The Ultimate Guide to Pentatonic Voicings for Jazz Pianists: An Interactive Course


Pentatonic voicings are a valuable tool for jazz pianists and arrangers, as demonstrated by masters such as McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea, and Herbie Hancock. They provide a fresh perspective on voicings and can add depth and interest to your playing.

In this interactive PDF course, Pentatonic Voicings by mDecks Music, you’ll learn how to build and practice these essential voicings, and add them to your playing arsenal. With step-by-step video lessons and exercises accompanied by backing tracks, you’ll gain the skills and confidence to incorporate these versatile voicings into your own playing.

What are Pentatonic Voicings?

Traditionally, we think of chords as being built by stacking thirds or fourths. While this is a tried and true method for building voicings, there’s another way to think about it. By using the minor pentatonic scale as a source scale and building voicings by skips, we can create a new type of voicing, known as pentatonic voicings.

These voicings are unique and can add a fresh sound to your playing. By using pentatonic voicings, you’ll be able to create a new palette of sounds that you can draw from when playing jazz standards.

How to Use this Book

Pentatonic Voicings by mDecks Music is an interactive PDF course that contains video lessons and exercises with backing tracks. You can access all of the material from within the PDF. To view related videos, simply click on the QR codes provided.

Start by watching the introductory videos where you’ll learn the theory behind pentatonic voicings, why they are useful, and how to approach them in this course.

Demo Lesson from the Pentatonic Voicings course

How the course is organized

Substructure Studies

In this section, you’ll learn the building blocks of pentatonic voicings. You’ll learn how to transform voicings and create exercises to help you internalize the concept. From quartals and 3rds to inversions of triads and more.

Minor Pentatonic Voicings

Next, you’ll dive into minor pentatonic voicings. You’ll learn how to build them and how to play them in various keys. You’ll also learn exercises to help you practice these voicings.

Voicings Transformation Exercise

Learn how to transform voicings to create new sounds. Voicing transformations will show you a path to new pentatonic scales, which are explored further later in the course.

Mixolydian Exercise

Here, you’ll learn how to build voicings using the mixolydian scale. This is the “McCoy Tyner Sound”.

Demo Lesson from the Pentatonic Voicings course

Other Pentatonic Source Scales

In this section, you’ll learn how to build voicings using other pentatonic scales, which are transformations of the minor pentatonic, such as: the Minor Pentatonic b1, the Minor Pentatonic b5 and the Minor Pentatonic #1

Diminished Voicings

The pentatonic scale and its transformations do not offer a good set of voicings for diminished chords. In this section, you’ll learn how to build diminished voicings that match the style of the pentatonic voicings.


The book also includes a section on cadences, which are an essential part of any jazz musician’s vocabulary. Cadences are the musical phrases that signal the end of a section or the end of a tune. In this section, you’ll learn how to use pentatonic voicings to create effective cadences that will add depth and interest to your playing.

Upper Structures & Top-note Charts

One of the most powerful techniques used by jazz musicians is the concept of upper structures. This is a way of creating complex and interesting harmonies by layering one chord on top of another. In this section, you’ll learn how to use pentatonic voicings as upper structures, and how to read the top-note charts that will help you quickly find and play these voicings in any key.

Piano Arrangements

The book also includes several piano arrangements of classic jazz tunes, including “Here’s That Rainy Day,” “When I Fall in Love,” and “I’ll Remember Clifford.” These arrangements are designed to showcase the pentatonic voicings you’ve learned throughout the course, and will help you integrate them into your playing in a practical way.

Comping Etude

Finally, the book concludes with a comping etude that will allow you to practice all of the techniques you’ve learned in a musical context. The etude features a simple chord progression, and will give you the opportunity to experiment with different pentatonic voicings and explore their musical possibilities.


If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide to pentatonic voicings, this book/course from mDecks Music is an excellent resource. With detailed explanations, clear demonstrations, and practical exercises, you’ll learn how to build and use these voicings in a variety of musical contexts. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced jazz musician, this course will help you take your playing to the next level. So why wait? Visit and start exploring the world of pentatonic voicings today!

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