Riffs and Runs 2: The Amazing Pentatonic (for singers)

Be competitive in todays pop/r&b market. Improve your Riffs and Runs.
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Instructed by Paul McKay Music / Vocal
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  • Lectures 20
  • Length 1 hour
  • Skill Level Intermediate Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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About This Course

Published 8/2015 English

Course Description

The objective of this program is to have the pentatonic scale so etched into your brain that when you improvise in your favourite pop, r&b or gospel song pentatonic melodies, or riffs and runs, just spill out of you!

In this program we learn through repetition and by logically grouping specific types of notes together using the visual aid of "pentatonic triangles" combined with audio clips. The triangles, when used in tandem with the audio exercises serve as a tool to help us to memorize the pentatonic scale, its inversions and other pentatonic melodies.

Terminology: Singing lessons, Improvisation, Riffs and Runs, melodies, Inversion, Vowel, Consonant.

Course Materials: Video tutorials, MP3 exercises

Structure: The course starts with a theoretical introduction to the Pentatonic Scale. It then presents a series of melodies neatly organized in the form of a Triangle composed of numbers starting with full triangle exercises and progressing to half triangle exercises. There is an MP3 exercise associated with each lecture.

Take this course if you would like to broaden your knowledge of pop, r&b and gospel vocalization

What are the requirements?

  • Student should have a decent ear and a decent voice before starting this program. Some background in music theory would also help
  • Students should review the vocal stylings of current pop/r&b vocalists and should know several pop/r&b songs from start to finish

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Improvise with modern Pop, R&B and Gospel Style using the pentatonic scale melodies laid out in this course
  • Sing Riffs and Runs like a Pro!
  • Memorize the pentatonic scale and inversions

What is the target audience?

  • This course is not for Beginners. It is for Intermediate and Advance Vocalists
  • Vocalists looking to improve their vocal ability using techniques outlined in the course
  • Vocalists looking to be competitive in today's pop/ RnB market

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Introduction
Preface
Preview
01:40
03:59

This lecture explains the pentatonic scale by comparing it to the major scale. Provides theoretical foundation for understanding the rest of the course

02:28

In this portion of the course you begin to see how the melodies come together and are organized in the form of a triangle. This triangle can be used to help you understand and perform riffs and runs.

03:39

The traditional system, while respected and established, takes a long time to learn. The system of reading music keeps the lights on at music schools all across the globe. People spend years and money and time and effort trying to understand how to read music and that's okay because its an established form of communicating a language. Music is a language, and the way we've learned to communicate musical expression is through written material in this established transcription method/language, but who says there can't be other ways of communicating musical concepts; and further, how many pop r&b and gospel vocalists do you know who depend on reading music? (and nothing's wrong with that because it has its place)

In this program we learn through repetition and by logically grouping specific types of notes together using the visual aid of the pentatonic triangles combined with audio clips. Now the triangles by themselves don't necessarily mean much, but when used in tandem with the audio exercises they serve as a tool to help us to memorize the pentatonic scale and some of its variations. Once the scales are memorized we may no longer need the visual aid of the triangles at all, sort of like a scaffolding when you're constructing a building. Once the building project is complete, you can remove the scaffolding and use them again for other projects.

Because of the fact that the 4th, 5th and 1st(an octave higher than the starting point) inversions of the pentatonic when played or sung in that order represent the types of riffs and runs that you're most likely to find in Pop, R&B and Gospel vocalization. I have started the pentatonic triangle with these inversions

So=1

La=2

Do=3

Re=4

Mi=5

Section 2: Group Sessions - Half Triangle exercises
03:24

Paul explains the half triangle exercise "Row B left side" (upwards) in this group session. This riff can be used to stylize the melody of songs by applying grace notes, in a pop glissando style or by simply incorperating them into your melody as evenly spaced quarter or eighth notes.

02:10

Paul explains the half triangle exercise "Row B right side" (upwards) in this group session. This riff can be used to stylize the melody of songs by applying grace notes, in a pop glissando style or by simply incorperating them into your melody as evenly spaced quarter or eighth notes. The MP3 clips attached provide additional practice using the simple vowels "Oo", "Oh", "Ah" "Eh" and "Ee"

03:00

The pentatonic riff demonstrated in this group session is can be used by pop, r&b and gospel artists at climactic periods in a song. It sounds impressive, but you'll be surprised how easy it is to perform. The MP3 clips attached provide additional practice using the simple vowels "Oo", "Oh", "Ah" "Eh" and "Ee"

01:56

This exercise shows the other side of of this well known pop/r&b/gospel riff. With practice it will become easier. The MP3 clips attached provide additional practice using the simple vowels "Oo", "Oh", "Ah" "Eh" and "Ee". Practice the slow version first and work your way toward the faster paced MP3 file.

