Improvisation in Am Pentatonic - Module 12, Grade 2

Alert: newbie stuff ahead, LOL!

In module 12 Justin has us practicing the Am Pentatonic scale, in anticipation of Blues coming up in the next module. While practicing, I came up with this small riff/lick/something and though it sounded good and doubled as a really fun finger play over the fretboard …

(original version)

NOTE: much better / updated version (see comment way down below)

Back in module 10 there was already improv “homework”, but back then it did not “click” for me, I was never super happy with what I did. This time around, not only I liked the result, I managed to write the tab too, with proper positioning of the notes with regards to the beats: (a skill which is finally starting to become easier)

Finally, a note on the way it sounds: I recorded it twice, the first track is mostly clean, it has just some reverb, and then I played it once again, but with an octaver effect, 1 full octave below. Turned out better than I initially thought it would.


Hi Caudio,
I read a lot above like …" really fun, I liked the result, become easier,turned out better " …

Well :smiley: :sunglasses: :clap:

That makes me smile … nice play, keep it up :sunglasses:



Sounds good to me. Looking forward to hearing more

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Sounds good, a catchy riff. Well done


What a nice and smooth riff! Congrats!

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Ooh, I like that. :ok_hand:

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Claudio that is a perfect example of when the Blues influences early metal (ala Hard rock back in the day). This would work really well with a lot more grit and a bit of distortion and a few extra horses. Nice tempo riff down and dirty, what’s not to like.

For your Blues exploration, take this exercise and find the next octave then explore that position. Then go up another octave and repeat. Move between those three and finally (if you can) find the fourth octave way up the neck and check out there. Lots to explore here !


@TheMadman_tobyjenner thank you for the great suggestions to build on this simple riff with additional octaves, that should prove really fun to learn and play. Will definitely give it a solid try!

A Question, to make sure I grow my lingo as well as my playing: what are those “few extra horses”? Is it a faster tempo, a more dynamic playing, or something else entirely? :slight_smile:

It is a voyage of discovery. For every lick you learn, as @stitch said in another recent thread, you can dissect, expand and reinvent, just make it your own. Taking just a few licks and repeating them throughout a 12 bar blues can pay dividends. Extracting as much as you can from just one lick can be amazing, Moving that to the next CAGED pattern can expanding it further. Rick Beck would often repeat a lick and play the Unison higher up the neck, roll off the tone and it would sound completely different. Don’t be afraid of repeating a single lick and playing it in different ways, in different positions. Its what all the great performers did and do. And get a great mileage from a few simple notes, Sometimes we try to make things more complicated than they need to be. :sunglasses:

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Quick update on this thread: following the advice from @TheMadman_tobyjenner I did explore this little riff in the next two octaves and here’s the result:

As with before, there’s a fake bass line which is a result of an octaver effect over the base riff. Then I play over it, including the next two octaves.

One experiment I made this time was to record it twice and mix the two tracks as as a single stereo track, panning each take to one channel. Sounded interesting to listen to, especially with headphones :slight_smile: