Watch the Open Up the Neck Pents online guitar lesson by Angus Clark from Hard Rock Survival Guide: Lead

So far we've looked at some basic position fingerings as a starting point so that you've got something to play while you're working on hand synchronization and playing with the metronome, etc. One of the biggest challenges that faces most players is how to "connect" or "open up" the neck. As I mentioned in the text for Concept 5, I see the neck as notes. I also use what's called "pattern recognition" to connect what the available notes in any key or scale are on the neck. We're going to look at two fingerings for the pentatonic scale, one that starts with your first finger, and one that starts with your 3rd finger.

Starting with the basic box shape from concept one, let's make a couple of basic changes. On the way down from the 4th string to the 6th, we're going to slide down the 5th string from the 5th scale degree to the 4th so that we hit the Root on the sixth string with our third finger. On the way up, we're going to slide up the 3rd string from the 4th scale degree to the 5th so that we hit the root on the 2nd string with our third finger. This way we have the same fingering in both octaves. Voila. The second fingering starts from the 6th string with your first finger on the root and on the way up slide up the 4th string from the 7th scale degree to the Root so that you start the next octave with the same fingering. That's it, you've got two fingerings for the minor Pentatonic scale. You can find the same two fingerings starting from the 5th string as well. And now the neck is yours. You have to adjust by shifting when you are working across strings 2 and 3, but that's one of the hazards of playing the guitar, so get used to it.