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#2914490 - 03/12/18 10:38 AM Pentatonic scales over multiple octaves: fingering for RH?
bourniplus Offline
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Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 548
Loc: Québec
Hey guys,
do you ever practice pentatonic scales over multiple octaves? It might not be "that" useful, but I think it can be an interesting exercise. Lately I realised I never paid much attention to which fingering I used.

Take Bb minor for example. I can't come up with anything better than 34512 34512 etc. To me it sounds smoother than anything else despite the 5-1 thing, and I couldn't go nowhere near as fast with any other fingering. When going down I might use a more conventional approach using only 1,2 and 3. Actually I think that using all five fingers works pretty well on all pentatonic scales, especially going up.

I found a youtube video where someone suggests using fingerings that work on a 2-octave span, I think that can work well too.

Thoughts anyone?
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#2914533 - 03/12/18 01:56 PM Re: Pentatonic scales over multiple octaves: fingering for RH? [Re: bourniplus]
I-missRichardTee Offline
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Useful enough!
In pop music at least, Isn't She Lovely, has a spot where I wish I had paid closer attention to the fingering of pentatonics beyond an octave.
And not quite pentatonic, Sir Duke, as well.
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#2914545 - 03/12/18 02:50 PM Re: Pentatonic scales over multiple octaves: fingering for RH? [Re: I-missRichardTee]
WesG Offline
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I recently worked on a piece which /seemed/ like it would work well with five-finger scales (help/slip/frank for you deadheads), since they were five-notes per "block", but I could /not/ get the articulation I needed at the tempo I wanted because I had to arm-move instead of thumb-cross.

I switched to 1-2-1-2-1 for one short section and the whole piece came to life, because you can arm-move and thumb-cross at the same time. This might be part of the key for you to achieve two-octave runs. In my case it really mattered, because after 1-2-1-2-1 I was doing 5-3-1 and needed to have a workable 1-5 spread.

I tend not to play blues scale runs for more than less than about an octave and a half. For those, like, say, Am, I will use 1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4-5. This is easy because a four-finger span at the bottom of a blues scale is really only three fingers wide.
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#2914855 - 03/14/18 06:54 AM Re: Pentatonic scales over multiple octaves: fingering for RH? [Re: WesG]
bourniplus Offline
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Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 548
Loc: Québec
Thanks for your comments guys. That Sir Duke riff is pretty much pentatonic to me.
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#2914891 - 03/14/18 08:26 AM Re: Pentatonic scales over multiple octaves: fingering for RH? [Re: bourniplus]
hardware Offline
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Registered: 03/04/14
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Crossover your thumb with the 4th (pre pinky) while descending.
Cross under with your thumb ascending.
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#2914940 - 03/14/18 11:33 AM Re: Pentatonic scales over multiple octaves: fingering for RH? [Re: hardware]
Donsta Offline
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Registered: 03/16/16
Posts: 151
For pentatonics I've been working out of Mark Harrison's "Piano Fitness" He has fingerings for both left and right hand scales. He also has fingerings/exercises for 3 and 4 note "boxes" (arpeggios).

If anyone else is familiar with this book I'm interested in getting opinions.

Thanks all
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#2914947 - 03/14/18 11:48 AM Re: Pentatonic scales over multiple octaves: fingering for RH? [Re: Donsta]
marino Offline
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Registered: 10/20/00
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Loc: Rome, Italy
I have fingerings for every minor pentatonic, both hands, two octaves or more. There are often alternatives: For example, in the all-white ones, it's often best to use fingrings that repeat every two octaves.
Of course, when improvising, we don't use this linear/scalar approach very often, but this can be said of the other scales and modes too.

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#2914983 - 03/14/18 02:46 PM Re: Pentatonic scales over multiple octaves: fingering for RH? [Re: Donsta]
Joe Muscara Offline
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Originally Posted By: Donsta
For pentatonics I've been working out of Mark Harrison's "Piano Fitness" He has fingerings for both left and right hand scales. He also has fingerings/exercises for 3 and 4 note "boxes" (arpeggios).

If anyone else is familiar with this book I'm interested in getting opinions.
I just got it and am working through it. It's generally good, though for some of the fingerings I tend to like to use the "correct" finger at the end instead of a totally different finger. For example, if the pattern is 1 2 3 1 2, I'm going to use 1 on the tonic at the end.
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#2915547 - 03/17/18 10:05 AM Re: Pentatonic scales over multiple octaves: fingering for RH? [Re: Joe Muscara]
Donsta Offline
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Registered: 03/16/16
Posts: 151
Thanks for your input Joe. I do that as well. I sometimes change the start fingering as well but keep the others as suggested.


[/quote] I just got it and am working through it. It's generally good, though for some of the fingerings I tend to like to use the "correct" finger at the end instead of a totally different finger. For example, if the pattern is 1 2 3 1 2, I'm going to use 1 on the tonic at the end. [/quote]
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