MUSICARTA presents ...

Pentatonic Hanon 01-12-20 Exercise Series

~ Introduction and Sample Content ~

The Musicarta 'pentatonic Hanons' (or 'PentHan' for short) are Hanon-like keyboard dexterity and creativity exercises which use the pentatonic scales familiar from, and used in lots of popular music.

These exercises are much closer to 'what you want to play' (and hear!) than the abstract finger exercises and scales of traditional piano teaching. You'll find many similar (pentatonic) exercises in the Musicarta Pentatonic Workbook and on Musicarta Patreon.

The 'PentHan 01-12-20' series

PentHan 01-12-20 is a substantial lesson series which drills the major pentatonic scales in triplets with repeated notes - a great way to practise the keyboard dexterity required for improvising. (As you'll hear, these patterns are 'practically solos already'.)

There are twelve patterns and eight mixed pairs, in a number of keys, plus play by ear/transposing examples.

The full PentHan 01-12-20 series is being made available

If you already have access to these resources, you'll find a link to the PentHan 01-12-20 material somewhere in either the left or right hand column.

Working through some of the more basic Musicarta pentatonics material before broaching this lesson series (see link above) would be helpful. Similarly, beginner-level dexterity would be an advantage - check out the Musicarta Hanon or Mister Musicarta YouTube.

Watch this introductory video - or read on.

Already persuaded? Choose between the Pentatonics Workbook (below), the Musicarta Video Hanon or Musicarta Patreon and get started!

Or read on...

The Musicarta
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The immediately recognizable five-tone pentatonic scales are easy to find and underpin much of the popular music we all love.

The Musicarta Pentatonics Workbook is a fully featured video course with 50+ web-page lessons, accessible to players of all levels and orientations.

This workbook is sure to give your musical adventuring a powerful boost!


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This PentHan 01-12-20 introductory page segues straight into extended sample content, so feel free to try things out as we carry on.

First, a few basics for the just-landed.

 The pentatonic scale

The Pentatonics Workbook 'Build-up of Tones' exercise is a drill to help you memorise and visualise the pentatonic scales. Here is the exercise 'in C' - for learning the C major pentatonic scale. Copy!

This is one of a number of drills in the Musicarta Pentatonics Workbook, ensuring that you process enough learning material to successfully embed the pentatonic scales in your muscle memory, and turn your knowledge into skill.

It might seem very basic, but you need to know these notes and their pentatonic scale-tone names - T(onic), 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th - T-2-3-5-6.

You can use it any level you like. If it's 'child's play' - try visualising it in all keys on your morning run!

 Step, skip, repeat

Pattern is incredibly useful for musical creativity - the PentHan 01-12-20 lesson series shows how to use pattern to improvise melodic lines.

Simple melodic-line patterns can be described in terms of steps - to a next-door scale tone, either up or down ('S'), skips - to a next-but-one scale tone, ditto ('K'), or repeats - repeating the same note ('R').

The PentHan 01-12-20 patterns are described in terms of pentatonic scale steps, skips and repeats, but because the pentatonic scale is 'gappy', they're not so immediately obvious.

Here's a briefing.

 Pentatonic scale - Steps

In both the major and minor pentatonic scales, steps - moving to a next-door pentatonic scale tone ('S') - can be either whole tones (w-t) or minor thirds (m3):

Steps (S) in the pentatonic scales

There are three whole-tone (w-t) steps and two minor third (m3) steps in the pentatonic scales.

Here's a video about pentatonic steps and skips.

  Pentatonic scale - Skips

Skips - moving to a next-but-one pentatonic scale tone ('K') can be either a major third (M3) or a perfect fourth (P4).

Skips (K) in the pentatonic scales

In the pentatonic scales, there are four perfect fourth (P4) skips and one major third (M3) skip.

Play and listen to the steps and skips in the C pentatonic major scale.

Musicarta Patreon Tier One

A Musicarta Patreon Tier One subscription is another way to get the benefit of the PentHan 01-12-20 Exercise Series. Look at what the Tier One subscription offers! (Links to series home pages.)

The Video Hanon - the best video version on the web!

The Beat and Rhythm Workbook - go for the jugular!

'Chords 101' - an overview of essential popular-music theory.

