Lesson 2 – Rhythm Fill Riffs and Lead Guitar Course
Lesson ID: A0090
The 5th position of the G major pentatonic scale is the most important scale position in country and bluegrass. It’s used all the time to play flatpicking licks and open chord rhythm embellishments. In this guitar lesson video, I’ll show you how to learn and practice the 5th position G major pentatonic scale. Then we’ll go over an easy way you can apply this scale to a basic country and bluegrass chord progression.
This is very helpful for a beginner like me. Thanks! Can’t wait to watch the rest of the videos.
Actually it left me a bit confused. In the lesson 2 video you set up a 6 bar progression but I don’t understand how the scales fit the progression. Would have been easier for me if you had included the tab with the scales played over that 6 bars. Don’t feel comfortable moving on without really understand this much. Can you clarify. Kind of slow in my old age. 🙂
Hi Troy – I just added practice tablature for this lesson. Click the download button right below the video. The tab has two rounds of the six bar progression…first half of each measure shows the rhythm..second half of each measure shows a nice fill riff with the 5th position G major pentatonic scale. I also added the “1 e & a” counting below each measure. It sounds pretty good when you play this whole thing from start to finish and repeat. Hope that helps! Thanks for the note – Devin
Hey Troy – I just tried on my end and it loaded up for me. It’s very rare, but every once in a while the video host times out for different reasons…usually because of maintenance or a quick server reset. Try again now and let me know if it works this time.
Devin check the link on the [VIDEO] tab for video 2 the link reads https://countryguitaronline.com/how-to-use-the-5th-position-g-major-pentatonic-scale/. When I right click and open link to new window I get the video. It is a programming error on that tab. Let me know if that helps our problem.
Hi Troy – Is the link you’re talking about on this page? I’m having trouble finding it. I checked all the navigation links and they seem to be correct and the video player seems to be working correctly. What device are you using to view the site? Is it a desktop? I’m wondering if it’s displaying differently on your system for some reason. Thanks again for the messages…we’ll figure it out eventually!
We got it Devin. Thanks for your patience.
Hey Troy, Really good talking with you the other night. Hope you got my reply to your e-mail yesterday. I sent a Music XML attachment of these riffs..just exported out of my software. Whenever you have a minute, let me know if that file can import into Guitar Pro, and if it’s helpful I’ll make sure I add these downloads for future lessons. I know someone else was requesting these XML files also. Thanks again and keep in touch!
I didn’t get those files Devin
Hey Troy – Since this e-mail, I’ve just decided to go ahead and switch over to using Guitar Pro as my main guitar tablature software. Seems like that’s what most people are using these days…I’ll plan to add GP file downloads on new lessons when I can. Tested the Music XML import from TablEdit into Guitar Pro and it wasn’t too clean. So far I’m loving Guitar Pro and there’re a lot of free Guitar Pro tab file readers so hopefully this helps learn all the songs and riffs! Have a good week. – Devin
I’m a little confused. I printed out your scales and the G major on the download doesn’t match the one you use in this lesson?
If you printed the scales from this page http://countryguitaronline.com/major-pentatonic-scales/ …that printout shows the 5th position key of G starting at the 12th fret. In this lesson here, we’re playing the 5th position key of G scale with the same notes, but an octave lower using the open strings instead of the 12th fret…both variations of the scale use the same notes, just one octave apart. Hope that helps, and let me know if you have other questions.
oh crap, yes… that link explained it all, starting to make sense
I just added a new country bluegrass guitar scales resource to CGO that y’all might like https://countryguitaronline.com/open-position-guitar-scales/ The new charts show the open position scales in several common keys. All these scales will be really handy for playing country fills around open chords. I have more videos on the way that’ll show how to use these charts to play country sounding note combinations. Hope this is helpful! sundancer Gary Gary allangarvey123 Lars
Just really really cool. Put clear and simple to follow. Thanks.
Welcome! Glad you’ve been able to check out the site already. Let me know if you ever have any lesson requests.
Just discovered this after coming back to guitar playing after years of ukulele and bass. Loving your teaching style. Easy to understand. Thank you so much.
Thanks Janice! Really appreciate the compliment and glad you’re putting the lessons to good use. – Devin
Oh yeah, I’m starting to sound more like the way I hear it in my head, thank you so much
Your way of explaning is really easy to follow. I’m glad I discovered you website today. Keep up the good work!
