Celtic Pentatonics

The Pentatonic scale can be used for more than just Blues licks. In this etude, we evoke a Celtic sort of atmosphere akin to Thin Lizzy or Gary Moore using some open strings and the E Minor Pentatonic scale.

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Practice Tips

  • Knowing how to resolve a melody or riff is a key part of the compositional and improvisational process. To resolve commonly means to return to the root of the key. In this case, it is the E note. Resolving can take the form of an ascending or descending part, depending on the situation. A solo can sound really cool by climbing to the higher octave because that is, to put it literally, ending on a high note. Finding your way back to the root provides a satisfying experience for the listener.
  • Rather than sticking strictly to the Minor Pentatonic scale, don’t be afraid to introduce the Natural Minor scale into the mix at the same time. This works particularly well in Rock and Metal ballads, as well as other forms of melancholy music. The Minor Pentatonic scale is actually just the Natural Minor scale with the omission of the Maj 2nd and Minor 6th degrees.
  • Pull offs and hammer-ons require some degree of strength in the fingers, but it is not necessary to apply more force than is necessary.