The "Absolute Root" Pentatonic Method

Welcome to the "Absolute Root" Method for guiding guitar players toward using scales more musically! This method is easy to understand and it's simple to implement. It is a scale application system that operates as an excellent way to think through your scales so that you can produce more melodic lines...

In this lesson, we'll learn about the "Absolute Root" Method for the Minor Pentatonic scale on the Guitar, but this idea can be later applied to any scale.

As soon as you start into this method, you'll probably think that this approach is a little bit different from other ways that you’ve tried to study scales and learn to solo up till now.

Keep in mind that this is an approach that I invented to help my own private guitar students learn to create music with scales faster and easier. You won't find it in any other guitar course outside of Creative Guitar Studio.

With my own private guitar students I have come to call this approach, the “Absolute Root,” Method and I’ve found that it helps guitar players have an easier time using scales (in this lesson; the Minor Pentatonic), to create music - as compared to learning only the traditional 3 to 4 fret box scale shapes.


This method works because it focuses on a wide fret-range mapped out against another similar root note set-up. In fact, my original nick-name for this method was the “Absolute Wide Root,” Method, but I shortened its name, because I thought “Absolute Root,” sounded better.

The method revolves around taking a scale fingering position set-up across a 5 to 6 fret area of the fingerboard with a result of getting a guitarist to start playing more laterally than as if you were to stay within the more traditional 3 or 4 fret box shape.

Let’s start by learning a “1 octave” scale layout for an Absolute Root pattern based off of an, “A” Minor Pentatonic on the 4th-string root.

Example 1).
Notice how the scale is within one octave range, yet is spread out across 6 frets.

Next, we’re going to use that same 3-fret reach "octave shape" (operating as a 3-fret span across roots) to be able to move into another area of the neck working within the same key.

We’ll build a new scale pattern that’s similar to the first, but it will be slightly altered due to the tuning difference that we have on our guitars 3rd to the 2nd strings…

Here’s what this new note pattern looks like when played in the guitar’s, 1st position…

Example 2).

The next step is to practice applying each of these fingering shapes for the “A Minor Pentatonic.”

You’ve already probably noticed that each shape is quite wide. Each shape covers 5 or 6 frets and promotes a far more lateral movement along the neck.

Plus, (since the notes in play are identical unison notes), we can jam out on very similar licks between the patterns, yet our melodic approach will change due to the string and fingering changes to the pattern.

Here’s a lick that I wrote exclusively for this lesson. The lick applies this style of using the “Absolute Root” method across the two scale patterns demonstrated in the diagrams shown above.

Example 3). 
Guitar Lick using the two positions shown from the “Absolute Root” method. 

My approach for this “Absolute Root” method isn’t limited to just one root to octave layout on the neck. You can go to work on this idea and take any Root to Octave layout using the Minor Pentatonic and start looking for ways to create wide 5 to 6 fret set-ups of the scale on the fingerboard.

It’s not hard to learn this concept and the best part is that once you understand the basics you can start to move on to more in-depth study of this method and go forward to start creating several more of these Absolute Root scale layouts.

Let me leave you with one more of these patterns to try, and then I’m quite sure that you’ll be able to start making up patterns of your own as well.

Example 4).
Find the second pattern on the neck for this shape (shown below).

HINT: The second related pattern begins from off of the open 5th "A" string.

I hope that this lesson on viewing the Minor Pentatonic differently with this “Absolute Root” method helps you start playing more interesting solos.

All it takes is some practice on re-locating tones to form more of these "spread out" scale shapes.

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