Stuck Inside the Pentatonic (with those Memphis blues again)

Posted by The Fretwire on


I am a self-taught player. Being self-taught doesn't mean I am a natural or wicked smart. It just means my love of guitar outweighed my Mom's reluctance to start me on yet another hobby. I can't blame her. I was dead set on playing the saxophone a few short months before I picked up the guitar. Also, there was a solid week in between when all I wanted was to be an Air Force Pilot. Being self-taught also means that my progress was very uneven. Rather than learning little by little the way I teach my students now, I would have great, big revelatory moments that would propel me forward. One such moment was stumbling across the Pentatonic minor scale, specifically the Pentatonic minor box. I learned how to move the pattern up and down the fretboard to change keys, and learned that anything I played in that pattern sounded great. Overnight I went from being unable to play lead and was transformed into a guitar god. Seriously. I rocked. "So what is the problem, Sam? Sounds like you have everything a guitar player could ever dream of." I will tell you what the problem is, dear inquisitive imaginary reader; The problem is that was 15 years ago. I am not saying I haven't ever made additional progress, but in many ways I haven't. I have learned and implemented some arpeggios, and some other scales. I learned a gazillion new licks, and I still rock. Just last week two of my 4 year old nieces were utterly impressed with my mad skills. But when I am up on stage rockin' the Hoochie Coochie Man, and Adam throws the solo back in my direction, what do I play? The Pentatonic, of course. The Pentatonic. So waddaya guys think? Where do I go from here?