03:13

This exercise is challenging and it's less likely that you will find it in a pop song. Still it provides excellent practice and improves vocal agility. The MP3 clips attached provide additional practice using the simple vowels "Oo", "Oh", "Ah" "Eh" and "Ee"

03:01

This exercise is a descending riff that provides excellent practice with vocal agility although it is not frequently used in practice. The MP3 clips attached provide additional practice using the simple vowels "Oo", "Oh", "Ah" "Eh" and "Ee"

02:26

All 5 pentatonic notes are used in this ascending exercise. The MP3 clips attached provide additional practice using the simple vowels "Oo", "Oh", "Ah" "Eh" and "Ee"

03:07

This exercise is similar to the previous one except it is descending, this should be easy to perform since it is the standard pentatonic with all five notes. The MP3 clips attached provide additional practice using the simple vowels "Oo", "Oh", "Ah" "Eh" and "Ee"

Section 3: Full Triangle Exercises
04:08

This is a full triangle exercise that can actually be used in a performance. It resembles "Row C" of the "half triangle" exercises and can be used interchangeably with it. The MP3 clips attached provide additional practice using the simple vowels "Oo", "Oh", "Ah" "Eh" and "Ee". Ascending and descending versions of this exercise are included, but just one tempo is given.

05:38

Row C of the full pentatonic triangle exercises can be used either as an exercise or in a performance. Although there are three notes involved, two notes are repeated in the opposite direction, making it sound like a 5 note riff. The MP3 clips attached provide additional practice using the simple vowels "Oo", "Oh", "Ah" "Eh" and "Ee"

04:18

This is a 4 note riff, but 3 notes are repeated in the opposite direction. This causes it to seem like you're singing 7 notes for each inversion. You would have to be very creative to incorporate this exercise into an actual song. The main purpose of this warm up is to get you accustomed to singing longer pentatonic sequences. The MP3 clips attached provide additional practice using the simple vowels "Oo", "Oh", "Ah" "Eh" and "Ee"

02:57

This exercise gives the participant an opportunity to practice all 5 notes of the pentatonic scale in both directions and with all of the inversions. These riffs are often used in performances and are a great tool to add to your vocal arsenal. The MP3 clips attached provide additional practice using the simple vowels "Oo", "Oh", "Ah" "Eh" and "Ee"

Section 4: Half Triangle exercises-Lecture
08:39

This lecture explained the riff/run performed in the group tutorial in greater detail. The pentatonic riff/run demonstrated here can be used by pop, r&b and gospel artists at climactic periods in a song. It sounds impressive, but you'll be surprised how easy it is to perform. The MP3 clips attached provide additional practice using the simple vowels "Oo", "Oh", "Ah" "Eh" and "Ee". These are the same exercises attached to the group session.

02:52

Paul McKay explains both sides of Row C of the pentatonic triangles in detail. The MP3 clips attached provide additional practice using the simple vowels "Oo", "Oh", "Ah" "Eh" and "Ee". These are the same exercises attached to the group sessions.

03:23

Paul McKay explains, in detail, the base (row e) of the half triangle exercises on both sides. Sing along! The MP3 clips attached provide additional practice using the simple vowels "Oo", "Oh", "Ah" "Eh" and "Ee". These are the same exercises attached to the group sessions.

04:00

Row d is further expanded in this lecture and variations are suggested. You are encouraged to use different rhythms and syncopations when performing the notes of this exercise. The MP3 clips attached provide additional practice using the simple vowels "Oo", "Oh", "Ah" "Eh" and "Ee". These are the same exercises attached to the group sessions.

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Instructor Biography

Paul McKay, Voice Coach

Paul McKay has worked with many of the Music Industries leading producers, songwriters and performers (Midi Mafia, Dangerous LLC., Drake, Fantasia Barrino, and Anthony Brown to name a few). High belted mixed and head voice sounds are characteristic of his style as well, as extraordinarily unique improvisation.

Paul McKay is a classically trained pianist with the Royal Conservatory of Music and also attended the University of Toronto to obtain his Bachelor of Commerce Degree.

His method of voice coaching is an eclectic mix of traditional opera technique and more contemporary, vocalization styles.

Paul currently operates OneVoice Music Academy; a place where potential vocalists and musicians from all over the world are trained and mentored by experienced professionals.

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