Legato Pentatonics short video for feedback

It’s been a while since I’ve done an AVOYP. I’ve been working on songs but have prioritised exploring new songs over perfecting one to recording level. So a bit of a different kind of AVOYP. Technique feedback!

I’ve been working on Legato Pentatonics from Justin’s Grade 3 lesson for a while (lesson at https://www.justinguitar.com/guitar-lessons/legato-pentatonics-bg-1803).

I’ve worked my way up to 140bpm quarter notes / 280bpm eighth notes. I can play it faster than that, but it gets messier so I reckon this is where I’m at. Unfortunately I couldn’t record the click, I use the Fender metronome app on my phone via bluetooth to my amp, but it wouldn’t play while I was recording video. So I used the click in Ableton instead - which didn’t record.

Here’s the (very short) video of me: Legato Pentatonics - YouTube

I recorded it after my practice. This was the first run after hitting record. Funnily enough it sounded better in the recording than to my ears while playing. There are definitely improvements to be made with volume consistency, muting (it’s gotten a lot better but far from perfect) and tightening up the timing.

I’m not sure if continuing to practice this and getting better at it makes sense at my general play level. Are there benefits to pushing it beyond this? Or am I better off dropping it from my routine now and spend the 5 minutes a day on other techniques, or different scales & riffs? Curious on feedback here on technique and if I should try to get faster on this pattern or not.

Hey @Socio, I did an AVOYP, even if a short one :rofl:.


Technique looked good to me (finger positions and movement ie no wildly flying fingers), JK.

I think continuing to work on this to improve it at this tempo and push faster depends on what your musical aspirations are.

If hard rock/metal lead play is your north star then it does. If improvising over 12BB backing is then maybe not as much. Then maybe working on bends, vibrato, and licks may be a better use of that practice time.

What a wondrful consultant’s answer “it depends” :laughing:


Hey JK,

Sounded pretty good mate.
What I did when I got this down to a reasonable level was to begin using it in a musical context. Learn a few licks, intros, short solos that incorporate this technique, and also experiment with your own improv.

Cheers, Shane


Hi JK,
Nice to see, :sunglasses: and definitely continue practicing because that will certainly help you with many more things, … I misunderstand what David says about finger position or he doesn’t say it quite right, … your first finger is in the right place in the fret, but the others still have to move to the end of their square,

And thanks for the reminder that I have to work with this myself again how it looks on screen :blush:

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@roger_holland my poor words, Roger. You are right, fingers could be closer to the fret wire. My comment was more about the curled shape of the fingers, hitting the strings more vertical than flat.


Hi JK,

That was smooth and flowing my friend :+1:

Beyond my play grade to give any meaningful feedback and advice but hey I’ll give it ago since you made the effort to break the AVoYP silence… I don’t think there is much benefit practicing this to become faster using the technique going up and down the scale. I’m pretty sure one of the rock stars of this community said that reaching a certain speed going up and down a scale is pointless as it’s not burning in useful patterns into your muscle memory and faster licks actually used in solos are repetitive phrases. So if you were to continue to practice this technique now that you have got it down I would practice with a variety of melodic patterns turning them into licks and then play them along to a backing track for some fun which would really consolidate the technique whilst burning some useful phrases into my muscle memory. As said so many times on this forum make something musical with the scale/position/technique before moving on to learning another one.


Not quite where you are yet so I can’t give much constructive feedback other than it sounded great. I only just started using hammer ons and pull offs in my own playing so I know it’s harder than it looks. There’s an effortlessness to how you did it that I think is what to strive for. It’s the same when I see more practical use in licks and solos.

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That’s a decent level to have reached already JK.
Being very picky, you can improve by ensuring the volume of hammer-ons and flick-offs are consistent and that both match the volume of the initially picked note. There are moments when a seeming lack of finger confidence causes the notes timbre and volume to waver a little.
Also, when you reach the top, try to continue the theme of legato = smooth and begin the descending play with no hesitation.
Speed is not the end result. Music is. You have a decent enough speed to now start using this in licks and lead lines and some short improvisastions.
Look to vary the nature of the notes too, moving from only playing eighths to playing some triplets mixed in perhaps.

Turn this count into a legato lick for example:
1 + 2 + 3-trip-let 4
Four eighths.
One triplet.
One whole (which cold be a bend or a held note with vibrato etc.)



Sounding good JK

Depending on your goals and learning philosophy, I think the point of the lesson is more about the hammer on and flick off technique rather than the Minor Pentatonic scale but if that’s what’s sparked your interest I would have a look here:

Especially the 5 licks from Minor Pentatonic position 1.

That’s what folk are getting at I think, you would be better off making music with the scales rather than just playing up and down.

That’s the big picture though, I see the next lesson covers adding licks into rhythm playing so if that’s the path you’re on just continue with that.

It maybe worthwhile finding a small solo or section of a classic you like the sound of to practice the technique - Van Halen Eruption anyone?

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Good stuff JK. I agree with the previous comments, it’s time to make some music with that new skill. Tighten up on the timing and mix up the notes a bit. Try missing out every other string on the way up and play the other strings on the way back down so your fingers don’t just get into the habit of going up and down the strings in order.
I think your speed is as good as you’ll need for most songs so I’d concentrate on quality now rather than speed.


JK that looks good to me, in my opinion it is better off to practice this from now on on actual song solos than this or perhaps using major scale first as then you engage more fingers at each string. To me this is a technique excercise - if you feel 80+% if your pull offs and hammer ons sound good you are able to move on.

