ok, i'm putting this up here for my own benefit, so months from now i'll look at this and see where I was at the beginning of this method, and to help me judge what I am getting out of it. I figured out, last night, how I can get the "mastery" of the patterns. it's simple as dirt: stay on one pattern - for days, if needed - until it is burned into my hands. the door on this cracked open because of the first pattern, which is simply the dorian scale box shape. (like a pentatonic box shape with two more notes). somewhere along the line, within the past couple years, I learned this box shape because of santana, when I found out that so much of his playing is built on this mode. now, I know that most players on this forum knew the dorian mode when you were four or five years old, but you see, I am very very dense. the other shapes are all scale or mode patterns that I have explored, but this will be the first time I have truly set out to really get them down. the next thing I am going to do, starting as soon as I finish this post, is to work out the pattern i'm on right now all up one string. I think this will help me get it into my ears better.