Become great at Improvisation Pt. 3 – Groups of 3

05 Dec

Hi there,

Thanks for reading my blogs. Hope you find them useful.
This is the 3rd blog in the series on improvisation after blogs 1 + 2 which map out your 4 essential improv scales.

Once you’ve learned all your shapes in every key for the 4 types of scales (major + minor pentatonics, major and minor scales) the next step is to integrate lots of cool patterns to help you turn these scales into riffs, melodies and solos.

In my humble opinion 2 of the best exercises to use are groups of 3’s + 4’s. Millions of riffs and melodies use these patterns and is a great way of learning your shapes inside out.

Groups of 3 means that you go up the scale pattern for 3 notes, come back a note then do 3 notes from that note and so on. Using alternate picking (down, up, down, up) with this pattern is extremely useful. You’ll want to practice this pattern going up and down each shape in each key.

Let’s take Pattern 1 of the A minor pentatonic using this exercise and you’ll get the following:

Here’s an audio clip of me playing it :

Here’s the 1st shape of the A major scale using the same sequence:


Here’s an audio clip of me playing it :

Remember this pattern can be used with all shapes in any key 🙂

Hope you’ve found this blog useful – the next blog will explain groups of 4

You can find other excellent free info from Js Music School on twitter @jsmusicschool and @harvey_jsmusic

Many thanks



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Posted by on December 5, 2013 in Improvisation


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