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Harmonica Lesson: Pentatonic Scale Exercise

"Just run it up and down the pentatonic scale. You can do no wrong, every note is right." - Howard Levy

Here's a harmonica lesson from the vaults of the Howard Levy Harmonica School, it's an exercise which will help you get more familiar with the very important pentatonic scale. Howard shows you a way to practice the scale in a way that makes things a bit more interesting and gets you used to playing the notes out of order. 

Keep in mind here, this is Part 2 of Howard's lesson on the pentatonic scale. Howard breaks down the scale in detail and goes through all all the different places it shows up in music in Part 1 of this lesson (which is available to all members of his online harmonica school, be sure to fill out the form for more sample lessons). This exercise is important though because it will give you another way to practice the pentatonic scale, using a "leapfrog" variation technique which mixes up the notes a bit. 

For this exercise, start at the root note of the scale, skip the 2nd note and play the 3rd note. Then go back to the 2nd note, skip the 3rd note and play the 5th note.

Beginning to see the pattern here? Numerically it looks like this: 1, 3, 2, 5, 4, 7, 6, 9, 8... then the pattern repeats back to the 1st note. 

It sounds easy when you hear Howard play it, but he makes everything he does look easy so don't feel discouraged if it doesn't click right away.

Give it a try to see how it feels, after some practice it should begin to get easier. Once you master this exercise you'll be way ahead of the game

Watch Howard's Free Harmonica Lessons

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Learn to play harmonica online with the master Howard Levy. For more free harmonica lessons fill out the form and visit for information about the Howard Levy Harmonica School.