Matthew Edwards

Associate Professor of Voice, Shenandoah Conservatory Artistic Director of the CCM Vocal Pedagogy Institute

Mix it up Monday: The Pentatonic Scale

Voice teachers have traditionally used the major scale when building vocal warm-ups and exercises. While classical music is primarily built around the major and minor scales, CCM styles are built around many other types of modes and scales and it is useful to integrate those into vocal warm-ups and exercises. This week I want to introduce you to the pentatonic scale. The pentatonic is a major scale without steps four and seven.

Pentatonic Scale

Pentatonic Scale

I’ve created a few exercises to get you started and shared them below. I also encourage you to play around with the scale yourself and come up with additional patterns. Building exercises around the pentatonic will not only break up the monotony of traditional three and five note patterns, it will also help tune your students’ ears to the tonal language of CCM styles. This is especially useful if the student is interested in learning how to riff. Have fun! ~Matt

Example 1

Exercise 1

Exercise 2

Exercise 2

Exercise 3

Exercise 3

Exercise 4

Exercise 4


4 comments on “Mix it up Monday: The Pentatonic Scale

  1. ccminstitute
    November 9, 2015

    This freakin rocks! People will love this Matt.


  2. Mary-Tyler Upshaw
    November 9, 2015

    I use this with my jazz and contemporary majors. It is wonderful for them to see that connection between applied and classroom learning.


  3. Kate Hammett-Vaughan
    November 9, 2015

    Thanks Matt! I look forward to your Monday postings. Always varied and interesting.


  4. Peter Thomsen
    November 10, 2015

    Matt, You have it right bud. Great example. I abandoned the major only policy in 1975. Many modes many styles. Instrumentalists practice all their scales!!!! Keep it coming!



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This entry was posted on November 9, 2015 by in Misc. Thoughts.

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