THE MUSICARTA PENTATONICS WORKBOOK
Gliding About

Part Two: The Solo Performance

Now to learn to play the string of melody notes with just the right hand. As usual, disregard the rhythm while you work on the fingering.

The fingering, ascending

The fingering is common sense on the way up: thumb under right after the black key/CPT then cover the sixth chord like in Ambling Around.

Practice just ascending first. Because we are using the three all-white-key pentatonic scales, the pattern of white and black keys under the hands is always the same.

The fingering, descending

Fingering descending is more challenging because of the fingers-over stretch to the black-key semitone.

Rehearse the recommended fingering in all four positions.

Exercises for the right hand fingering

The video shows the target performance up-and-down melody string, then a succession of exercises which drill parts of the string and typical movements you need to master.

The idea is to build up speed and stamina, and achieve a hand position which makes getting to the notes possible. Some of the exercises alter the fingering slightly to make repetitions possible.

Try to build up to approximately the speed in the video.

Assembling the solo performance

The Gliding About left hand/bass part is just the same as for Ambling Around, and you should build up your solo performance in exactly the same way.

  • Play the up-and-down pattern hands together in the F, G and C positions individually until you feel confident.
  • Then join the F and G patterns together with the connecting bass line figure. Check that this works before tackling the G and C positions, and the C and top-F ‘ending’ figure.

Repeat this build-up on a few occasions. Most pupils give up practicing too soon and try to perform before they are ready, then end up frustrated from 'trying and trying and trying again'.

Here's the solo reference performance again.

Going on from here

The seven-tone chromatic major pentatonic scale generates a mass of bluesy jazz-pop repertoire. You can now go on to any of the chromatic major repertoire in the Musicarta Pentatonic Workbook and you will understand how it is constructed.

You will also have a head start at playing this type of music by ear, especially if you are prepared to just sit at the keyboard and doodle with this new scale.

You will at some stage want to find and practice the chromatic major pentatonic scale in keys other than the all-white-key majors. This means working out fingering on a case-by-case basis.


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