Pentatonic Puzzle - The Power of Fours

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Whole Diminished Funk


Whole Tone Fours


Fours! No, not “fourths”, like the harmonic interval. And not sixteenth notes, as in four notes in a single beat of time.

Instead, what we’re talking about here is the melodic concept of fours: in other words, a melodic sequence that repeats every four notes. If you can look at the staff notation for a phrase and notice a pattern that repeats every four notes, then that’s “fours” – no matter what the pitches actually are, and no matter what the rhythm is.

Confused yet? Wait until you try playing them. Thanks to the overlapping nature of the strings on the guitar, playing fours patterns is almost never less than inconvenient and frequently seems impossible. For example, as straightforward as it might seem to play a common guitar fingering like the box-position pentatonic scale in fours, if you really think about it, you’ll realize that it’s just not done very often. And it’s especially not done fast.

If you’ve ever struggled with this challenge, you’re in luck. In this fun pair of videos from a Cracking the Code YouTube contest, we’ll take a look at two awesome — and awesomely doable — solutions for playing pentatonic fours. Don your mechanical thinking cap and get ready to solve the Pentatonic Puzzle!