Simple Pentatonic Pattern + 1 Note = Hip Lick – Better Sax
5 Note Pentatonic Lick Pattern

Simple Pentatonic Pattern + 1 Note = Hip Lick

A Simple Pentatonic Pattern

You probably already know this basic pentatonic scale pattern, it’s four notes of the pentatonic scale going up or down.

This pattern is cool to use in solos and a good way to develop some pentatonic scale technique.

But if we want to take this basic pattern to another level, all we have to do is add 1 note.

4 Notes vs. 5 Notes

Instead of playing groupings of four I played groupings of 5 notes.

This simple change creates a more angular rhythm which sounds a lot more complex.

This 5 note grouping will take some practice to get down.

The pattern alternates between starting on downbeats and upbeats.

Try playing this along with your metronome or for even more fun, check out the Drum Genius app to play this over a funk drum beat.

If you want to learn a lot more really cool pentatonic scale patterns like these, check out my Pentatonic Patterns for Improvisation book, you can even download a free sample from the BetterSax Shed

In that book, I teach you how the pentatonic scale works, how to build them in all keys, and how to practice them to get tons of ammunition for your soloing and to build technique.

Another Variation

Now while we’re at it let’s throw another simple variation in there.

Instead of moving the pattern up or down within the pentatonic scale, we could just stay on the same 5 notes and repeat them.

That creates a cool rhythmic effect all on its own that creates a bit of tension.

Move this pattern up a half step and then back for an even more dramatic build up of tension and release.

Now the next lesson you should watch is right here because I teach you how to play an another really easy pentatonic lick that sounds great and there’s a free pdf download that goes with it also in the BetterSax shed and you’re not going to want to miss that.

Also be sure to follow BetterSax on Facebook, InstagramLinkedIn, and YouTube to stay up to date with us for news, giveaways, and other saxophone tips and tricks.

About the Author

As the founder of Jay’s mission is to help developing saxophone players break away from traditional music learning methods and discover a more efficient, practical and fun way to become a Better Sax player. The BetterSax YouTube channel’s videos have been watched by millions and thousands of students have made meaningful progress on their instrument thanks to BetterSax courses.

Jay Metcalf


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.


all our FREE stuff
in one place

BetterSax Courses

Blues Foundation




Core Essentials


Pentatonic Patterns for Improvisation


Scroll to Top