The RIGHT Way to Practice Pentatonics

Did you know that you’re probably practicing pentatonic scales the wrong way? Peter Martin shows you an exercise to fix your fingering.

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What’s goin’ on everybody? Peter Martin here for 2 Minute Jazz. Want to talk to you about pentatonics. I’ve got a brand new exercise for you over C minor, or E flat major, however you wanna think about it. And we go through two different levels, three different rhythms for each one.

The first thing we’re doing, we’re starting down here, an octave below middle C. Too many of you are practicing only in this range of the instrument and then you end up soloing only in these two octaves. We got great stuff down here. Great little tenor region of the piano we wanna explore. So if you wanna play it, you gotta practice in there, okay?

So we’re going up. And then we’re (on four) coming down and here’s our shape, skipping. Lots of use of the four. A lot of you are just playing with one two three and there’s some false information goin’ out here that you only have to use three fingers. We’ve got five fingers. If you’re not gonna practice with the fourth and the fifth, they’re never gonna get strong and independent and be able to at least come close to equaling one two three.

So many situations, what we have to be able to play with strength and agility with our fourth and fifth finger, so we gotta practice it. So I’ve worked that into the fingering here. And we’re just changing up the rhythm.

Level 2A, same thing: goin’ up straight. Pentatonic. Now we gotta new shape. And this is really based upon something a lot of players use. That’s just going up a half step. So it gets your hand ready for that. And now we’re introducing a lot of fifth finger. A lot of you are gonna wanna go four or three there. But the idea is we wanna keep that wrist smoothly gliding up and down.

Pentatonics. Happy practicing!

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