1.3 How to Approach the Course

‘Metal Pentatonic’ is primarily designed to teach you how to apply the minor pentatonic in fresh and exciting new ways. By starting with the humble Minor Pentatonic – every guitarists ‘first scale’ - as our starting point enables us to enter Andy’s world of extreme technique in an easy to understand, low key fashion that even the most anti-technique ‘Indie Rock’ stylist can - given the inclination! - apply to their own playing.

This is not designed or intended to be a definitive guide to Pentatonics: not only do we leave alone the Major Pentatonic (let’s be clear here: Andy does not visualise his playing from a major pentatonic standpoint – leave that for the country metal dudes!) but there is very little advanced harmony or pentatonic substitution concepts contained within this first course.

Rather view this as new way to approach this simplest of melodic tools, and soon you’ll be seeing how it can support an almost infinite variety of applications that can literally turn your playing around.

If you’re a rock and metal player with a decent level of technique, but your playing is stuck in a rut playing those same old licks, this is course for you. We aren’t trying to reinvent the ‘pentatonic wheel’ – we’re re-booting what you already know and hopefully going to provide you with fresh inspiration to approach your playing.

Maybe you’re a real shredhead with a barrel load of death defying licks and tricks already under your belt – you can sweep pick, tap and legato it all and blow away any dude at your local guitar emporium/stage - and have always viewed the pentatonic as the province of beer bellied old bluesers?

We shall open up your eyes to how foolhardy it is to lay all your eggs in the three note per string and triadic sweep arpeggio’d basket of clichéd shred licks, and pretty soon you’ll appreciate how essential mastering Pentatonics is in playing real deal - real world - guitar.

You may even be a complete beginner – in which case good luck as you’re gonna need it!

Whatever your personal circumstances, you’ll need to be on top of your game in order to get the most out of this book: you’ll need a good core level of physical technique to be able to play much of the content, as well as an appreciation and knowledge of the music, players, and history of the so called ‘shred’ guitar style.

Thus before you jump in to the guitar playing in Chapter 2, it is strongly recommended that you read the following pages, have a quick warm up with our little Shred Fitness Workout and prepare yourself for the quest that lies ahead...

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