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Watch the Across The Neck online guitar lesson by James Hogan from 50 All-Purpose Pentatonic Licks

Lick #17 “Across The Neck” is a killer “blues scale” sequence that rapidly takes you across the neck of the guitar. The blues scale is essentially the minor pentatonic scale with the addition of the b5 aka “blue note.” It’s intervals= (1,b3,4,b5,5,b7) In this case= (A, C, D, Eb,E,G) 20th century scholars heard this sound sung and played often by early blues, jazz and gospel musicians. The scholars deduced that the common scale structure heard in these music styles was largely pentatonic based; often with the addition of what they termed the “blue note” aka the b5th. To be honest, I’m doubtful any traditional blues, jazz or gospel musician ever thought about any of that. But I digress! While this lick is based on the blues scale it really sounds more like 80’s shred, which is cool! You’ll hear this sound a lot in Greg Howe’s playing. I think I snagged this one from Paul Gilbert.