Diagonal pentatonic shape guitar lick & lesson

Apr 6, 2024

The diagonal pentatonic method is an EXCELLENT way for you to expand your guitar playing skills, and to get out of the box shapes! This way of playing and thinking outside the box will have you playing a diagonal pentatonic shape of 3 (and as many as 4) octaves! That’s right. A moveable pentatonic scale pattern across the fretboard. Total game changer! So, grab your guitar, and in this tutorial: you’ll get the shape down and then on your way to firing off catchy guitar licks and sequences in no time.

The diagonal pentatonic shape is shown in A minor. Got to love that, as a lot of the notes are on the dotted frets. To make this shape so fun and easy, start on the G (the b7 note of the A minor pentatonic scale). The notes in A minor pentatonic (A, C, D, E, G) are all covered through a 3-octave span! The biggest game changers are as follows: 1. you can use index and ring fingers of your fretting hands only to play (yes, two fingers!). 2. The same shape reoccurs per two string sets.

This ought to be a lightbulb moment for you, seeing the guitar fretboard as a 2-string pattern that simply reoccurs diagonally across the neck. You will be able to get a lifetime of mileage out of the shape- especially as you dig in below in this article, with example licks and sequences along with patterns.

Note: to play this shape easily, on strings with 3 notes: slide your index (i.e. on the A string, play the C note with the index and shift (or slide) index up to the D note, then grab the E with your ring finger. Use the same approach across the 4 remaining strings.

Next, above in the diagram are the root notes. It’s important to know the fruits come from the roots. You want to know the diagonal pentatonic shape’s root notes for reference. This root note of A is: 1. an advantage to visually target 2. A great note to hold out. Always identify where the roots are as a marker and as a reference point.

(Check out the video lesson below the article for a FULL WALKTHOUGH!)

Before crafting licks, get the diagonal pentatonic scale shape above down slow and tight! First, go low-to-high (ascend). Then, start high-to-low (descend). Slurring with slides makes it smoother and a bit easier to focus on your fretting hand at first. This will build up confidence of where you’re headed, familiarity, as well as getting a chance to get to know where the 5 notes are. *** Do watch out for that B string, where the shift of the pattern jumps a fret higher due to the guitar’s tuning ***

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Now that you know the layout, take a “pattern” and play it using the shape you’ve learned. You’re now geared up in this guitar lesson to take the diagonal shape and form some patterns/sequences. The diagonal pentatonic pattern you have learned can be used to carve out repeated phrases into a sequence on guitar, as shown above. This example is in triplets. Note that it gradually moves up the diagonal range. It’s great as a run from low to high, but it also is fantastic broken into smaller phrases and licks. You can break it into smaller phrases below!

Once you are playing step 3 smoothly, now you can cultivate licks out of it: here in step 3, nurturing a sea of endless pentatonic licks, ideas and phrases! Here, you drive the phrase up to the next root (A) and hold it out, leaving some space. Knowing those roots, once again, is like landing on your feet & not on your head.

(Check out the video lesson below the article for a FULL WALKTHOUGH!)

Now you want to take this diagonal pentatonic shape on guitar and do your own variations on the licks and sequences above. Add in techniques like trills, bends and vibratos. You’re then on your way to making it your own. You will get so much mileage out of this shape that it’s incredible. It’s utilized by a lot of pro players- so join them by also making the diagonal pattern part of YOUR guitar playing!

WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW FOR FULL DEMONSTRATION, IMPLEMENTATION, AND YOUR TRANSFORMATION of the diagonal pentatonic shape- full guitar lesson! ⬇️⬇️⬇️

FULL LESSON on diagonal pentatonic shape/pattern/licks!

FREE workshop! BREAK OUT OF THE BOX and move along the neck WITH EASE! Learn diagonal pentatonic shapes across all the boxes WITHOUT getting stuck in each box! Don’t miss out. 👉 https://guitar-woodshed.com/courses/pentatonic-guitar-breakthrough-extended-playing-across-the-neck/

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