Developmental Criteria for Pentatonics

Here are a few stages I have identified on the road to mastering Woody’s approach to pentatonics:

  1. Mastery of each individual pentatonic scale, getting them “under the fingers”. This includes all the available intervals within the scale. To be achieved  by repetition of formulated exercises.
  2. The ability to be able to comfortably improvise on any given pentatonic scale.
  3. Being able to switch between pentatonic scales a certain interval apart (eg. a semitone apart would be C-D flat, a tone would be C-D, etc). To be accomplished at first by playing formulated exercises with regular rhythmic groupings.
  4. After the preceeding exercises have been mastered, switch to irregular rhythmic groupings.
  5. The final goal: the ability to incorporate various pentatonic scales at will whilst improvising, switching between the different scales with ease and utilising a wide range of rhythmic groupings.
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