Become great at Improvisation Pt 6 – Pentatonic bends

12 Dec

Hi there,

Thanks again for reading my blogs, feel good about spreading the word if you have found them useful.

So the next few blogs are going to really get stuck into pitch bends with the minor pentatonic scale, then move onto using them in the major and minor scales.

Pitch bends are a really great way of linking up shapes and creating variety in your lead playing. You are basically picking a note then bending the string with your fretting hand to reach another note. Often you are simply just bending the note to reach the pitch of the next note in the scale.

To keep it simple i’m going to just display the most essential bends of the 5 shapes on the G, B and E strings. These are the ones you are going to use the most.

In the picture below you’ll see the red circles on which to perform the pitch bends. In each pitch bend you are bending up the note to reach the next note (that would be in the connecting shape)

  • The red circle highlights a ‘tone bend’. A tone is 2 notes (so E to F# or G to A)
  • The red circle with a blue circle around it highlights ‘a tone and a half bend’ which means 3 semitones in total (so E to G or G to A#)


As the shapes are the same for the major pentatonic you can use the bends in exactly the same way.

Hope you’ve found this blog useful, we’ll go onto the major/minor scales next where you can add semitone bends to your repertoire.

You can find other excellent free tips via the Js Music School twitter feed @jsmusicschool @harvey_jsmusic

Many thanks



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Posted by on December 12, 2013 in Improvisation


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