Watch the Skip the 2nd online guitar lesson by Robert Renman from Blues Booster
Patterns are very useful - they are great practice to learn scales and to make your fingers to in a variety of directions, thereby avoiding the same old licks coming out all the time. If you use a pattern here and there, it can sound really cool too, as long as it's not too long. Skip the 2nd is one of my favorite patterns. You can use the pattern with any scale, so always practice a pattern using several different scales.