Lesson #113, Harmonizing with the Pentatonic Scale II

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lesson #113, Harmonizing with the Pentatonic Scale II

Hi Everybody,

Keeping with the harmonizations of the pentatonic scale, lets play some three note harmonies now. You can see and hear from the video that adding one more note to make triads up and down the neck with this scale will help in hearing things in different ways, and will definelty help you to understand the fretboard and have a better understanding of improvisation when you get to that point in your playing.

Remember you can pick out any notes you want from a mode and apply the same degrees to any of the other modes. I would encourage you to do alot of exploration with these modes on your own. I will be offering my own ideas along the course of future lessons as well, to help you along, but exploring on your own will bring out your individual styles, and that is one of the coolest things about music.

You can also explore the pentatonic scale within the Scruggs, Keith/Thomspon and Single String styles. You can hear in the video that by playing this scale with a Keith/Thompson approach will bring out yet more ways to explore the fingerboard. I know it may seem like a lot of work, but try to keep it all fun, and try to keep it exciting by exploring the different sounds you can get from the five string banjo. By exploring the fretboard in this way, you may just find yourself playing some cool things in your next jam without even realizing it!

In the next videos we will pick apart the song Cumberland Gap, and explore some of the ways we can use these techniques and studies of the Pentatonic scale in the Scruggs style.

Keep them fingers rollin everyone, and as always, Rock On!


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In 2009, at the age of 60, I decided to learn to play the 5-string banjo. I searched the internet for lessons and struck gold when I found David Cavage's free banjo lessons at Musicmoose.org. His video hosting site revver.com was having some serious problems at the time so I downloaded as many of the lessons as I could whenever they became available. Revver.com stopped operating shortly afterwards and, sadly, Musicmoose.org is no more. I contacted David early 2020 and he told me he no longer had the original master videos and feared they may have been lost forever. This amazing course of free banjo lessons, from absolute beginner to advanced player, is too good to be forgotten, so this is my attempt to get David's work back out there again so that he can teach, inspire and spread the joy of banjo pickin' to more generations of budding musicians, just like he did with me. I've rounded up all the Moose stuff I could find and put it here, so start pickin' and enjoy!-------MooseHerder.