3 Best Pentatonic Exercises Every Guitarist Should Know! (Shred Guitar)

3 Best Pentatonic Exercises Every Guitarist Should Know (Shred Guitar)

I regularly scroll through YouTube to see what types of content other guitar teachers are creating, and I’ve come across lots of pentatonic exercises during my many nights of scrolling.

And of course I have to give you the three that I consider to be the best, and the most exciting! Three Pentatonic licks that will make you sound like a monster shredder.

So, let’s dive right in to the 3 best pentatonic exercises every guitarist should know, so you can start shredding like the boss that you are!

Video: 3 Best Pentatonic Exercises Every Guitarist Should Know (Shred Guitar)

Helpful resources before you start

  1. This post teaches you the 5 pentatonic scale shapes. Learn them if you don’t know them already.
  2. You’ll need to learn some picking techniques if you want to play these pentatonic exercises effectively. Learn them here.

Exercise 1:

Exercise 1
Minor Pentatonic Guitar Exercise 1

This is an exercise where you ascend in groups of 8, and can be executed extremely quickly due to the high number of hammer-ons in the lick.

The picking pattern used for this exercise is:


And if you don’t know what those letters mean:

D = Down
H = Hammer
U =Upstroke
What each letter means

Exercise 2:

Exercise 2
Minor Pentatonic Guitar Exercise 2

This minor pentatonic lick ascends in groups of six.

The picking pattern used for this exercise is:

You can use a variety of picking patterns for this exercise. You really have 3 options:

  1. Alternate pick everything
  2. Use hybrid picking. That would look like this: D H M D M H (Down-Hammer Middle Finger, Down Middle Finger-Hammer)
  3. Use the right hand technique as shown in the tab for exercise 2: D H U D D U

Exercise 3:

Exercise 3
Minor Pentatonic Guitar Exercise 3

This minor pentatonic lick descends in groups of 8.

The picking pattern used for this exercise is:

This exercise is great for alternate picking. You can also use hammer-ons and pull-offs if you cannot alternate pick. You could do this by starting each string with a single pick stroke, then playing the rest of the notes on that string as hammer-ons and pull-offs.

3 Best Pentatonic Exercises PDF:

Feel free to print and download this PDF!


Now that you’ve learned some new pentatonic exercises, it’s time to apply them.

Try playing them to a backing track, or up against a chord of the same name.

Let me know which exercise is your favorite down in the comments!

Here are some more posts to help you out!

5 Pentatonic Scale Shapes for Guitar (Major Pentatonic)

5 Easy Guitar Exercises for Beginners

E Minor Pentatonic Scale Guitar Guide