A Melodic Pentatonic Study
Page Two - Version in A

Transposing the study into A major version will enhance your ability to hear the major pentatonic scale tones as potential improvisation and melody tones, and give you further practice fingering pentatonic scale passages in different keys.

Watch the A major version performance.

Chord structure

The black-key quotient is now as follows:

·        A major (chord I): Two black keys – F and C sharps.

·        D major (chord IV): One black key – F sharp

·        E major (chord V): Three black keys – F, C and G sharps

Here is the E major pentatonic keyboard, counted out.

Learn the fingering for the new pentatonic scale-tone passages.

Two scales (A and D) are already familiar, but the patterns are now played rising rather than falling and vice versa. The E pattern is new.

The left hand chords in A

The left hand in the A major version includes some rather foxy internal melodies, which are demonstrated in the teaching video.

The inner melody notes are not just pentatonic scale tones , but include the major seventh from the major scale. See the mark-up below.

As this study is mainly about getting your hands round the melodic scale-tone patterns, feel free to simplify the left hand as much as you like.

When you're comfortable with an A major left hand version, start building your hands-together performance a chord at a time, as you did for the first version.

Left hand syncopation

Here's a version where the second left-hand chord in every bar is 'anticipated' - brought forward a quaver. Is that a variation you might like to try?

Use the video as a play-along practice opportunity for the left and right hands separately and together. The anticipation eventually creeps into the third of the four chords as well.

Note also some 'improvisation (RH) fingering' at the top of the ascending runs – turning finger 3 over finger 4 to get out of forgetting to pass the thumb under. A useful technique to develop!

Building on your achievement

Keep coming back to this study, playing up and down the familiar pentatonic scale-tone patterns in the D and A major chord sequences.

You might find you are able to hear-and-see the patterns in your mind's eye as or before they play – because of the attractiveness and simplicity of the pentatonic scale.

Repeated practice will also improve your instinctive fingering, arranging for you always to have fingers ready to keep the notes coming.


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PENTATONICS SERIES NAV

The Pentatonic Scales
Practice Patterns
Melody Work and
Playing by Ear
Pentatonic Riffs
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Minor Pentatonic
Major Pentatonic
Chromatic Minor
Chromatic Major
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