Pentatonic licks you're NOT tired of yet!

Hello, my name is Aaron Roten, guitarist for progressive instrumental group Super-String-Theory. This is my first lesson here, so I thought I would start of by showing you a couple of things I do to make a standard (sometimes over- used) scale sound a bit fresh. What better scale to start with that the mighty E minor pentatonic scale.

Pentatonic lick #1: This lick has a nice rhythmic feel to it. It tends to sound fresh to the ears due to the fact that there are a few wide intervals that set up accents that fall in different areas of each beat of the measure. So although the rhythm is primarily straight sixteenth notes the melody allows the notes of the scale to take on that intervallic personality. The last measure I included a simple scalar run that I feel nicely compliments the previous four measures. Note the sextuplets, it comes around pretty fast, so as always practice slowly to begin with and gradually speed up the lick.

This lick is easily movable to other keys and you can put any of your staple pentatonic licks or scale runs, or huge arpeggio sweeps before or after it.

Lick #2 – Intervallic Penta- Sweep: This next lick is very fun. Its' simple appearance can be deceiving. This lick is quite short, but once you get it down you can repeat it for a nice effect, or you can slide it around to follow a chord progression, etc…The hardest part of this lick is that it involves tiny little sweep patterns and quite a stretch of the fret hand on the notes of the second and third beat of the measure. I've indicated the picking pattern I found to be useful, but if you continually struggle, feel free to experiment with the pattern.

I hope these ideas are useful. Keep in mind that the patterns sound best when moved around the fret board and utilized with various rhythms and played over a variety of chord types. Example: play lick #1 over a C major chord, or lick #2 over a G major/ Am vamp. I hope you enjoyed this lesson; I'll be back with more ideas from my perspective soon. Happy shredding my friends!

For all the latest on Aaron Roten and Super-String-Theory, check out their website at Check out the new Super-String-Theory CD titled “Principles of Transformation at .