PD 20-03-16 is a unison pentatonic 12-bar riff in C which explores (chromatic) pentatonic scale-tones 4–í4–5 and m7–í7–T.
Notice that this riff is in ‘straight’ (even) quavers – no triplet feel.
Here is the 12-bar chord sequence in C:
You need to know both chromatic pentatonic passing tones (í4/ë5 and í7/ë8) for all three scales. Use the reference keyboards.
The theme in pentatonic shorthand is:
T T m7 í7 T, 4 í4 5, 5 m7 í7 T T m7 í7 T
Notice how 4–í4–5 in one scale is m7–í7–T in another.
4–í4–5 in C (I) = m7–í7–T in G (V)
m7–í7–T in C (I) = 4–í4–5 in F (IV)
The riff is fast and difficult and would require a lot of work for a stage performance, including close attention to the fingering, but you will gain a lot from playing along with just the unison first chorus at practice speed by slowing down the MIDI in MidiPiano.
Learn the notes at half speed with this two-handed half-way house performance.
In select places in the riff, scale tonics C, F and G are played with thirds-above E, A and B.
The thirds are all major, but the bass line in the left hand is definitely minor pentatonic – although it never actually plays the minor third. This makes for an attractive tension. (Like all good things, this effect is easy to over-do.)
As always, it’s the fingering that allows you to play the special-sounding thing. Practise like this:
Watch the performance video to see
how the fingering works.
PD 22-07-15 (the previous unison pentatonic 12-bar riff in the workbook) explores mainly the diatonic pentatonic scale-tones, especially 4–m3–T and 5–m7–T.
PD 20-03-16 – the next riff in the series – explores the chromatic pentatonic scale-tone runs 4–í4–5 and m7–í7–T and introduces the thirds.
The last riff in this series – in G – combines both elements. Here’s the theme:
Write yourself out a G 12-bar chord sequence.The material for bars 5 and 6 in C is a straight transposition.
PD 25-03-16 very obviously mixes major thirds with the minor pentatonic – even the m3 gets its own major third.
Use MidiPiano with the MIDI file in the download to isolate practice segments. You will probably end up playing your own version – which is as it should be!
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