Fast Economy Picked Pentatonics

This lesson is a continuation of our "Lick Of The Week" series at . Within this lesson you will learn some cool ways to combine economy picking with pentatonics to create fast and smooth guitar parts in the style of Eric Johnson and Joe Bonamassa.

They don't necessarily finger their pentatonic runs like this all the time, but it is a nice way to obtain the same fast pentatonic sound they achieve.

After breaking down and learning this lick completely, try and come up with your own in this style. It can help create a very fluid pentatonic scale technique over time.

Be sure and download the FREE TAB PDF which is available below.

Fast Economy Picked Pentatonic Lick TAB PDF Download

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Fast Economy Picked Pentatonics Guitar Lesson


  1. Ken Richards on February 15, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    Thanks for another excellent lesson Carl. This is a great way to extend a pentatonic line.

  2. zegrodzki on February 22, 2011 at 7:07 am

    too much !!!

  3. diana verhaegen on February 25, 2011 at 12:22 am

    Verry cool !!

  4. yulan Collado on August 20, 2011 at 4:53 am

    Loving to visit ur site man

  5. kennedy on October 1, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    sir carl can u help me i have a big big promlem…. this is my problem…. when i use 1 2 4 in scale …. my 3 finger is joining if i play fast help me plz tnx a lot bro God bless

    • Carl Brown on October 3, 2011 at 11:42 am

      Hey Kennedy, you seem to have the same problem that a lot of other payer have. The first thing you should try to do is keep the 3rd finger in line with the other 3 fingers when doing scale exercises. Doing short scale fragment exercises allow you to concentrate on one specific technique issue without having to fly through complete scales all the time. The idea is to be able to focus on one small thing.

      If you focus on keeping your 3rd finger under control it can be trained to stay away from the string by hovering just a little bit over it when the 4th finger plays. The problem is that there isn’t much independence between the 3rd and 4th fingers so they always seem to want to move together. But with some practice you can train them to be more independent.

      Thanks! Car..

  6. Ian on March 17, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Do you recommend economy picking or alternate picking?

    I’m confused because I’ve mostly mastered alternate picking and now I’m working on sweep picking arpeggios, now sometimes when I’m playing leads I mix them up and then mess up because I’m not “on beat” with alternate picking. I used to be able to play the solo from La Grande by ZZ Top with alternate picking, but for some reason now I can’t play it (even though my alternate picking skill has gone up since I worked on it).

    Some people say it’s best to learn both, because they are both useful for different situations and also have a slightly different sound. However, my private guitar teacher said I should use only alternate picking.

    How do you recommend I go about incorporating both sweep picking and alternate picking into my playing, without getting confused as to which to use and when? Are there any good exercises you did to get good at using both simultaneously?

    • Carl Brown on March 17, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      Hey Ian, you should definitely master both alternate and economy picking. There are some things that sound great alternate picked but others that are absolutely impossible to do without using economy picking.

      I am just finishing up the “Alternate Picking Mastery For Guitar” course for the site. You can find that in the Premium lessons section. By mid week I will begin some new courses and one of the will be on mastering economy picking because I do feel that it is an extremely valuable technique to have. Hope you enjoy the courses!!

      I would suggest mastering both individually then write licks or phrases that incorporate both techniques. Just start with smaller phrases eventually working your way up to longer phrases. You will come to the point that virtually anything you come across you can pick fluently since you will be well acquainted with both techniques. Hope you enjoy the courses!

      Cheers! Carl..

  7. Jorge on November 19, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Hello Carl, I’m really fascinated with your work, its really hard to find lessons that are backed up with musical theory and stuff like that. My question is not from these video, it is from a song lesson you made on Eugene’s Trick Bag,it would be nice if you could tell me what cords are you using in the arpeggio part,I just want to understand the musical structure of the music…I tried to find the chords myself, but when I find the notes I don’t understand how to arrange them or I don’t seem to identify the chord. Thank you for the lessons, they are great.

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