Playing with pentatonic scales

A pentatonic flute is one easy entry into making music. Simply because it always sounds good. If the flute is a recorder (Blockflöte), there is no technical difficulty in creating the sound. You can start improvising and listening. Don’t bother about learning songs. Just listen. I like to play on this flute sometimes when I bring my children to bed.

There are many pentatonic scales. If you have a piano around, you can figure things out yourself. Find combinations of 5 tones that always sound good no matter in which order you play them. Different cultures have their signature pentatonic scales. Maybe you can find Arabic or Japanese. It’s a fun task to figure this out.

Music is a big part of my life, and my two children and I are often sitting together at the piano to sing and play. „Wer will fleißige Handwerker sehen, der muss zu uns Kindern gehen, Stein auf Stein, Stein auf Stein, das Häuschen wird bald fertig sein!“

The flute in the video is a Native-American-style flute btw. D minor.

I was introduced to the Native American flutes by my wilderness teacher, Uwe Belz, who would play it in the morning to gently wake up people in the camp. Looking into these flutes I realized I had started my music journey with a pentatonic flute as a 6-year old in the Waldorf School I went to. I hadn’t realized it was pentatonic, until I played it again as a 20-year old. I still have this little flute, and my children slowly start to discover it.


Joseph Bartz