This exercise will boost your tone, finger speed, and your creativity – perfect for getting back on track on sax after a break.
My Pentatonic Saxophone Warm Up is a super-fun exercise which will really get your embouchure, your fingers and your brain working! We’re going to be using something I call “pentatonic circles”.
Listen to hear how it sounds.
This warm up is phase 5 of my “getting back in shape on sax” series. Scroll down for the links to the other parts of this series.
Pentatonic Saxophone Warm Up: The Notes
In this pentatonic saxophone warm up, we’re using a single Minor Pentatonic Scale. Here, I’m using G Minor Pentatonic, on tenor sax.
So the notes in this scale are: G, B flat, C, D F.
As I play this exercise, I’m going up in groupings of 4.
I’m circling around as I make my way up the scale.
Then I’m doing the same when I come down . So, I’m coming down the scale in groups of 4, circling as I go.
Why learn Pentatonics?
The pentatonic scale is an essential component for improvising on saxophone. If you can get these funky-sounding scales under your fingers, you’ve got the building blocks for some awesome-sounding solos.
This exercise is really fun to play and it sounds great when you get it up to speed – have a listen on the video!
But don’t forget to start slow and only increase the speed when you can play really accurately and smoothly.
Find the rest of this series
In Sax School we talk a lot about how to use building blocks, like the pentatonic scale, to get started with improvising. Here’s some examples from our blog for you to explore.
- Learn how to use the pentatonic scale to start improvising on saxophone here
- Discover how AGT star Avery Dixon uses the Minor Pentatonic scale in his crowd-pleasing solos (and grab some of his licks too)
- Use the Pentatonic Scale in a classic 80s pop solo
And if you want to make some serious progress on your saxophone, with access to our pro tutor team, live sessions, huge library of lessons and courses, and worldwide Community of saxophone players, check out our Sax School PRO. Try it here with a 14 day free trial.