The Pyramids Variations - your fast track to 'composing at the keyboard'.

'Majestic River' piano solo - an easy chord study in eight progressive lessons.

Musicarta Easy Piano Style - the new 'Play Like Enya' video pages (plus four how-to Enya solos).

Musicarta 'LH-over style' - as applied to "Falling in Love with You".

'Greensleeves' Piano Solo - a beautiful progressive arrangement.

Scales and Exercises - a stimulating collection including the 'Pentatonic Hanons' and the NEW PentHan 01-12-20 Series.

Key signatures - get to grips with key signatures once and for all!

Songbook - collection of easy-inter traditional repertoire melodies.

Learn more!

...plus - more material going up all the time!

At only US$5.00 per month, it's a great way to give your keyboard creativity a boost! Sign up now!


The PentHan 01-12-20 patterns

The PentHan 01-12-20 patterns are described in terms of steps ('S' - next-door pentatonic scale-tones), skips ('K' - next-but-one pentatonic scale-tones) or repeated notes ('R').

The pattern repeats every six notes, and there's always one repeated note.

The Pattern No.1 "SKR" is:

K  K  S  K  S  R | K  K  S  K  S  R

In Pattern No.1, the repeated note (R) is the last note of the six to the first note of the next six.

Here's a sneak preview of the PentHan 01-12-20 Pattern No.1 video to watch while you browse the music and diagrams below. You don't have to 'read' the music; just check out the up/down contour and the size of the jumps.

(It's up-to-speed, but don't freak - training wheels version below!)

Try the pattern at your keyboard at any time! Use any fingers!

Here's the marked-up MS and a medium-paced audio to play while you listen out for/try that "SKR" pattern again.




NB: The 'K'/'S'/'R' under a note indicates where you go from there.... From C, skip up (K) to E. skip back to C, up a step (S) to D, skip up to G, step down to E, repeat (R) the E, (start again)...

There is full music, but the diagrams only show the first two ascending and descending patterns - because that's you want you to 'get'!

The Musicarta Video Hanon

The Musicarta Hanon is a fully featured video version of these timeless finger exercises, accessible to players of all levels and orientations. Explained, demonstrated and expanded with ten sets of stimulating and challenging variations, this collection will help unlock your musical potential.

Click through here for a tour of the Workbook!

The Musicarta Hanon cover
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Click through to the Musicarta Hanon YouTube playlist here.
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 The overall PentHan 01-12-20 exercise shape

Each six-note pattern in the exercises rises by a pentatonic 'skip', so the six-note patterns start progressively on C/T - E/3 - A/6 - D/2 - G/5 - D/2 - A/6 - E/3 - C/T.

Pick out and memorise these notes. It's a great help to know at least the first note of a group with some certainty!

Can you hum the pattern from memory yet?

Transposing and playing by ear

Way along in the series - when you'll have a good basic grasp - we get even more abstract and present the pattern like this.

This shows PentHan 01-12-20 Pattern 1 'in any key', with the pentatonic scale tone given above (T-2-3-5-6) and SKR (step/skip/repeat) notation below.

MISSION PROMISE: You will, over time - by diligently completing the PentHan 01-12-20 series of lessons (!) - learn to improvise patterns using this kind of 'musical thinking'.

Listen to that medium-paced audio again while reading the pattern.



Do you start to see the pattern in the keyboard? Is the second half of the pattern 'coming to you' more easily?

Here's Pattern No.1 in D.



Now 'the pattern' really stands out, and the 'in any key' notation makes much more sense.

Slow audio build-up

In the playing-by-ear/transposing section, you get the option of an even more step-by-step audio build-up. It's a good example to follow for learning any exercise. Try using it to learn Pattern No.1 in C.


Lastly, here's how the exercises are presented on the following pages, starting with Pattern No.1.

 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.



Ready to make the all-new PentHan 01-12-20 Exercise Series a part of your daily creativity growth? Sign up in any of three ways!

Get the PentHan 01-12-20 series with the Musicarta/Udemy Pentatonics Workbook.

Get the PentHan 01-12-20 series with the Musicarta/Udemy Video Hanon.

Get the PentHan 01-12-20 series as part of Musicarta Patreon Tier One.


Like what you're seeing? Check out Musicarta Patreon - a new way to learn!



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