Hello Devin, I am loving the lessons so far. I would love you see/hear and example of the above “practice tablature” in the lesson. Having that really helps with how it’s SUPPOSED to sound.
Hey Jason – Thanks! Glad you’re liking the lessons! I’ve had a few other people asking for practice tracks/videos…that’s something my latest lessons have and all future weekly lessons will have also! If I find some free time, I’ll try to record a quick example of the practice tablature for this lesson and add it to the post. Thanks for the comment – Devin
I am working on this lesson also, and knowing how it should sound would be most helpful. Thanks.
I definitely need to work on my scales, but I have the alternate strumming pretty good, thanks.
Glad to find the tabs. I have a hard time keeping up with your speed! This way I can work at my own snails pace!
Good deal, glad the tabs are helping. Also, if you haven’t tried it, you can hover over the video player with your mouse and click the “-” button to slow down the video. Might help on some spots also! – Devin
One of the best lessons I’ve ever watched. Great job. I will see you in the member area soon!
I have tried countless sites and finally found one that works for me. I am stoked about guitar again. Gracias
Awesome, that’s great to hear! Really appreciate the comment. – Devin
I know you say don’t waste time watching same lesson and move on, but, at my stage of playing, I watch, practice, screw up, watch it again, practice more. I think I am getting it though, thanks. Larry
Nothing wrong with watching the same videos over and over…repetition is how you learn this stuff right here. I probably drive my neighbors nuts because I’ll sit on my back porch and play the same licks over and over again.
Superb lesson. I’ve already learned a lot with your free videos — on my way to sign up for Gold Pick. Looking foward to watching more.
I just found this site and I will say I think you’ve got some of the best lessons and teaching I’ve come across. Will sign up for Gold Pick tomorrow.
Thanks Devin, spot on lesson. I don’t know if you have ever looked at your competition but let me tell you this has been the best I have found.
Thanks Stephen! Really appreciate it.
Hi Devin, I’ve just discovered your lessons and I’m stunned at the quality and effectiveness of them.
What you show sounds great, and you give the tools to understand what we do.
Thank you 1000 times, exactly what I’ve been looking for ages.
Please keep this wonderful work,
Jack from France.
muito boa essa lição, no speak english, but i see the lesson , tank you…
Your lessons are awesome. I can strum and sing hundreds of songs, but I’ve needed to find an understandable course to go to the next level. Your lessons are of the upmost quality. I’m a teacher by profession and the way you teach is step by step and logical. Many guitar teachers don’t explain things in detail and it causes confusion for the student. Keep up the awesome lessons!!!!
My question has been answered.
Cool, good deal. I’m actually working on some extra scale charts that show modified scale shapes you can play near the nut with the open strings…will show this for several different keys. It should be pretty helpful for playing these fill riffs. I’ll let you know when we get them posted…
For the Practice Tablature in this lesson, is there an audio version of this so I can hear this piece?
I’ve got a few other videos I’m recording now, but let me see if I can upload a tablature file here soon that you can play with audio. I’ll keep you posted!
Thanks Devin for the simple yet great way in which you teach the country style guitar. I’m an old man that has always enjoyed country music though I mostly play in church.
Watching your videos has helped me more in a short time than everything I’ve been trying to accomplish my whole life…..I thank God for you, cause it’s a blessing for me.
At my age I might not accomplish much but at least I enjoy what I like the most. Thanks and may God bless you.
Thanks William! I love teaching guitar and it’s always great to hear positive feedback like yours. Really appreciate the kind words. I played in my church worship group all through high school and it was a great experience…talented musicians and a good experience overall. Hope you keep enjoying the lessons! – Devin
I just happened upon one of your videos today on YouTube as I thought about learning a lick or two. Really enjoyed the explanations and pace so I’ve gone right back to lesson one and now I’m learning the 5th pos pentatonic and loving it. Excellent learning resource. Thank you.
I like your lessons. I don’t know how long it will take me to grasp these lessons. But if my efforts are as good as my intentions I should do O.K. I really like the way you are teaching. I am 83 years old, and I don’t have much trouble catching on, as long as I have my basic’s down good. I want to learn to improvise and play fill between chords. I have 7 years behind me on the electric guitar. (strat). I am impressed with your lessons, and I want to move on.
Thanks Robert! Glad you found the site! Sounds great, I’d love to have you on board whenever you’re ready. Plenty of lessons on improvising and playing fills between chords that you’ll probably like. Just let me know if you have questions about anything.
