Lesson 2: Step 2 – It moves!

Do you know that this minor pentatonic scale can be moved to 2 more places on your guitar? knowing this fact instantly lets you play more notes and use more of your fretboard!

On the Mode Decoder I have imaginitively called these three places:

  • Location 1
  • Location 2
  • Location 3

These three locations are ALWAYS the same distance in relation to each other  this means that if you know where one of these locations are, you also know where the other two are! As you play, these distances will become automatic.

here are the three locations starting on fret 5:

Note that fret 5 also has fret 17 noted – this is because above the 12th fret, the same notes appear, so the notes on fret 13 are the same as on fret 1, (just one octave higher). Because of this, you can in fact have up to 6 places to play on your guitar neck. You will be able to play up and down the guitar neck already!

You can either count the frets or use the Mode Decoder to see where they are.

When counting, location 2 is always 5 frets higher than Location 1; Location 3 is always 2 frets higher than ocation 2 and the higher location 1 is always 5 frets higher than Locatiuon 3 and so on.

The key to playing along to anything therefore, is to find where just one of these locations are. This is your sort of ‘home’ for the song. Once you know where ‘home’ is, all the notes and chords you will play will all be in the same places in relation to this ‘home’. No more having to learn endless tabs and scales – just one master collection of chords and master shape which will work for almost any radio song!

Shortly, I will show you how to find your ‘home’ location and ‘lock into’ it but first there’s one more thing you need to know – and that is that on top of the notes of the minor pentatonic scale, there are an extra 2 notes available for you to play. Depending on which location you are playing, the extra notes will be in different places, but you will easily become familiar with where they are as you play.

For now, simply observe where they are. You will find that you won’t use them all in all locations and might find you have different favourites to mine.