THE MUSICARTA PENTATONICS WORKBOOK
Gliding About

The Major Chromatic Passing Tones

The five note pentatonic scales, both major and minor, are frequently supplemented with two, standard semitone steps - the 'chromatic passing tones'.

'Gliding About' adds these two chromatic passing tones (CPTs) to the five-note (‘diatonic’) 'Ambling Around'.

Listen to the video performance.

CPT diagrams

Here’s a column diagram showing where the two semitones are inserted, and the three keyboard diagrams you will need.

Note that the C keyboard (below) does not line up vertically with the other two.

Putting the CPTs in the pentatonic scale

Cover the six notes of the F major pentatonic scale (including the octave) with two hands and follow the video on-page to put the two CPTs/semitones in, one in each hand. You do this ascending only.

Do this in F, G and C in turn – the three all-white-key major pentatonic scales. Count along, naming the scale tones.


Some points to note.

  • Because our three scales are all all-white-key scales, the CPTs are black keys.
  • What you call and how you write the CPTs depends on whether you’re going up or down. The same note can be called and spelled sharp 2 or flat 3, or sharp 5 or flat 6.
  • Notice how the two groups of three notes are symmetrical, to an extent.

Learn the ‘Gliding About’ melody notes

Forget about the rhythm while you learn the melody for Gliding About, two-handed, with one CPT on the way up and two on the way down.

Repeat the procedure in all three positions: F, G and C.

Clap and count the rhythm

Clap and count the rhythm we apply to the string of melody notes. Being able to count rhythms is important for the popular-styles musician.

Add the rhythm to the melody

Play the sections of the melody with the rhythm in F, G, C and top F positions, two-handed.

The videos are separated in F, G, C and top F position for ease of navigation.

Perhaps you can play the melody pattern in G yourself?

And in C.

Top F.

The ending

Just as in Ambling Around, the final, descending phrase is always split between the two hands, with the notes divided three right, three left (after the first bar).

And a flourish to finish.

A two-handed performance

Practice until you can play Gliding About right through with two hands at the speed of the module performance (see the video).

The first-time ending is the same as for Ambling Around. The second-time ending changes the fingering slightly to hold some notes longer and adds an F6 chord in the right hand at the end. Copy the video or just use the Ambling Around second-time ending.


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