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  • Writer's pictureNel Begley

Drones and pentatonics

This session we're focusing on drones and pentatonic scales!

Using drones to practise helps us to begin to understand where our melody is in relation to the key or root note (note one) meaning if we get lost in a song we can hear or begin to hear where home is.

This will make much more sense when we actually do it rather than think about it, so I've created a set of exercises so we can start to internalise what this sounds and feels like!


Warm ups

Perfect Vowels



Have a listen to this drone and you can practise moving through the perfect vowels over this - this is one of my favourite practises as we can play with the shape of the mouth and hear how this affects the sound and quality of our voice (timbre).

Firstly have a listen to the notes you can hear within the drone and sing them, trying to listen out for the most prominent note (the root or note 1 of the scale).

You can sing through scales over this drone, moving up and down and back to the root - have fun!


Didn't Leave Nobody But the Baby

Go to sleep you little baby x 2

You're mama's gone away and you're daddy's gonna stay

Didn't leave nobody but the baby

Go to sleep you little baby x 2

Everybody's gone and the cotton and the corn

Didn't leave nobody but the baby

You're a sweet little baby x 2

Honey and a rock and the sugar don't stock

Gonna bring a bottle to the baby

Don't you weep pretty baby x 2

She's long gone with her red shoes on

Gonna need another lovin' baby

Go to sleep you little baby x2

You and me and the devil makes three

Don't need no other lovin' baby

Go to sleep you little baby x2

Come on lay your bones on the alabaster stones

And be my ever lovin' baby



Have a mess around on these loops and see what diverse melodies, rhythms, and patterns you can come up with!

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