Unboxing the Pentatonic Scale

While many guitarists have built fabulous careers off the four-fret-by-six-string pentatonic box pattern in Ex. 1, it’s always refreshing to meet players who can think, shall we say, “outside the box.” Nick Matty of Feasterville, Pennsylvania, is one such dude. He’s clearly learned all five A minor pentatonic boxes and, as he proves in Ex. 2, can leap nimbly from one to the next, often skipping strings in the process.
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“This lick takes notes from three of the A boxes,” says Matty. “The key here is to pay close attention to the hammer-ons and pull-offs. You will also need to control the string noise when skipping strings. This phrase is cool to play when trying out a new guitar in a music store. Heads will turn!”