'From the Middle'

Minor pentatonic CPTs, Part Two

Part Two starts with our G minor-A minor version 'going wide'.

You play the up-and down from the K4/H5 chromatic passing tone (CPT) in two octaves. That's at least twice as difficult – but it will sharpen your 'eye' for the CPT.

Watch the section performance video.

It's very easy to get 'tunnel vision' at the keyboard - like only being able to play a thing in one place - and 'broadening your horizons' like this will make you a much more confident player.

Work through the steps in this build-up video for efficient and effective practice.

Play the G minor-A minor 'goes wide' version of 'From the Middle'. Analyse any delays or mistakes coolly and practice accordingly with little home-made drills of your own (a great habit to cultivate!).

'From the Middle' in A minor and B minor

Next, we work out the 'From the Middle' riff in A minor and B minor.

You already know the  material in A minor from the last version. Like G minor, B minor pentatonic is another one-black-key minor pentatonic scale, and it's one whole tone above A minor, so this is a good opportunity to expand your repertoire of minor pentatonic scales fairly easily.

Here's the B minor pentatonic keyboard counted off so you can see where the black key (F sharp) falls and why.

Here is the new official scale practice pattern. Play from the scale-tone mark-up (T, m3, 4 etc.) and from what you expect it to sound like rather than from the music, for preference.

'From the Middle' in B minor

Here is the B minor pentatonic keyboard with the middle CPT marked in. Use it in the B minor build-up video that follows.

Building your A minor-B minor performance

Theoretically, all you need to play your A minor-B minor performance is this chord chart.

Make a performance with these instructions and the video virtual keyboard performance.                                     

A minor-B minor goes wide

Test your ability to find the up-from and down-from the K4/H5 scale fragments quickly in two octaves.

This is a MidiPiano 'piano roll view' video. Do you find it useful to see music displayed like this?

Snap quizz! Between A minor and B minor, one target K4/H5 CPT is a black key; the other is white. Which is which?

'From the Middle' in Three Places

Here's one last 'on the ball' challenge – playing the From the Middle material in G minor, A minor and B minor one after another.

Transposing like this is the key musical skill. We should work on it all the time; it shows you the 'internal mechanics' of the music and builds your real musical skills.

Play this one-octave version first.

The two going-up bass joining figures are the same, in terms of whole-tone and semitone steps. The two coming-back-down joining figures are the same, too.

Work out what they are and stick to the pattern.

Now play a 'goes wide' version in two octaves using this chord chart.

The video is not notated - use the chord chart above to map out your performance.

FTM Goes A-chasin'

And here's a final bonus challenge. It's the extended ending 'chasing' effect - it's infected the whole piece! No notes, just a play-by-ear.

You're back in G minor-A minor, and there's a a built-in extended ending, right hand up an octave, left hand down.

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