There are several ways you can use this material to improve your improvisational abilities without having to learn endless permutations. If you’ve read any of my books, you’ll know the focus is on understanding and translating information onto the fretboard to make music with it, rather than learning endless patterns and permutations before you get to the good stuff. Granted, there are 330 scales here, but you should see them more as harmonic springboards or a reference that can provide you with limitless ideas for improvising, as well as for coming up with riffs and licks.

Here are a couple of ways you can apply the material:

1. Use the Warp Factor
As we saw in the very first part, it is not necessary to learn 5 (or however many) positions of a scale before you can begin to improvise with it and incorporate it into your playing. If you use the warp factor principle with any of the scales here, you’ll have a foolproof way to navigate the fretboard with just a simple one-octave pattern, so that you can get straight to the creative part of the process without having to rote-learn a ton of patterns.

2. Formulas
At the end of the day any scale can be reduced to its formula, and if you can navigate the fretboard by intervals, you can use these permutations without the need to learn any patterns at all. Simply choose a scale (interval pattern) such as 1, b2, 3, 6, 7 and move around the fretboard by locating each interval. If you want to learn the intervals on the neck, check out our Melodic Soloing in 10 Days book. 

3. Practice Soloing Over Chords
Pick a chord, let’s say Cmaj7 (1, 3, 5, 7), then practice soloing over it with any pentatonic scale that also features those intervals, or at least the 1, 3 and 7, and see what you can come up with. A looper pedal is very handy for this kind of exercise, so if you don’t have one yet, treat yourself to one!

4. Practice with a Metronome
Choose a scale you like and practice soloing with it to a metronome or a drum track. This is a great exercise because it sharpens your rhythmic awareness, shifts the focus away from the actual notes and is a great way to get comfortable with those scales you were wondering what to do with that have 3 or 4 semi-tones in a row. 

5. Work Out the 5 Patterns
If you like the idea of having 5 patterns per scale as in the minor and/or major pentatonic scales you already know, then go ahead and write them out. It won’t always be possible but try to stick to two notes per string and avoid wide stretches. 

Naming Scales
It’s incredible to think that very few of these permutations of pentatonic scales actually have names, which goes to show that most players only use a tiny fraction of the harmonic possibilities available. If you want to name a scale, go ahead as some could be named based on the closest mode or any other name that makes sense to you personally.

Read next: The 330 Pentatonic Scales
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