Master Pentatonic Scale Using Picking Techniques

Pentatonic scale is the most popular and common guitar scale that guitarists of all levels use it to play solos. In this lesson, we will learn how to effectively use different picking techniques to master the pentatonic scale. By repeatedly playing and practicing this scale using the picking techniques that I am going to show, one can easily have more grip and control over this scale.

Picking techniques to master Pentatonics

Below are the picking techniques that you can use and experiment with.

  • alternate picking
  • sweep/economy picking
  • hybrid picking
  • legato (hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, tapping)
  • string skipping
  • bends
  • harmonics

It’s a great idea to take a few exercises and experiment playing it in different ways. Let’s look at an example using A minor pentatonic. In this example, we will play the same exercise using alternate picking, sweep picking, and then legato.

Alternate Picking

alternate picking

Sweep Picking

sweep picking



Here are a few important points to help you get the most from these exercises:

  • Initially learn each exercise without a metronome. Make sure that you play the exercise with both hands as relaxed as possible.
  • Once the exercise is memorized, practice it to a metronome. Start off at a slow speed. Over a period of days (or weeks/months) gradually speed up the metronome speed.
  • Always practice the exercises at a speed where you can play them perfectly. If you are making mistakes, you are playing too quickly.