Pentatonic Beginnings

So now it's time to get stuck in and do some! We're going to start with some simple melody using the A Minor Pentatonic.

These exercises are using only notes from the Pattern 1, A Minor Pentatonic (most likely the first scale you learned, starts with the first finger in the 5th fret).

  1. Download the pdf file, which is TAB with rhythm written above it. Simply click the PDF link in the right column (under the ad!)
  2. If you are using one of the transcribing software you can download the mp3 file and open it in the software. If you are not using that you can just use the embedded SoundCloud file below! But I highly recommend you use software, it's lots easier and therefore give you a more confident start!

All these examples are in the Key Of A and all at the same tempo... I'm going easy on you in this first session :) There are a few little ornaments that snuck through (even though I was trying not to) so don't worry about writing down vibrator or curls or anything if you notice them (which you may not anyway!).

Just remember what we have done in the last few lessons and go for it. Expect it to be challenging if you are new to transcribing. It might take you a while to get it right, but transcribing is not a skill that is mastered quickly, it takes time and effort but brings a great reward!!


Download the pdf file (link in the right column under the add if you missed that bit!) which is TAB with rhythm written above it. You will write the notes on the TAB under the rhythm. The rhythm is there to help you space the notes well and get you used to seeing and understanding written rhythms, eventually you should transcribe the tab and write in the rhythms on your own.

Remember music is made of rhythm and melody, so understanding both is very important! My book Rhythm Reading For Guitarists is very helpful for many aspects of playing guitar and we will look at it a little later in the course but my eBook goes through it thoroughly and progressively.

Transcription Exercise #105-A

This first track has only a click, "hi-hat" playing quarter notes, a bass part playing root notes and the lead lines. Nothing to clutter your ear! And remember that all the notes are from the A Minor Pentatonic Pattern 1.

Transcription Exercise #105-B

More of the same, just getting you into it nice and easy!

Transcription Exercise #105-C

And one more nice and simple, still just bass playing root notes and simple hi-hat playing on the beat!

Transcription Exercise #105-D

This track introduces a little bit off bass movement. Keeping with the very simple quarter notes on the hi-hat and easy rhythms for the lead part.

Transcription Exercise #105-E

Now we got our first kinda drum groove, albeit a simple one, but will hopefully give you a vibe on what is to come. Bass is a little more rhythmic too! Still just A Minor Pentatonic.

Further Transcriptions

Another 3 transcriptions for this lesson for you below. These have drum kit, bass and acoustic guitar backing tracks!! You will find it a little harder with these "other things" around the part you want to transcribe, but remember that they are still ONLY using notes from the minor pentatonic so you should do fine! They are a little harder than the above examples, but not much!

Exercise #105-F

An 8 Bar Melody to transcribe with an acoustic band backing.

Exercise #105-G

An 8 Bar Melody to transcribe with an acoustic band backing.

Exercise #105-H

A 16 bar solo with acoustic band backing! 


Answers? Answers? Download the answers here... but not until you've given it a good go :)

Transcribing 1