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Allman Brothers-style Pentatonic ‘Box’ Position Runs

These are some of the most well-known and storied positions that come out of the major pentatonic positions, so favored by Duane Allman and Dickey Betts during the heyday of the Allman Brother Band. The position itself is an easy one to understand, but it’s the phrasing and the kind of runs that are created that make this Allman style so unique.

One of the greatest contributions by the Allman Brothers Band were the memorable  harmonies that they created from these positions. It helped define “Southern Rock” in the ‘70s, leading to many other bands adopting this twin-guitar harmony approach, especially with the 1980s power bands when it gained even more strength. Even today, this influence is still felt very strongly, especially in country rock and pop music.

You’ll also note that it’s the position itself that gives birth to the harmony ideas … in other words, we are not harmonizing within chords all the time, rather, we are moving through the actual note phrases and licks, which are repetitions of the scale position we are already playing.

So fasten your seatbelts, because this lesson is really going to have a big effect on your style and technique; a perfect addition to the guitarist’s vocabulary. Enjoy!—Arlen Roth

Click here to check out the '57 Les Paul Goldtop V.O.S. Reissue that Arlen is playing!
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