Example of Pentatonic Scale Improvisation

Posted by Yoke Wong on 6/18/2013 to Piano Improvisation

Have you heard of the pentatonic scale? The pentatonic scale consists of five notes, namely, I-II-III-V-VI. You can create all kinds of beautiful music using the pentatonic scale.

Following is a video that highlights the use of the pentatonic scale. One of my students, Miriam Tierno from New York, created this beautiful video. She started composing by using the pentatonic scale after learning this technique from our Definitive Piano Improvisation course. With her permission, I am sharing with you her music video that uses the pentatonic notes blended with open chord voicing.

I am sure that you’ll enjoy this video as much as I did. She put real effort into combining her music with beautiful pictures of nature. Furthermore, she used a music synthesizer to highlight certain instrumental effects. Kudos to Miriam.

Pentatonic scales are very common and are found all over the world including Celtic folk music, Hungarian folk music, West African music, African-American spirituals, American folk music, Jazz, American blues music and rock music, Asian music etc.

Frédéric Chopin wrote the right hand piano part of his Etude Op. 10 no. 5 in the major G-flat pentatonic scale, and therefore, the melody is played using only the black keys. Antonín Dvorák, inspired by the native American music and African-American spirituals he heard in America, made extensive use of pentatonic themes in his “New World” Symphony and his “American” Quartet.

Are you finding the pentatonic scale interesting now? Please feel free to leave your comments on the section below!

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marvin davis
Date: 6/18/2013
yes i have a little working knowledge of the pentatonic scale and with every installation of your instruction i receive it only helps me to further advance and understand what the possibilities of what i can achieve as i strive to be a better keyboardist. as i have told you earlier i have never had any formal training as a player so i can't tell you how much i appreciate your tutoring me as i continue to grow as a musician. thank you so much Yoke Wong, you're the greatest.
Date: 6/18/2013
Beautiful so beautiful I'm crying thanks and God bless
Date: 6/18/2013
Thank you for the great Lessons youre given me Ive never tried to play piano,But after id started on watching your videos ihave learned alot since im 70 years old, im enjoying every minute to learn even though, i know I will learn,i know i wont have the time to become famous, but id tryed, thank you once again. Yoke Wong
Josephine Lucia Clarke
Date: 6/18/2013
Wish I had a more updated keybad, there is so much I want to do.
Date: 6/19/2013
hello dear please i don,t get the understanding of this video i need a pianist booklet to study i think that will help me to know more and also video cd to help me know the cords
joyce lapsker
Date: 6/19/2013
Hi Yoke Wong: Thanks for explaining pentatonic scale and where I can hear them. I'll try to get the sheet music. I appreciate your thoughtfulness. Sincerely, Joyce Lapsker
Date: 6/19/2013
Thanks lot the video's audio was good how i wish to see how she goes about playing I must emphasis there was perfect harmony in the music. Thanks
Barbara Hansen
Date: 6/19/2013
Beautiful work, impressive and inspiring.
Date: 6/19/2013
Thank you to send this information about pentatonic scale. I did know anything aboout this scale. I would like to have a piannist booklet to help me use this scale.I enjoy hearing the music and the lanscapes.
Date: 6/19/2013
Dear Yoke Wong,thank you so much for your emails! I find the pentatonic scale very interesting-I look it up a little more. Thanks again.
Ajiva terry calistus
Date: 6/20/2013
Good day sir, I wnt to know chords and names like I do see some symbols like Bm9, Db2,D9 and Gm7(BbBbBbA) e.t.c thank Sir
Date: 6/22/2013
Thanks Wong, I will pay more attention on pentationic scale. I listen many many Asia music, most of them used pentationic scale, just used only five keys could make up so beautiful song.
Nordin mohd yusof
Date: 6/25/2013
Thank u very2 much Wong at list i know they was so many style playing birthday song I appreciate your thoughtfulness.I enjoy hearing the music and the lanscapes.
Chong Lee
Date: 7/10/2013
I already purchased the Improvisation Course about a year ago. I spoke with John(?), over the phone a few times. When I received the Improvisation Course in the mail,I did not receive those 4 "bonus" packages, i.e. Digital Sheet Music collection, digital piano Chords, etc. I am wondering if I could still get them.
John - PianoMother.com
Date: 8/2/2013
The bonuses are digital. You will receive the bonuses by email after you place the order. If you did not receive the bonuses, please let us know. We will re-send the bonuses to you. And please add our email address to your contact list. Thanks.
Manuel Moretta
Date: 9/15/2013
Teacher Wong. Sound very nice. Yes I have heard about it, I have to study more on the matter. Thanks Manuel date 9/15/13
Date: 6/12/2014
There is also the Minor Pentatonic Scale which is useful for Blues and Jazz. I, flat III, IV, V, flat VII. This is a really cool scale as well.

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