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