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Watch the Breakdown 1 online guitar lesson by Andy Aledort from Slow Blues Power

Let’s examine the E minor pentatonic scale, played in first position and using open strings. We begin with a low E, sounded by the open sixth string, followed by G (sixth string/third fret), A (open fifth string), B (fifth string/second fret), D (open fourth string), E (fourth string/second fret), G (open third string), A (third string/second fret), B (open second string), D (second string/third fret), E (open first string) and G (first string/third fret). In this solo, I additionally utilize the E Blues scale, which is the same as E minor pentatonic but includes the flatted fifth, Bb, located at the first fret of the fifth string and the third fret of the third string.

These scales, incidentally, are also used prevalently in rock as well as many different styles of music, and are essential scales for all guitar players, regardless of the style of music they play, to be well familiar with.

Within the context of slow blues, these scales played in this position are incredibly useful, as one can take great advantage of the open strings to play fast licks articulated with pull-offs, hammer-ons and slides. Be sure to experiment with these scales in this position to discover some interesting variables of your own.

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