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Amass Amazing Pentatonic Power With These 10 Video Lessons
The minor pentatonic scale is by far the most popular scale used by guitarists in the rock and blues idioms, with its relative major version the must-know scale for country guitarists. Unfortunately, many guitarists learn the root-position box and usually its upper extension, the shape's battery of stock licks, and then pretty much call it a day. But for those guitarists willing to go the distance and master the five-note phenom—as Eric Johnson, Joe Bonamassa, and Robben Ford, among many others, have done—an ocean of pentatonic possibilities awaits you.
We've picked out 10 guitar video lessons from our core group of ace instructors to help you master this ubiquitous scale in all its shapes and many variations. All of them feature onscreen guitar tab. So without further ado, here they are:
Minor Pentatonic Scale by Troy Stetina (Beginner/Intermediate)
Here, Troy introduces the basic box shape, exercises, and licks to help get it ingrained.
Major Pentatonic Scale by Tom Kolb (Intermediate)
Tom offers useful scale patterns, licks, and tricks for the too-often neglected major version.
Blues Scale by Doug Boduch (Beginner/Intermediate)
Doug teaches basic blues scale (minor pentatonic with an added b5th) patterns, licks, and riffs.
Pentatonic Double Stops by Tom Kolb (Beginner/Intermediate)
Tom shows you how to walk the fine line between lead and rhythm guitar using double-stop licks from pentatonic scale patterns. (Think "Jimi")
Connecting Pentatonic Positions by Tom Kolb (Intermediate)
Tom shows you a bevy of great pentatonic licks that connect 2–3 pentatonic scale shapes in each, thus covering the entire fretboard. (See excerpt below.)
Combining Major & Minor Pentatonics by Tom Kolb (Intermediate)
In this lesson, Tom shows you how to create new licks and phrases by combining these two all-important scales.
Adding Notes to the Minor Pentatonic Scale by Wolf Marshall (Intermediate)
Starting with the minor pentatonic scale, Wolf shows you how to add colorful tones like the 2nd and 6th to create tasty, melodic pentatonic-based lines.
Mixolydian Pentatonic Scale by Wolf Marshall (Intermediate)
You've heard it in the music of the Beatles, Jeff Beck, Eric Johnson, and Steve Vai, and now Wolf reveals the secret of this colorful pentatonic scale variation.
Pentatonic Scale Substitutions by Doug Boduch (Intermediate/Advanced)
Doug teaches ways to use a familiar scale to evoke unfamiliar color and phrasing.
Pentatonic Substitutions by Tom Kolb (Intermediate/Advanced)
Here, Tom teaches how to create diatonic sounds using traditional pentatonic scales.
Pat Metheny "What's It All About" Guitar Tab
In 2011, jazz guitarist Pat Metheny recorded What's It All About—a solo guitar masterpiece featuring complete reinventions (as only Metheny could imagine them) of 10 classic pop songs that were dear to him in his youth. And we've just posted the official guitar tab for all 10 tracks!
What's It All About guitar tab
All Pat Metheny guitar tab
Recorded primarily using his Linda Manzer-built Nashville-tuned baritone and 42-string Pikasso guitars, the album features such timeless hits as Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence," the Ventures' "Pipeline," and the Beatles' "And I Love Her," among others by Henry Mancini, Burt Bacharach, Carly Simon, and more.
"Each tune has a real meaning to me musically. Of course, I am aware of the lyrics, but my focus is really on the actual notes and harmonies that make these pieces interesting to me as a musician," says Metheny. "It is mostly about the way the chords move or the kind of feeling that I loved about the melody. But in some cases, the totality of songs themselves are so deeply mixed into the culture at large and affected how I wound up being the musician that I ultimately have become so deeply that it is hard for me to really unravel what the meaning of it all actually is. It is fairly abstract to me, and when I listen to these performances back, there are a lot of different dimensions at work there. I am not even sure I can trace all of them."
If you'd like to purchase the official tab book, click here or on the cover below.
Jeff Loomis Robbed in St. Louis; Asks for Donations to Help Out
Jeff Loomis and his band, currently on tour with Soilwork, had their van broken into last night while in St. Louis. Loomis elaborates:
"Last night after our show in St. Louis, our tour van was broken into as we were grabbing a bite to eat before our drive to Dallas. We were parked in a well lit area in front of the restaurant. In the ten to fifteen minutes that it took for us to order our food and eat, all of our personal items such as laptops, cameras, musical equipment, cell phones, passports and money were stolen. We came outside to find the lock on the driver side door popped out of the van, and promptly called the police. A report has been filed and the van was fingerprinted, but the leads don't seem promising. The police stated that this is apparently a common occurrence for the area. We are all in disbelief, but are very fortunate for everyone to be ok.
