Pentatonic Scale and Quartals

I just recently recorded a Live-to-Library lesson on Advanced Quartals and Pentatonics. Not only was this our most popular Live-to-Library course to date, it was also filled with a bunch of questions from students!

So many students wanted to know the next steps in how to use these quartals and pentatonic scales in their playing that I decided to offer a second Live-to-Library lesson on this topic.

Part 2 of Advanced Quartals and Pentatonics will be held live on Friday, May 29th at 9pm ET. Learn more about this upcoming lesson.

Quartals – 4th Voicings

A quartal is just an interval of a 4th. So moving from C to F, then F to Bb.

Another way of finding quartals is by moving counter-clockwise on the Circle of 5ths. This produces the Circle of 4ths (which is also dominant motion)

We can create a McCoy Tyner sound at the piano by first hitting the root and 5th of the chord (this establishes your “root motion”) then by creating a quartal built UP from the root or the 9th. Here is an example:


Mini Lesson On Quartals & Pentatonics

Since so many students were interested in this topic, I created a short mini lesson on how to use quartals in your piano playing. Be sure to check out the end of the video because I will share with you 2 things to practice.



What to Practice:

  1. Practice form #1 of the Minor Chord Quartals on C-7. Set the metronome  between 70-90 BPM.
  2. Practice the C minor Pentatonic scale (C-Eb-F-G-Bb-C)…notice this is one note shy of a C Blues scale (just missing the F#)
  3. Add the C minor pentatonic lick (from the video 7:01) to the left hand quartal voicing


Please share your comments on the lesson below…


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Willie President
Willie Myette is a pianist, serial entrepreneur and author of over a dozen books on piano and music education. He received a scholarship to Berklee College of Music and graduated in under 4 years. Willie is the creator and president of online piano instruction sites Jazzedge® Academy, Jazz Piano Lessons and HomeSchool Piano.

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