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Alternatives to pentatonic scales

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Tyler Dupont, Jun 27, 2001.


  1. Tyler Dupont

    Tyler Dupont Wesly Headpush

    I need some help here. I'm self taught. I've found that I'm stuck in the "metallica box" . Every riff I seem to come up with is in this box and they all sound very similar. This is driving me nuts. I try to break away from it and I'm finding that I don't know where to go or what notes belong. I look at the neck and all I see are the same patterns. What are some scales/modes I can learn that will still sound rockish ? I've tried a few and they either sound like noise or they are too pretty.(not that there's anything wrong with that.. but I'll save it for later). I'm playing in a fairly heavy technical band right now and I'd like to come up with some stuff that doesn't sound like it's been done to death. Any suggestions would be helpful.
     
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Well, for starters, I'd try reading through jazzbo's excellent "Idiot's guide to Scales" thread, which contains some really excellent technical information on scale construction. If you learn to play all the scales you are working on using both "along the string" and "across the strings" techniques, this might open a few doors for you.

    Remember that all pentatonic scales really are are major or minor scales with the two most "dissonant" (against the tonic triad, anyway) tones removed. This suggests that your first step out of your "box" might be to add these two tones back into the pentatonics you are getting sick of using, which would give you a couple of new colors to play with. Also, if you are getting stuck into certain finger patterns, try refingering each of the scales that you normally play so that you can play each in three different ways: once starting with the index finger, once with the middle finger, and once with the pinky. This puts PHYSICAL emphasis in different places, and might help you discover some new material.