"After discussing the situation as a group, we would like to try to continue on with this tour. But to be able to do this, we will need your help. We have all taken a huge hit financially, and we cannot continue on without some sort of support. We have set up a paypal account for any amount of donations to assist us for the duration of the tour.
"Here is the PayPal email to make donations to: JLoomisbanddonation@outlook.com. Any and all support will be greatly appreciated. Thank you."
--Jeff Loomis band and crew
Jeff Loomis guitar video lessons
Loomis will release a special tour edition of Plains of Oblivion on April 16, 2013 via Century Media Records. In support of his upcoming dates with Soilwork, the Plains of Oblivion - Tour Edition features three bonus tracks, in addition to the original Plains of Oblivion disc that was released last year.
Jeff Loomis tour dates with Soilwork, Blackguard, Wretched
4/15/2013 - Dallas, TX
4/16/2013 - San Antonio, TX
4/17/2013 - Lubbock, TX
4/18/2013 - Abilene, TX
4/19/2013 - Odessa, TX
4/20/2013 - El Paso, TX
4/22/2013 - Corpus Christi, TX
4/23/2013 - McAllen, TX
4/24/2013 - Houston, TX
4/26/2013 - St. Petersburg, FL
4/27/2013 - Jacksonville, FL
4/28/2013 - Charlotte, NC
4/29/2013 - Richmond, VA
4/30/2013 - Baltimore, MD
5/01/2013 - Teaneck, NJ
5/02/2013 - Poughkeepsie, NY
5/03/2013 - Buffalo, NY
5/04/2013 - Columbus, OH
5/05/2013 - London, ON
5/06/2013 - Syracuse, NY
5/07/2013 - Worcester, MA
Jeff Loomis online:
Steely Dan Announces North American Tour Dates
Legendary jazz-rock icons Walter Becker and Donald Fagen have announced that Steely Dan will hit the road again in 2013, taking their Mood Swings: 8 Miles To Pancake Day Tour to over 40 stops throughout North America.
Steely Dan guitar tab, video lessons, and play-along tracks
Opening in Atlantic City on July 19, the tour hits major markets including Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, and Boston, with additional special engagements to be announced soon. Tickets for several shows are on-sale now, with most on-sale dates to be announced in the coming weeks.
Concertgoers can expect an evening of the same high-level of musical excellence that garnered raves from fans and critics alike, and which was described by the LA Times thusly: "Everyone gathered Friday evening was a believer — and they were treated to something close to rapture." The Chicago Sun-Times raved "This was different. This was live. This was vibrant. This was a cascade of color carried along by Fagen, Becker, eight brilliant supporting musicians and three superb backing vocalists."
Onstage, Donald and Walter will be joined by those same eight brilliant supporting musicians, now appearing as The Bipolar Allstars (featuring Keith Carlock on drums, Freddie Washington on bass, Jim Beard on keyboards, and Jon Herington on guitar), along with The Borderline Brats — three sublime, soulful songbirds. Together, they will treat audiences to selections from The Dan's extraordinary four-decade catalog, rich with infectious tunes, bodacious harmonies, irresistible grooves, and sleek, subversive lyrics, punctuated by blazing solo work and rich ensembles. As always with the adventurous Fagen and Becker, a few surprises may be in store as well.
Visit www.steelydan.com for up-to-the minute tour news, information, and on-sale dates.
Mood Swings: 8 Miles To Pancake Day Tour Dates
7/19 Atlantic City, NJ
7/20 Canandaigua, NY
7/21 Toronto, ON
7/23 Cleveland, OH
7/24 Kettering, OH
7/26 Louisville, KY
7/27 Detroit, MI
7/28 Milwaukee, WI
7/30 Fort Wayne, IN
8/1 Highland Park, IL
8/2 Highland Park, IL
8/3 Indianapolis, IN
8/5 St. Louis, MO
8/6 Omaha, NE
8/8 Denver, CO
8/10 Salt Lake City, UT
8/11 Boise, ID
8/13 Portland, OR
8/15 Redmond, WA
8/17 San Francisco, CA
8/18 Reno, NV
8/20 Santa Barbara, CA
8/21 San Diego, CA
8/23 Las Vegas, NV
8/24 Los Angeles, CA
8/25 Los Angeles, CA
8/28 Austin, TX
8/30 Houston, TX
8/31 Grand Prairie, TX
9/3 Kansas City, MO
9/4 Tulsa, OK
9/6 Memphis, TN
9/7 Atlanta, GA
9/8 St. Augustine, FL
9/11 Orlando, FL
9/12 Boca Raton, FL
9/14 Clearwater, FL
9/15 Charleston, SC
9/17 Charlotte, NC
9/18 Raleigh, NC
9/20 Bristow, VA
9/21 Philadelphia, PA
9/24 Boston, MA
9/25 Boston, MA
9/27 Bethlehem, PA
9/28 Mashantucket, CT
Iron Maiden and Megadeth to Play Seven U.S. Shows This Fall
On September 22, Iron Maiden will once again headline the legendary Rock in Rio Festival, in Brazil. But along the way, the iconic metal band will be making seven stops (one for each Son?) in the U.S., to play various cities that have long been neglected the metal bombast that is Iron Maiden. And just for good measure, the lads have lined up Megadeth as their opening act!