First time I have taken a minor scale and did a 145 and had fill of anything by adliving. Sounded good
for a first time. It has opened my eye’s as to what can be done with a little practice. Now my question would be, am I getting this right. Or rather am I on the right track?
Any body else having problems printing the tablature for this?
Hey Richard, Tablature files are currently available to members on screen when they are signed in to the member area. We recently made this change because unfortunately we had a good amount of people signing up for one month and downloading a ton of my tablature for just $1. Had to make a change so I can get compensated for all the hard work I’m putting into the lessons and tablature! With that being said, we’re building a new feature right now where Six Month Members can download 15 free print friendly tablature files each month and Monthly Members can… Read more »
Thanks for info.
Very helpful. I like to know both the scales and riffs. The Pull offs don’t ring as much as the hammer ons. Is there a trick?
I am really having trouble with understanding the scales. In this lesson for example, the 5th position G Major Pentatonic scale shown in the video looks nothing like the one in the scale charts section, I just don’t understand. Please help. I have the one in the video down fairly well, but when I pulled up the charts to work on the other positions, I was blown away.
Hey Joe! The scales seem like a lot at first but they’re fairly easy after you wrap your head around what’s going on. In this video, we’re using an “open position” scale which means basically that we’re playing the scale shape down near the nut using the open strings instead of one octave higher at the 12th fret. This link will show the open position scales in different keys https://countryguitaronline.com/open-position-guitar-scales/ but I’d stick to the key of G for now. I’m guessing you might be getting confused looking at the major pentatonic scale charts just because the 5th position key… Read more »
I have been wanting to learn country and bluegrass and very happy to have found your lessons here! The tabs you provide are very clear, thank you! I enjoyed the lesson and looking forward to practising and advancing in this style of music.
Just joined up after reviewing a couple of your lessons. Been pretty much a “strummer” and have been looking for a good explanation of fills and pentatonic scales. But, I do have one suggestion. It would be very useful if you included, either in the lesson or standalone, a “slow walkthrough” demo of the practice tablature. Not so much the rhythm but the fills themselves, as tabbed.
Thanks and looking forward to more…
Thanks for joining! All the newer lessons on the site will come with a slow walkthrough demo of the tablature. There’s an example you can check out in the latest Hank Williams lesson…Video 1 under the Guitar Solo tab https://countryguitaronline.com/your-cheatin-heart-country-strumming-guitar-lesson/
I’ll make a note to go back to this lesson at some point and add something similar. I probably won’t re-work every single older lesson on the site that doesn’t have the Playthrough with Tablature, but maybe a few of them here and there.
Hope you keep enjoying the site!
Finally I understand pentatonic scalesl!
I’m not sure if this is the right place to ask this kind of question, but have any of you played at an assisted living/memory care setting? My group got asked to play and we are trying to put together an appropriate set list. If you’ve played before, did you have songs that folks seemed to respond really well to? Songs to sing along to? songs to tap your toes to? a healthy mixture of both? Do you have recommendations about what sing along songs work well? Thanks.
I would think that familiar songs would be well received – even if they’re about leaving this realm, like “Will the Circle be Unbroken”.
It’s funny. My group actually had a long conversation about songs like Circle and whether they would be appropriate or no in a nursing home setting. We’re trying to come up with an up beat set list with songs that will stay with them even after the band has packed up and gone home. Barnburners like Mt. Dew seem fun – any others?
yeah for sure, Mt. Dew would be a great one. My grandparents loved that song. Nice and upbeat
I actually played at an assisted living facility about ten years ago or so and we didn’t have much a game plan but I wish we prepared a bit more. We had some folks falling asleep in the front row, but maybe that’s a compliment in some settings 🙂 I remember the older audience requesting songs from when they grew up. I’d think “Will the Circle be Unbroken” would work too…and maybe “I’ll Fly Away” and “You Are My Sunshine”
Cool lesson lots to learn.
This series is really helpful I’m learning so much i don’t want to put my guitar down. Thanks Devin.
Excellent explanation , thanks Devin!
This is powerful stuff. Add a couple blue notes to this and get some Tony Rice licks and lots of other hot licks.
Devin.. i don t understand .. black spot means i Press the chord , white pi King ?
The black and white circles on the scale charts are all notes you can press down within that scale position. The black dots would just be the scale root notes…example – key of G scales, black dots show the root note of G at different octaves.