October 12, 2012


It was inevitable to write about Kurt Rosenwinkels playing, without writing about pentatonics. Given the amount of coverage this topic has gotten on the internet, you may already have encountered this material elsewhere.
Below is the video where Kurt is demonstrating his pentatonic approach. Here's a little transcription of what Kurt's talk about from the video:
One of the things I like doing now is going through this progression of Eb minor 7, F minor 7, G minor 7, A minor 7, B minor 7, Db minor 7. So, I’ll just play though it and I’ll just play pentatonics. And go through it very quickly so that you don’t hear ”one”.  And in my mind I’m just going like Eb minor 7, F minor 7, G minor 7,…
One other thing I do sometimes is, I’ll take a tune and I’ll play on one chord and then think of the next one or two or three chords, and then play one the fourth chord. So I’ll jump from this chord (first chord) to that chord (fourth chord) and then go through another cycle and play on that chord (eighth chord). This would be in solo. So little ways like that or going though the cycle of fifths. Little things like that to organize the lines.
He plays two examples, 0:39 - 1:03 and again 1:40 - 1:54.

Riccardo Leccese has been kind enough to send me a transcription of the two examples. I've posted them below as GuitarPro files so you can slow it down and play along.

- Download Example 1 for GuitarPro
- Download Example 2 for GuitarPro

If you're a very boxy pentatonic player, this can really help you open up your playing and make you comfortable moving between all inversions of the pentatonic scale.
Sean Driscoll has a really great write up over on his So Much Sound blog, so rather than rewriting the whole thing here, just go check it out:

Kurt's Sonic: Goes Pentatonic and Kurt's Sonic Part Two: Pentatonic Revenge -- The Shredding

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