Iron Maiden guitar tab, video lessons, and jam tracks
Megadeth guitar tab, video lessons, and jam tracks
The tour begins with their first-ever show in Raleigh, NC, on September 3. The band next lands in Nashville, where the Music City will get its first taste of Iron in over 20 years. There will also be shows in Kansas City (9/7), St. Louis (9/8), Austin (9/10), and Las Vegas (9/12). Finally, on September 13, Maiden will headline The Battle of San Bernardino, with Anthrax, Testament, Overkill, and Sabaton joining Megadeth for one very loud SoCal show.
Tickets for the Las Vegas and San Bernardino shows go on sale April 12. Tickets for Raleigh, Nashville, St Louis, and Austin go on sale April 13. Tickets for Kansas City go on sale May 17. For all the details, please visit www.ironmaiden.com.
Rolling Stones Announce North American Tour Dates
This past fall, the Rolling Stones marked their 50 years together with shows in London and the greater New York City area. Today, the band announced the North American leg of their "50 and Counting" tour, which will hit nine cities in May and June.
Rolling Stones guitar tab and jam tracks
"50 and Counting has been pretty amazing so far," said Jagger. "We did a few shows in London and New York last year and had such a good time that we thought, let's do some more. It's a good show. Lots of the classic stuff everyone wants to hear, with a few little gems tucked in here and there. The stage is shaped like lips and goes off into the venue so I get to run around in the crowd. It's great fun to be able to get that close to the audience."
50 and Counting North American Tour Dates
TBA Los Angeles, CA
5/5 Oakland, CA
5/8 San Jose, CA
5/11 Las Vegas, NV
5/15 Anaheim, CA
5/25 Toronto, ONT
5/28 Chicago, IL
6/12 Boston, MA
6/18 Philadelphia, PA
Four New Blues You Should Hear
Here are four cool new blues releases dipped in soul, funk, Americana, rock, and even a bit of the jam scene, for your listening pleasure.
Drink Drank Drunk Andy T - Nick Nixon Band (Delta Groove)
Some records ease their way into your conscious—not this one. Drink Drank Drunk is an in-your-face collection of blues drawing from nearly every major geographically defined subset. Highlights include Gatemouth Brown's "Midnight Hour," the ragin' Cajun blues of "Have You Seen My Monkey?," "On My Way to Texas," and the whiskey-soaked title track.
Independently Blue Duke Robillard Band (April 9, Stony Plain)
On this latest 12-track effort, Duke brings guitarist Monster Mike Welch onboard to further fuel the fretboard fire. The pairing shines particularly bright on the Welch-penned instrumentals "Stapled to the Chicken's Back" and "This Man, This Monster," which artfully pit Duke's signature soulful licks against Welch's more bombastic approach.
This River JJ Grey& Mofro (April 16, Alligator)
With a sound that owes as much (if not more) to soul and funk as it does to the blues, Grey has crafted a unique sound and style that continues to grow and evolve on This River. Highlights include soul-rockers "Your Lady, She's Shady" and "Florabama," Georgian blues rocker "99 Shades of Grey," jam-groovin' "Harp and Drums," and the deeply personal title track, which closes the upbeat disc in rather poignant fashion.
Deep Deep Blue Dudley Taft (May 7, American Blues Artist Group)
Anyone who can evoke the sounds of Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Jimi Hendrix, ZZ Top, and Aerosmith all on one album-opening Bob Dylan cover ("Meet Me in the Morning") has got something good going on. Also featuring tunes by Lou Reed ("Sally Can't Dance") and Freddie King ("Palace of the King") as well as eight originals, Taft covers an amazing breadth of genre-bending sounds. One moment he echoes Pink Floyd on the title track, the next ("Feeling Good Now") he's laying out funk-soul brother riffs replete with horn section, and then he channels his inner Neil Young on the acoustic-based Americana track "Wishing Well."