How To Approach This Lick - Full Sequence of Pentatonic Fives

Speaking in terms of Pentatonic 5s but ascending. Lets say we’re in A minor pentatonic starting on the Low E.
This lick has been giving me issues for a while but it is a great obstacle and exercise to overcome. 5 8 (Low E) 5 7 (A) 5 (D) 8 (Low E) 5 7 (A) 5 7(D) and then it would repeat starting on the A. I know this is confusing but I dont know how to type that into tab.

Usually I am inclined to go D U D U D and then come back to the Low E to hit the 8 with an Upstroke. Curious to hear what you guys think

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Definitely a challenging pattern if the rules are ‘we must pick every note’. If that’s the case, it’s a great double escape exercise.

If we can get creative with adding an occasional slur it could be pretty easily played with USX:

Then just make a sequence out of that. They way each group of 10 notes ends on an upstroke makes the string skipping when starting the next set no problem. If you get this going really fast (not claiming I can blaze through this yet myself lol) That occasional slur probably wouldn’t even be vert noticeable and would even sound pretty cool. Just like Yngwie patterns that have the occasional slur to facilitate the string change.

But yeah, if strictly alternate picking, it’s challenging.


If you don’t mind using 3nps then it could converted to 2 chunks:
1 - 3 notes on lower string, 2 notes on higher string
2 - 1 note on lower string, 2 notes on higher string, 2 notes on even higher strings

Pure USX approach, though it gives some job to a left hand.

Am I correct that this is the “fives” melodic sequence applied to the pentatonic? If so I have single-escape + hybrid strategies for this:

The ascending part for example can be done with DSX-only (plus hybrid) as follows:

first group of five: U D U D pluck
second group: D U D U D

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…and obviously USX-only too )

Probably, though I haven’t worked it out in detail. I suspect it has more “plucks”?

The descending version I do is instead USX and sort of the mirror image of the above - although I’ll probably have to edit this later when I recall the exact sequence :slight_smile:

Nah… just one sweeping in the second chunk
D U / D U / pluck
D / D U / D U

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@tommo I love the hybrid picking idea. That’s a really good solution. Extra points for thinking outside the box :slight_smile:

Lately I’ve been working on USX and some single string sweeps, so I made a version to help myself out with that. This is outside the box…as in outside the pentatonic box lol The left hand is probably more challenging than it’s worth. I have pretty good flexibility between my fretting hand index/middle and middle/pinky so it’s not too bad for me. I guess it would play more nicely in other keys where we could start up the neck a little higher. Here it is in A minor though:

EDIT: I butchered that. It’s not even sequential. Here’s what I meant:

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Thats exactly what I supposed.
Though that left hand…

Yeah I am playing through it some now. Sort of a “Betcha can’t Play This” written expressly for myself :slight_smile: Come to think of it I can see Rusty Cooley using an approach like this since he loves those monster reaches.

Right hand is feeling really natural. I’m finding I need a slightly different fretting hand wrist angle to play the wide stretch parts than the traditional ‘box’ shaped parts, which is basically every other beat heh… Switching between those wrist angles is what’s getting me. I think I can work with this though.

So thanks for all your suggestions. I could try the hybrid picking for the fifth note and work that up for sure. A slur or hammer on somewhere might also be a solid option. That string hop from the D to the low E is a tricky one! The lick gets remarkably easier on the next set of strings, and then once again becomes difficult when getting to the higher strings. I personally feel Penatonic 5s are MUCH easier to play starting on the high E. But I remember specifically making this exercise to go in the other direction :slight_smile:
Doing 3 on one string and then 2 on the next is still pretty challenging for me. I think in a live situation that would be hard to pull off on command! Worth playing around with though!

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FYI - If you notate these as 5:4 tuplets, they’ll display as simply 5 over the beam.

Technically, 5:1 means 5 sixteenths in the space of 1 sixteenth, where you’re trying to notate 5 sixteenths in the space of 1 beat (4 sixteenths).

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Thanks man I will learn soundslice one of these days! That was the quickest option I could find that made things line up how I wanted haha :slight_smile: