This is one of those little mindshifts that was so helpful to me as a young man growing up learning to solo through chord changes…

We usually learn the pentatonic and blues scale boxes via a “root on the 6th string” approach…

And then one day I started seeing them from a 5th string root and it opened a lot of doors for me, hopefully it will for you too.

    17 replies to "Pentatonics From A 5th String Root"

    • Adam V Wilson

      Hi hello Griff Hamlin how are you ? Adam here hey Teacher Great lesson on 7#9 Hell Yes
      What I’m buttering you up for lol is this lesson for this A 5th pentatonic Root please if there is I’ll pay you for it and to send it to me just tell me your price ? Thank you Sir

    • Chris Adams

      Great lesson.
      Couldn’t find the link to the 5 boxes you mentioned at the end of the video,
      any chance of sending it to me?

      Aussie Chris

    • Bob K

      Hey Griff, another great video. I didn’t see the links you mentioned on the YouTube channel or here in the blog. Can you point me in the right direction? I’d love to see the video on the boxes and print the tab.

      Thanks again, great stuff!

    • derek

      I never really thought of using box 4 , and fifth string root, I have usually looked at using chord tones for the 4th and 5th , while soloing.
      So thank you again Griff.

    • Benton

      Aside from the lesson (s) What I particularly enjoy is the solo you lead in with. Would love to be able to do that.

    • christopher

      as alway s , great presentation and explanation
      really understand the process and why

      great job griff

    • Matt Gilroy

      It’s interesting that the IV chord ends up being box 4. Will the V chord be box 5?

      • Ricardo

        Playing Box 5 from the 6 string, 5th fret A would put E in the right place on the 5th string, 7th fret.

        However you’d be in B minor Box 5.

        If you want to stay in the same area, playing Box 3 from the 6th string A would give you the E minor pentatonic with root on the 5th string.

        This is your left-facing option from the 5 fret E.

        Or you could move Box 4 up 2 frets and play Box 4 as your right-facing option.

        • Ricardo

          That should be, “This is your left-facing option from the 5th string, 7th fret root, E.”

      • Jeff

        @ Matt: As it turns out, it’s box 3 with the ring finger on the root at 7th fret, 5th string (another root at the 5th fret, 2nd string). Box 3 corresponds with the open C chord shape. Notice when you finger an open C chord, your index finger and your ring finger are both on the root note (C). That’s box 3 of the minor pentatonic scale.

    • mike s

      Hi Griff,
      Another great tip, I’ll be learning my 5th string root boxes for the next few weeks… What brand is that tele style guitar, please, it has a great sound?

      • Griff Hamlin

        Just a basic Fender from 1998(?). It is US made and has Lindy Fralin pickups, I think. They made a subtle difference but not a ton.

    • john

      Griff, this one just clicked for me. I couldn’t even wait for the end of the video. I headed straight for your scales trainer and looked at the A major and started using box four over the D and then up 2 to the E. Wow, what a game changer for me. Slowly and steadily I get better. Thanks for what you do.

    • Jeff

      Of course box 3 (minor) has a 5th string root as well.

      I’ve been practicing my 5 boxes all in the open position. That way it’s easy to see which box goes with which chord pattern.

      For the minor pentatonic scale:
      Box 1 is the E shape open chord
      Box 2 is the D shape open chord
      Box 3 is the C shape open chord
      Box 4 is the A shape open chord
      Box 5 is the G shape open chord.

      Just playing the boxes all the way down the fret board in the open position is helping me learn the boxes. It’s helpful to me to see the boxes played in the open position.

      It’s not much of a leap to go from playing the boxes in the open position to being able to play any pattern anywhere on the fretboard. But for some reason it seem easier to see the shapes in the open position.

      • Ricardo

        The open strings are all the notes of E minor pentatonic, leapfrogging through 2 octaves.

        The 6 notes across any fret are the notes of the minor pentatonic with the 6th string root.

        Then it’s just a matter of deciding whether you want to go right or left to play the intervening notes you “leaped” over.

        • Jeff

          *sigh* talk about a non sequitur jeeeze

          • Ricardo

            Sorry you don’t get the connection.

            Others might.

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