New musicality video:
The major pentatonic scale is one of the most useful and universal, and has the advantage of being easier to learn and use than the full major scale most musicians start with. When it comes to playing by ear and improvising, the major pentatonic is a perfect place to start.
In this month’s Instrument Packs at Musical U our four Resident Pros taught easy, practical ways to put the major pentatonic to use on guitar, bass, piano and when singing. Building on our training modules which teach members to recognise the major pentatonic scale and each of its notes by ear, as well as last month’s Resource Packs on Beginning Improvisation, these new tutorials help make the connection to instrument skills and practical use of the pentatonic when playing and creating music.
With our singing Resource Packs we’re always keen to help our singers develop their vocal creativity and feel more free and confident in what they sing. This month Clare Wheeler introduced the major pentatonic in a way that makes it feel immediately familiar and manageable, leading smoothly and easily into some great ad-libbing improv exercises, building on last month’s creative warmups.
– How to work out the major pentatonic scale from any starting note.
– Three examples of songs with pentatonic melodies.
– How to start by singing pentatonic melodies by ear and using that as the basis for improvising.
– Why learning the major pentatonic gives you the minor pentatonic too.
– MP3 practice tracks for the major and minor pentatonic and two backing tracks to practice singing melodies and improvising over.
It’s easy for singers to make the mistake of thinking scales are just an exercise to be used when warming up before singing real music. Clare shows why scales can actually be the key to freedom and confidence in creative singing and how to use the major pentatonic as a great way to get started with them.
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