ALL THAT REMAINS – Guitarist Oli Herbert Teaches the Hirajoshi Pentatonic Scale

All That Remains guitarist Oli Herbert has a monthly lesson column in Guitar World appropriately named “All or Nothing.” In this month’s edition, he demonstrates a variation of the common minor pentatonic we’re so familiar with – the Hirajoshi scale.

It helps to think about the Hirajoshi scale in relation to the natural minor and minor pentatonic scales we already know. So, just as we form a minor pentatonic from the natural minor scale by removing the 2 and b6 (spelled 1 b3 4 5 b7), the Hirajoshi scale is built by omitting the 4 and b7 (leaving 1 2 b3 5 b6). It’s actually a really simple modification, but its effect is drastically different from the “western” minor pentatonic. Pretty neato!

You can check out Oli’s first lesson on 4-note patterns and permutations right here. It should go without saying that learning some new guitar tricks is a surefire way into the heart (or pants) of that special someone. That’s just science, man – standard curriculum stuff. All That Remains are also dropping a new album very, very soon. Madness is set for release sometime this spring, so it’d be wise to stay in the loop.

Anyway, that’s enough. It’s shred time.

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Gear Gods intern Maxwell studied English at Cal Poly Pomona and has since realized life ain’t all about semicolons and syntax. He’s studying audio now, and will probably judge your music taste before your grammar.