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Musicarta Pentatonics Workbook

- Launch Pad -

Welcome to the Musicarta Pentatonics Workbook home/index page-slash-'Launch Pad'!

If you know where you're going you can use the navigation in the right-hand column, but this page has brief descriptions of the workbook sections and pages and will perhaps help you organise your learning better.

This first index page covers the non-repertoire (i.e. not pieces that you play) material - 'theory', scale practice patterns and the playing-by-ear material. You must pick one of these as you start your pentatonic studies

The index Page Two describes the repertoire (pieces). You should visit that page immediately after this one and pick a piece to start working on.

(Practical) Theory

The Musicarta Pentatonics Workbook has five as-near-to-pure-theory-as-it-gets pages describing and finding the major and minor pentatonic scales in any key.

At some point, you will want to have worked through all of these pages.

The major pentatonic scale, page one

Start here! This first page describes two ways of finding the major pentatonic scale-tones and applies it to the all-white-key C, F and G major pentatonic scales. Note that you're to follow/play along with the demonstrations!

Ditto, page two

Here, you play along, using the two methods, to find the scale-tones of the pentatonic major scales which use black keys.

relative minor scale pairs

The five notes of every pentatonic major scale, starting on a different note, provide the five scale-tones of a corresponding – or 'relative' – pentatonic minor scale.

Ditto, page two

A melodic study combining the paired major and relative minor pentatonic scales - which you can memorise and practice mentally away from the keyboard.

Same-root major/minor pairs

And, finally, testing your understanding by building both the major and minor pentatonic scales up from the same note.

Build-up of tones

Page One of practical play-and-sing procedure guaranteed to help you find and know the tones of the major pentatonic scale.

Ditto, page two

The second page of the above, covering the pentatonic scales with more black keys.

These modules and pages are at the top of the right-hand column series navigation, but that DOESN'T mean you have to work through them first!

You should definitely have a repertoire piece (or three) going and be doing your (practical) theory groundwork at the same time.

Scale practice patterns

Every keyboard player has to practice - to get better and stay better. And what better to practice than pentatonic scale patterns, which are "practically music already"?

The Musicarta Pentatonics Workbook has enough varied pentatonic scale-tone practice patterns to keep you going for years!

The way forward is to pick one and work at it until you're comfortable with it, then start another pattern while you learn the first in other keys (transpose it). And so on.

Here are your links and some short descriptions so you know what to expect and how far you've come.

Set One

Start here! Fourteen practice patterns demonstrated in the all-white-key scales C, F and G. Approach these methodically and don't give up until they become easy.

Ditto, transposing

The Set One patterns in different keys, which present a different fingering challenge. You will want to have played the Build-up of Tones exercise in the appropriate key.

Set Two

Another ten patterns, similar but in a different time signature. White-key C, F and G major pentatonic scales.

page two

The second ten patterns of this set, which have more 'skips' and are more challenging. All-white-key.

Set Two, page one

Set Two patterns 1 to 10 in various black-key scales. Challenging.

Set Two,
page two

Set Two patterns 11 to 20 in various black-key scales. Challenging.

Set Three
page one

Set Three is the same as Set Two but in a different time signature, making them a novel challenge.

Set Three
page two

Numbers 11 to 20 of Set Three, still in the all-white-key C, F and G major pentatonic scales.

Set Three
page one

Set Three numbers 1 to 10 in black-key pentatonic scales. Challenging.

Set Three
page two

Set Three numbers 11 to 20 in black-key pentatonic scales. Challenging.

Playing by ear

The pentatonic scale offers a fantastic opportunity to start or get better at playing by ear. Musicarta has devised two unique parallel programmes to guide you - the Symmetrical Melodies series, and the closely related Playing by Ear series.

 Symmetrical Melodies

There are five pages of melodies which help you school you ear by being symmetrical in the up and down direction. These build up in the sense of how far above and below the tonic (home-note) they go (pages 1 to 3), then transpose the melodies into keys A and E flat (pages 4 and 5).

Here are the links to all five pages.

SymPentMel 1

SymPentMel 2

SymPentMel 3

SymPentMel 4

SymPentMel 5

Here are the links to the six Playing-by-Ear practice pages.







The Symmetrical Melodies and Playing by Ear material will take some determination on your part, firstly to arrange your tech for studying, and also to understand the process and keep at it until you see some results.

Try by all means, but unless you have a bit of previous experience, be prepared to leave this material until you have learned a fair few repertoire pieces, have worked through most if not all of the (practical) theory modules, and are practicing your pentatonic scale-tone patterns daily.

Now go on to Index, Page Two for an overview of the workbook repertoire pieces.

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video course

Home/Index pages

The Pentatonic Scales

Practice Patterns

Melody Work and
Playing by Ear
Pentatonic Riffs
and Diaries -
Minor Pentatonic
Major Pentatonic
Chromatic Minor
Chromatic Major
Pre-video Pages

Pentatonics videos

Archive Pages


The Pentatonic Scales