Three E Minor Pentatonic Riffs
- Riff Two -

The second riff in the series uses exactly the same material as the first one; only the rhythm is different.

Here's a MMYT video of  Riff Two. There may be slight variations on the printed music.

Here's an audio-only track at a more practice-friendly speed.

TEMPR_2

Watch the video performance, listen to the audio track until you can hum along, and source the MIDI files in the download if you use MidiPiano to rehearse your performance.

Rhythmic build-up

pent_3_riffs_2_bldp

Bar 1: Get the Riff One rhythm going, just as in bar 3 of the Riff One rhythmic build-up.

Bar 2: Stop playing the LH thumb notes.

Bar 3: Move the RH off-beat (“and”) notes down an octave into the bass clef, still playing them with the right hand.

Bar 4: Take the RH off-beat notes over with the LH thumb, freeing the RH to play the tune.

The left hand thumb now plays on “and” all the time.

You might have to run through this four-part build-up quite a few times before you can slip into it and keep it going when the right hand comes in.

Hands-together build-up

You may be able to play this riff straight from the music or by ear, or by copying the MidiPiano performances, but most learners will have to work through the rhythmic build-ups of the various fragments – something which will benefit any player..

The right hand plays the same groups of three notes as in Riff One, but plays them all before the bar line on counts “and four and”. Pay close attention to the counts and the TLR analysis (written between the staves in the music), which show what notes (hands) play together and when.

Here are some sample fragments from the first line and how you might practice them.

 Sample 1

Count

Getting the three right hand notes on the right beat is a matter of counting. Tap your foot four to the bar and count “1, 2, 3, 4.”

Simplify

Drop the left hand thumb notes, so that there are only four significant notes – three right hand notes on counts & 4 &, and the left hand note on count 1 – all coming on their own.

pent_3_riffs_2_bldp_2

You could play the whole riff just like this, as a half-way goal.

  Sample 2

Sample 2 is a great example of where it would be a good idea to drop the rhythm altogether and just get the T-L-R ‘events’ right to start with.

Again, leave the non-essential left hand thumbs out of the picture and get this mechanical even-quaver riff going:

pent_3_riffs_2_bldp_3

You don’t have to follow the rhythm at all, just the together-right-together-left order of events.

When you’re sure you’re getting things in the right order and it feels quite natural,  go back to four-four time, swing quavers at a slow relaxed speed, and do the same ‘events’:

pent_3_riffs_2_bldp_4

Then all that’s left for you to do is put the other two off-the-beat LH thumb quavers back in to give the rhythmic pattern for the whole riff.



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