If you want a good solo to practice on that is very similar to this arrangement try R U Mine by Arctic monkeys. Fun, quite easy tab wise but not so easy if you are starting your legato adventure as there is a tricky moment in there :wink: hopefully you’ll hook up on that idea and record another short clip! :grinning:

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It looked good & smooth to me, and way quicker than I will be able to achieve with my old arthritic fingers.

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Sounded good to my ears JK. Nice and smooth!

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Hello, you might consider exercising this on an acoustic guitar, then back to electric for hearing and feeling the differences. The higher vs lower action would force a difference in approach feel and response.

Also, when I listen back if recording, I do not engage my eyes on a screen. I find it heightens my aural awareness no matter how much I may think myself immune to the visual input distraction. The visual is valuable in assessing technique of course, but your ears will tell you more about your feel, tone and vibe.

I also try to make an exercise like this more musical if I can. Even little things like slides, gliss into horizontal playing with directional changes can really help.

Even alternate runs of scale, phrase, scale etc to not train to a dominantly scalar style.

Try holding the notes longer if you can, difficult!


@Richard_close2u I mucked around for a bit and came up with this lick based on your example rhythm. I find some combinations of notes sound better than others… so not everything that pops out is good. My bends suck so I avoided that :rofl:

It was a good consultant’s answer - and I think I’m more interested in expressive playing than speed metal.

Ah, yeah, I know that’s a generally good rule, I’ve found with legato so far I play better if my fingers are relaxed and not stretched.

I’m not sure you’re not where I’m at, I saw your latest video! I reckon we’re a pretty similar level, probably just spending time on different stuff. I’ve been practising this one daily for months, it might look effortless but it kind of has to. If I push the speed beyond what I can do I make a lot of mistakes, so it’s daily practice with a metronome and making it go 5 bpm faster when I’m comfortable with a speed (warm ups required).

That Blues Lead guitar area and this tip is gold, thanks Dave! I’ve finished grade 3 (at least what’s published) so recently started grade 4 lessons but hadn’t seen that bit yet. My improv feels pretty messy, I think that’s because I don’t know any licks yet beyond what I’ve made up myself. I’ll get into that one… Eruption I’ll leave for February (lol - maybe Feb 2033).

Thanks Adrian, I’ll check that one out. Finding achievable solos is a trial and error challenge for me.

Definitely differences on the acoustic, I play my acoustic quite a bit and playing this is a lot slower and more error prone. The slides and horizontal playing I’ll be adding as I learn more riffs and scales - so far I only know 2 scales, single positions only (minor pentatonic and major scale first position).


Thanks everyone for all the feedback. My takeaway is - technique good enough for now, time to learn new techniques, licks and solos, and take it beyond a technique exercise.

Thanks @sclay @Socio @sairfingers @Stuartw @Eddie_09 who I didn’t quote above

(had to split it over 2 posts and I was repeating myself a lot replying to everyone)


That’s a pleasing to the hear lick, phrase, JK.

Noticed you targetting the root note of the I chord.

Now what about a few cycles of that over a 12BB loop.

Do you have a looper? Recording loops on a looper is another skill that I found to be harder than people make it look. But once you have that in the skill set, loodles are great fun and good for bettering one’s play.

You could just vamp on an A7 chord and play that lick, squeezing to get all it’s juicy goodness.

Oh and try the bending, over time you’ll get better, both through deliberate practice and just be throwing them into your play. And perhaps try adding vibrato to that last note. You’ll find the lessons on both technqiues in that module Dave pointed you too. I began 2022 watching the lessons and enjoyed that being a learning focus through the year.

You may also want to check this Guitar Challenge, which I found to be anexcellent exercise Guitar Challenge (Improv) - 3, 2, 1 improvisations

Keep on rocking in the free world :grin:

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Nicely done JK.
This puts me in mind of something I devised as a learning and practice tool for DavidP a little while ago … of course it is freely available for all.

It is based around I, IV, V 12-bar framework, with a chord then some space to explore.
Legato runs of eighths, quarters, triplets etc are great fillers.
I have created and tabbed some examples (including user-friendly bends worth trying).

Would you like cheese with that sir?


Sounding good JK, you don’t have to be shredding to make sweet music. As much as improvising is more about expressing what you have learnt, ie licks, you can find some nice little runs just noodling, often by accident. Bank those whenever you find them and save them for a rainy day.
Look forward to hearing more.


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Glad you liked it David. Targetting the root wasn’t intentional - I just played around and it seemed to sound good based around that note - now I understand why :grinning:.

I have a looper on my amp, so I’m quite familiar with the challenges of having it loop perfectly in time! I’m not at the point yet where I get it to loop right first time. Still working on that. I noodle over a loop occasionally, but I often feel like I’m going nowhere with it as I haven’t learnt any set piece licks yet or how to bend properly. Although solving that shortly, I think. Once I’ve figured bends out I think I’ll give that 321 a go - might be a while though!

Extra cheese! That exercise is way too good to be buried deep in one of David’s AVOYPs, it deserves its own post. I’ve got to try that sometime, looks achievable. Thanks Richard.

And sometimes shredding is beautiful, other times just noise. Although no shredding happening here yet!

I improv a lot, but I find it more fulfilling to build around chords, riffs and construct a song melody, rather than improvising solos. Why… don’t currently find lead improv that great at my skill level. All the runs I have are from noodles :wink:. Which is to say, not many of them and they’re luck based…

Just watched the video on how to bend properly (5 minutes ago), and with some practice, some licks, and learning some other people’s solos (beyond the few I can do now) I reckon I’ll get there in time.