Pentatonic Noodling

Pentatonic scales are definitely a mainstay of blues and rock. Occasionally they creep into jazz. Also, it seems that pentatonic scales are most often played on guitar. It's not such a bad thing. They're easily movable. By simply learning one shape a guitarist can easily relocate to play virtually any song in any key. Sometimes, though, players find pentatonic scales restrictive and it can take an effort to be creative with them. 

The lesson shown here gives an inspiration on how to break out of 'box shape' approach to pentatonic scales on guitar. It's an e minor pentatonic scale which is great because it's a popular guitar scale, but also on keyboard contains no sharps or flats. Each note is an eighth note, but the sequence is played in patterns of threes. That's not exactly triplets. Regardless of which instrument you play take a look at the guitar tab. There's three notes per string.

Check at the first two notes on each string, they are descending pairs of notes taken from the e minor pentatonic scale. The last note on that string is a target note from the e minor triad which makes the e minor chord (for reference that is the A shape minor bar chord at 7th fret in the guitar with a low B note). If you are a guitarist and want to up your game a little tap that third note! You could also pull off the first two notes of each string. Perhaps other instruments could try a trill with those two notes.

Now for other instruments, we tried this out on keyboard. It's a fun and quirky approach that might break you out of a formal playing shell. Notice that some notes double up. Although we could have structured this different to suit a non-guitar instrument we felt that this approach gave a great abstractness to this piece. And that was the whole point! Break out of conformist approaches to a common scale. Have fun!

 pentatonic noodling
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#pentatonicscale #jamming #musicimprovisation