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Two-String Pentatonic Shapes

Alternate picking with two-note-per-string patterns can be challenging, since it requires fast
movement from string to string. One of the most basic (yet also one of the most important)
scales is the minorpentatonic scale. The notes of the A Minor Pentatonic scale are: A-C-D-E-G.
The formula in terms of scale steps is: l-3-4-5-7. This scale, which can be used in many
different musical styles and harmonic situations, can be broken down into five basic shapes.
Below, you will see diagrams showing these five basic shapes on two strings. The examples
following the diagrams illustrate some of the basic patterns that can be applied to these two
string shapes. Move these ideas to the other string sets as well.

I= I 1.1.1 1.1.1 I= I
Form 1 Form2 Form 3

Form4 Form 5

Play this sequence on any string set, ascending and descending.


etc.

- - - - - - - -
x.8 3 3 3

I,

' ,_
@.)
,..
- -
-'
-' - -'
- - -
-'
'
- - - -

I I
...
...-
I
-
I
-

3 3 3 3

a 2-5
2
5
2-5
2-5
2
5
2-5
5-7
5
7
5-7
5-7
5
7
5-7-
n
;.._

1 4 1 4 1 4 1 4 1 4 1 4 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 3

-- -
I\
,1
... - ... - - - -- - - - - - .. .. .. - ..
- - - - - ..
-

3 3 3 3
3 3 3 3

"T

7-10
7
1 fr
7 -
"'
7-10
7
1::
7- 9
10-12
-"' 12 9--1 10--12 9 12
- 12-
ll
1 4 1 4 1 3 1 4 1 4 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 3

3 3 3 3 3 3
3 3

f-r------12-- -12-14-----12-- -12-14-----14---14-1 7-----14---14-17


---14-----12-14-- -14---- -14-17---17 -----14-17---11-------+11

1 3 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 4 1 4 1 4 1 4 1 4 1 4

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