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Keith Whalen

  • Keith Whalen - N. Slonimsky's "Thesaurus" - Pentatonics Ex: 1142-1171

    17,164 views 5 years ago
    Nicolas Slonimsky's famous "Thesaurus" is chock-filled with some very convoluted material and much of it proves to be impractical to guitar players but the pentatonic scale segment is perfectly suited to just about any guitar player at any technical level. In Slonimsky's book there are 49 different pentatonic scales given, which correspond to many heptatonic (7 note) scales and modes.

    In this video I play 30 of the 49 examples, I previously intended to record all 49 but the video would have been in two parts and would have been extremely tedious to listen to. The examples are derived from major, minor, melodic minor and harmonic minor scales and can be used fairly effectively to generate melodies and stimulate certain moods. In the video each pentatonic example is played ascending and descending slowly. I am also playing groups of ascending and descending 'fours' at a moderate speed to give the examples a bit of excitement. Playing pentatonic scales in groupings of fours (especially the ones found in the 'Thesaurus') is a really great way to improve finger independence and left hand dexterity. Some of the examples contain both large and small intervals and when played in fours force you to perform expansions, contractions and challenging acrobatic feats in the fretting hand!

    N.B: The tablature that is shown for each exercise is not exactly as played and does not include the groupings of fours. My guitar is also tuned to Eb for all examples. If you want a copy of the tabs for all the examples it would be my pleasure to email them to you. Show less
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