Master the Minor Pentatonic Scale on Guitar with This Simple Extension

Unlock the full potential of the minor pentatonic scale on your guitar with this easy-to-learn extension. Discover how to effortlessly slide in and out of the scale and add new dimensions to your playing.

Master the Minor Pentatonic Scale on Guitar with This Simple Extension

The minor pentatonic scale is a staple for guitarists across various genres, from blues and rock to country and beyond. While the standard pentatonic box shape is essential to master, there’s a simple way to extend the scale and unlock new possibilities for your guitar playing. In this article, we’ll dive into a cool extension that will allow you to slide in and out of the E minor pentatonic scale effortlessly.

The E Minor Pentatonic Scale

Before we dive into the extension, let’s quickly review the E minor pentatonic scale. This scale is played using the following pattern:

  • 6th string: 0, 3
  • 5th string: 0, 3
  • 4th string: 0, 2
  • 3rd string: 0, 2
  • 2nd string: 0, 3
  • 1st string: 0, 3

Within this pattern, you can create various licks and phrases using techniques like pull-offs, hammer-ons, and bends.

Extending the Scale

Now, let’s explore how to extend the E minor pentatonic scale. The key to this extension lies in the 3rd string (G string). When you reach the G string while playing the scale, switch to your middle finger on the 2nd fret. From there, slide up to the 4th fret.

After sliding up to the 4th fret on the G string, you’ll find yourself in a new “box” shape. In this box, you’ll play the 3rd fret on the B string and the 5th fret on the E string. This extension allows you to create new melodic phrases and add variety to your pentatonic playing.

Entering the Extension Box

You can enter this extension box from two directions: from below or from the higher strings. When ascending the scale, switch to your middle finger on the G string’s 2nd fret, then slide up to the 4th fret to enter the box. When descending from the higher strings, simply slide down from the 4th fret on the G string to the 2nd fret, then continue playing the standard pentatonic pattern.

Practice Tips

To master this minor pentatonic scale extension on guitar, practice the following:

  1. Play the scale ascending and descending, focusing on smoothly transitioning to the middle finger on the G string.
  2. Practice entering the extension box from both directions (ascending and descending).
  3. Create licks and phrases that incorporate the extension, sliding in and out of the box.
  4. Experiment with different rhythmic patterns and techniques within the extended scale.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can this extension be applied to other pentatonic scales?

Yes, while this article focuses on the E minor pentatonic scale, the concept of extending the scale by sliding up on the G string can be applied to other pentatonic positions and keys as well.

2. Is this extension suitable for beginners?

This extension is a great way for beginners to expand their pentatonic playing once they have mastered the basic box shape. It adds a new dimension to the scale without being overly complicated.

3. What genres of music can benefit from this pentatonic scale extension?

The minor pentatonic scale is widely used in genres like blues, rock, country, and more. This extension can add variety and new melodic options to your playing in any of these styles.

By incorporating this simple yet effective extension into your minor pentatonic scale playing, you’ll open up new possibilities for your guitar solos and improvisations. Remember to practice the extension diligently, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different licks and phrases. With time and dedication, you’ll seamlessly integrate this extension into your playing and take your guitar skills to the next level.

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