Pentatonic April – part II
This is the second pentatonic exercise in a series of two, read the first part here
Pentatonic scales are useful for many things, including working on your doodle chops. You will expand your range, build up strength and really get those pentatonic scales into your slide arm.
No secret formula here, just plain hard (and rewarding) work. Make sure that you play the scales in a tempo that you can master. Every attack should be clear, and make sure the difference between the doo-attacks and dl-attacks are minimal.
I have written the exercises in a range suitable for professionals or advanced students. Make sure you adapt it to your level of playing. You should be pushing yourself, but be able to play high notes with reasonable ease and good sound.
The magic ingredient in this doodle soup is the fact that each phrase start in a low range. Really work on being able to go from low range to high range in a linear way. Especially focus coming back down. Do you have the same sound quality at the end of the phrase as in the beginning? If you find it hard to play the low notes with full sound on the way down again, you probably lock up your throat a bit in the high range. Focus on your lips and tongue when playing in the high range, don´t play high notes with your throat or air pressure!
When you need to breathe, just insert a breathing pause, but always start again on the low note of any given phrase.
You can start the exercise in any key. Just make sure that you stay focused when playing the tricky keys.
Below you find sheet music with this exercise in all keys (click the pic). If you know your pentatonic scales, you probably don´t need to print all pages, it is the same pattern in all keys. Inc is cheap in pdf files…
Good luck breaking your doodle speed limits!