this site

Scan the QR code or copy the address below into your wallet to send some Neo

Scan to Donate Nano to nano_391jywfffefzwhtkmmedshparnejrnpfq9gjbyuafdfqsoxdkedb1hah4x8w

Support us by donating some Nano to this site

Scan the QR code or copy the address below into your wallet to send some Nano

Published in 3 Note Per String Scales Improvisation Pentatonics Scale Patterns Scales

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *