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Pentatonic Hanon Exercises

~ PentHan 01-12-20 ~
~ Patterns 1-6 in C ~

Pentatonic Hanon 01-12-20 drills combinations of triplets and repeated notes in the major pentatonic scale - a very useful combination for improvising, and to practice improvising.

These web pages host the PentHan 01-12-20 video performances and exclusive music manuscript and teaching notes.

You should start this series of lesson from the Introduction/Orientation page.

Two quick house-keeping matters...

 Series organisation

Here's how the PentHan 01-12-20 material is presented by video and web page.

There are twelve PentHan 01-12-20 patterns, and eight 'mixed pairs (of patterns)

These are presented in full in three keys: C (no black keys in the pentatonic scale); E flat (two black keys); and E (three black keys).

For ease of navigation, these exercises are divided up six, six and eight patterns per compiled video/web page.

  • Video/Page One: Series Introduction and Orientation
  • Video/Page Two: Patterns 1–6 in C
  • Video/Page Three: Patterns 7–12 in C
  • Video/Page Four: Mixed Patterns 1–8 in C
  • Video/Page Five: Patterns 1–6 in EH
  • Video/Page Six: Patterns 7–12 in EH
  • Video/Page Seven: Mixed Patterns 1–8 in EH
  • Video/Page Eight: Patterns 1–6 in E
  • Video/Page Nine: Patterns 7–12 in E
  • Video/Page Ten: Mixed Patterns 1–8 in E

Next come twenty (6+6+8) 'Play-by-ear' exercises, which require you to become familiar with or revise the D, B flat, A and A flat major pentatonic scales, and understand the Play-by-ear exercise structure.

The series thus continues:

  • Video/Page Eleven: Playing By Ear - Introduction and Orientation
  • Page Twelve: Playing By Ear, Patterns 1-6
  • Page Thirteen: Playing By Ear, Patterns 7-12
  • Page Fourteen: Playing By Ear, Mixed Patterns 1-8
  • Videos Twelve to Twenty-four: Playing By Ear, Patterns 1–12 and Mixed Pairs 1–8 (the Play-by-ear videos are not amalgamated.)

 Fingering

NB: Optional! Mainly for teachers and advanced pupils...

The PentHan 01-12-20 exercises are NOT fingered. Slowing down to play 'recommended fingering' goes dead against the purpose of these exercises - which is to play patterns instinctively, regardless of fingering difficulties, and - over time - develop a general improvising hand technique.

There is a general (and good) rule in piano teaching that repeated notes should be played with a different finger. This should be observed whenever possible!

It suits our purpose too, since the patterns creep up and down the keyboard, and swapping fingers e.g. 3 to 2 (rising) or 2 to 4 (falling) whenever the same note is played twice, moves the hand sideways and "keeps the fingers coming".

There is another general rule - that it is better not to use the thumb on black keys. This might ideally be preferable, but for the improvising pianist, it turns out to be both possible and sometimes inevitable that you will play black keys with the thumb.

You will never pass the thumb under and onto a black key, but you can comfortably play black keys with the thumb by moving the hand up to the back of the keys - while judiciously "backing out" as soon as convenient!

PentHan 01-12-20: Nos.1-6 in C

This page hosts the first six PentHan 01-12-20 patterns in C.

Download the music for this part here.

 PentHan 01-12-20 No.1

First, watch the video performance, and study the diagram below carefully to see the disposition of steps (S) and skips (K), and especially the placing of the repeated note (R).

Check your understanding against the practice speed audio. (You may want to come back to this after watching the video performance a few times.)

Repeat these steps in any way which maximises your awareness of the pattern generating the exercise as you practice it.



 PentHan 01-12-20 No.2

First, watch the video performance, and study the diagram below carefully to see the disposition of steps (S) and skips (K), and especially the placing of the repeated note (R).

Apply whatever study methods maximise your awareness of the pattern generating the exercise as you practice it, and your ability to 'think' the sounds you are playing.



 PentHan 01-12-20 No.3

First, watch the video performance, and study the diagram below carefully to see the disposition of steps (S) and skips (K), and especially the placing of the repeated note (R).

Apply whatever study methods maximise your awareness of the pattern generating the exercise as you practice it and your ability to 'think' the sounds you are playing.



 PentHan 01-12-20 No.4

First, watch the video performance, and study the diagram below carefully to see the disposition of steps (S), skips (K) and repeated notes (R).

Apply whatever study methods maximise your awareness of the pattern generating the exercise as you practice it and your ability to 'think' the sounds you are playing.



 PentHan 01-12-20 No.5

First, watch the video performance and study the diagram below carefully to see the disposition of steps (S), skips (K) and repeated notes (R).

Apply whatever study methods maximise your awareness of the pattern generating the exercise as you practice it and your ability to 'think' the sounds you are playing.



 PentHan 01-12-20 No.6

First, watch the video performance, and study the diagram below carefully to see the disposition of steps (S), skips (K) and repeated note (R).

Apply whatever study methods maximise your awareness of the pattern generating the exercise as you practice it and your ability to 'think' the sounds you are playing.



Now go on to Patterns 1 to7 in C.


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