The whole reason we learn scales and patterns is that they are used in songs and riffs that we hear every day.
By learning your scales and being able to use them musically, you can make it easier for you to learn riffs or melodies that you want to learn.
Let’s look at the riff from Born Of A Broken Man by Rage Against The Machine:
This song uses part of the D minor blues scale. The minor blues scale is a minor pentatonic with an extra note - the flat 5th (b5).
For practice purposes, I recommend focusing on the minor pentatonic scale, and adding the b5 for extra color when you think it will sound good.
In this riff, the b5 is only used once in the phrase.
D Minor Pentatonic Scale (5th String)
Practice the TAB above, using the scale finger pattern. You’ll find that each of the notes fits into the pattern easily.
When you can attach a riff or a melody to a scale pattern like this, it makes it easier for you to learn, remember, and perform.
To take this to the next level in practice, you can use this riff to practice your minor pentatonic/minor blues scale patterns in a variety of scale shapes and keys.
Keep practicing, and let me know how it goes! Contact me any time to ask questions, get guitar advice, or try out an online guitar lesson.