The Pentatonic Zone – Stage Three

The Pentatonic Zone is the third of four Stages that are included in The Complete Rock Guitar Course.  The program includes 2 DVDs or 2 Digital Downloads; on-screen, animated, play along guitar tab; play along bass and drum backing tracks (MP3); and printable guitar tablature. Course begins at week 20, ends at week 31. Program length 2:33.

An in-depth look at the Pentatonic scale along with the 5 Diatonic patterns.  Modal theory is explained.  Chord progressions to match the five modes are covered.  As the lesson continues you are taught how to build chord scales – the foundation of playing by ear.  Now you’ll know exactly what chords to choose in any key or mode. This will prepare you for the Speed and Accuracy section of the course that begins in Week 33 of Stage Four.

This section of the course is called The Pentatonic Zone because it takes the Pentatonic scale to a new level.  This is much advanced from what you learned in the first five weeks of the course.  The pentatonic scale is used to build a complete challenging lead.  Modal theory is explained in this section along with playing techniques that will be utilized in the Speed and Accuracy section. It is recommended to purchase GuitarPro to play along with animated tab for each lesson at any tempo.

Course Highlights

  • The Pentatonic Zone
  • Skill analysis test
  • Sequences
  • The 5 note lead
  • Song “Back in Time” with backing track
  • Diatonic patterns
  • Modal theory
  • Tip – How to play fast
  • Master fretting hand
  • String muting with both hands
  • Picking hand speed technique


“I was 15 when I started guitar and have been playing for 13 years. From the beginning, I wanted to shred and play fast. However, I had trouble playing guitar fast. For years, I was stuck at 90-96 bpm. It wasn’t because I was lazy at practicing, it was because my technique was poor. I also had bad guitar teachers giving me bad advice. One day I discovered Speed and Accuracy for Lead Guitar and I tried the 30 day program. I learned the proper techniques for guitar speed and I was able to exceed 90 bpm and go as far as 160. The end result: I was blazin’ on the guitar as if I was possessed. After 18 days of practicing the exercises, I can finally say, “I can shred and play guitar fast!” I haven’t finished the 30 days yet, but I am already learning rock songs with fast guitar solos! One of my new year’s resolution was to play guitar fast. After several fail projects later…I finally rang the bell! Thank you very much Doug Marks!” – Jason S

Lesson Descriptions:

The Complete Rock Guitar Course – All 4 Stages

Rock Guitar for Beginners – Stage One

Intermediate Rock Guitar – Stage Two

The Pentatonic Zone – Stage Three

Speed and Accuracy – Stage Four

Table of Contents

This program includes a very detailed table of contents that includes the exact location (00:00) for each of the following topics.  There’s a ton of information here.

  • Week three of Pentatonic mastery
  • Value of the five-pattern strategy
  • How to develop automatic behavior
  • 3rd pattern of Pentatonic scale
  • How to master patterns
  • Alternate fingering for pentatonic pattern 3
  • A sequence
  • Test your skill level
  • PDF instructions to analyze test
  • 4th Pentatonic pattern
  • For slow songs set metronome to eighth note beat
  • Four sequences reviewed
  • Four pentatonic patterns reviewed
  • Pentatonic lead / backing track
  • Importance of studying fundamental techniques
  • Final Pentatonic Zone lesson
  • About Doug’s guitar & a little jam
  • Preview of 5 Note Lead
  • The 5th pentatonic position
  • All five pentatonic pattern review
  • Complete Pentatonic lead explained
  • Last thoughts on Pentatonic Zone
  • Reasonable expectations and goals
  • Review of the four-note lead
  • Trapezoid shape demonstration
  • Rhythmic and melodic variety using only four notes
  • The five-note lead.
  • BB King Blues Box
  • Closeup of the five-string box with blues lick demonstration.
  • Why is it so difficult to play along with a metronome?
  • Problem with “quantized notes”
  • An introduction to MIDI
  • A linear sequence
  • Song, Back in Time with backing track
  • Back in Time Lead
  • Explanation of why limitations enhance creativity
  • Student challenge & how students should track their progress
  • Speed and Accuracy continued
  • Complete back in time 5-note, one position lead
  • A rhythmic masterpiece
  • Practice should become a habit
  • Beginning of “Diatonic Program”
  • First diatonic pattern
  • Add the half steps
  • First pattern in A natural minor
  • Attention to technique
  • A natural minor ascending, A Pentatonic descending
  • Chords in A natural minor scale
  • How to create chord progressions
  • Practice Leads
  • Your Turn to Jam
  • A Lick in A Natural Minor
  • A minor lick blazing!
  • Diatonic program overview
  • Second pattern of the Diatonic scale
  • Visualization techniques
  • Second diatonic scale descending, and the Pentatonic scale ascending
  • How to practice exercise
  • What determines the melody of a song?
  • Diatonic scale diagrams
  • Start on C instead of A to sound like C Major
  • Major scale pattern
  • “A Natural minor” and “C Major” share the same notes
  • “A Natural minor” and “C Major” Chords
  • C Major chord scale
  • C Major chord progression (Song – From the West)
  • C Major Lead (Song – From the West)
  • Course mastery
  • Tip – The trick to staying motivated
  • Our online forum: GuitarLessonForum
  • Third Diatonic pattern ascending and third Pentatonic pattern descending
  • Chords in the Dorian scale
  • Dorian chords
  • Where do these chord progressions come from?
  • Building a chord scale (graphics)
  • Backing Tracks (Monster Backing Tracks)
  • D Dorian minor backing track
  • Five positions of D Dorian minor (pdf)
  • Dorian minor lick
  • Natural minor preference
  • Modal patterns / positions
  • Modes of the Major scale
  • Fourth Diatonic and 4th Pentatonic patterns
  • Exercise 2 with tab – 4th pattern ascending, pentatonic descending
  • E Phrygian minor chord Progression
  • A minor chord scale is C Major chord scale
  • More on modal theory
  • A Major sound explained
  • Transpose C Major to A Major
  • A Major sound demonstrated
  • A Dorian minor sound demonstrated
  • A Phrygian minor sound demonstrated
  • A Natural minor sound demonstrated
  • Mixolydian jam – Beach Tweakers
  • Mixolydian mode
  • Position 5 of natural minor mode
  • Thumb placement
  • Diatonic vs Pentatonic
  • Diatonic ascending/Pentatonic descending
  • Proper fingering
  • Fingering example
  • G Mixolydian lick
  • G Mixolydian Monster Backing Track
  • Improvised lead
  • Tip – How to play fast
  • Master the fretting hand
  • Hammer pull demonstration
  • Fret hand fundamentals
  • Picking hand technique
  • Use the barre for speed
  • All pull-offs with the barre
  • Alternate picking with hammers and pulls
  • String muting with both hands
  • Alternate picking vs hammer-pull
  • MAB and speed
  • Choosing personal goals