Pentatonics and Soloing

Embellishments to the Pentatonics


(based this video)

– use point on side of hand near the first knuckle as a fulcrum like turning doorknob

– thumb behind neck

– always return to original pitch – release the note all the way down or else it sounds out of tune

– try bending down instead of up except for top string

– mute other strings with picking hand (thumb & other fingers)

– Internalize the correct movement for vibrato to be wider & more in control, ex: C to C# over & over with smooth sine wave, very slow at first then gradually faster. Practice to slow backing track in 8th notes where C# is on the “ands” and C is on the beats.

– when you start to speed up, keep it exactly the same way it was mechanically when it was slower

– be consistent with and consciously choose vibrato depth (i.e. very wide, very shallow, or somewhere in between)

– be consistent with and consciously choose intonation, i.e. make peaks and valleys (distance up and down) consistent

– stay on same note to perfect it (pitch, depth, speed, etc.); don’t let scratching sound bother you; keep the note going to develop consistency

– be consistent with and consciously choose speed (i.e. match tempo of song with 8th notes, triplets, 16ths, etc.); keep in sync with foot tapping

– go up 1/2 step chromatically on same string to hear it, then try it with vibrato slowly, then faster

– don’t start and stop when practice, i.e. vibrato one note until it dies, then pick it again

– imagine the sound before you play it

– check your consistency of depth, speed & intonation with metronome)

– make good musical choices by synchronizing it with the tempo and make the speed, depth & intonation match the mood of the song (ex: choosing an intonation of c to db will be appropriate for key of Bbm but not for key of C; ex: choosing a speed of triplets may be most appropriate for a shuffle; ex: choosing a more shallow depth may be more appropriate for playing a ballad, etc.)

– consider other options like:

delayed vibrato (note rings first before you vibrato) this can sound very dramatic, like singers do

bent-note vibrato (bend note to pitch then pick it again while it’s bent and apply vibrato

rubato vibrato (where the speed is on purpose not consistent for effect)