13 Songs That Can Be Played Using Only The Pentatonic Scale

Chances are you’ve already heard about the pentatonic scale and how it morphs regular piano-jamming into a beautiful Asian-sounding bonanza. For those of you who don’t know, a pentatonic scale is a musical scale or mode with five notes per octave, aka the black keys. Turns out, there a quite a few songs out there that can be played using only the black keys (hooray for lazy people)! For your convenience, we’ve joined together our very favorite picks below. Enjoy the wonder that is the pentatonic scale!

1. Amazing Grace – John Newton

Flying to piano heaven.

Amazing indeed!

2. Cotton Eyed Joe – Rednex

How to truly play Cotton Eyed Joe.

Oh! Where did you come from, where did you go!

3. Swing Low Sweet Chariot

Swing Low Sweet Chariot.

The good old days when travelling in the open air was cheap and affordable. #CarryMeHome indeed!

4. My Girl – The Temptations

My Girl

Sing your heart out home boy. You ain’t alone now. See.What.I.Did.There.

5. Sunshine Of Your Love – Cream

Sunshine Of You Love.

Because we all act stupidly when we’re in love.

6. Stairway To Heaven – Led Zeppelin*

Stairway To Piano Heaven.

Climbing stairs is yesterdays news, man. Get with the programme already!

7. Another Brick In The Wall, Pt. 2 – Pink Floyd

Another Brick In The Wall.

Entrepreneurs aren’t born, they’re made, yo.

8. Auld Lang Syne – Robert Burns

New Year's Resolutions.

Keep those resolutions realistic, yeah 😉

9. Ring Around The Rosie

Ring Around The Rosie, indeed.

Ugh…not the “bud” they were referring to we don’t think. :O

10. Old MacDonald Had A Farm

Old MacDonald Had A Piano Farm.


11. La Fille Aux Cheveux De Lin (The Girl With The Flaxen Hair) – Claude Debussy

Scarecrow Piano.

We’re starting to see a connection here. Straw Man Argument? :O

12. Mother Goose – Maurice Ravel

Mother Goose Piano.

It’s like a perfect symphony!

13. Rain, Rain Go Away

Rain, Rain Go Away - Piano.

Dark clouds. Black keys. If that isn’t synchronization, well we just don’t know what is.

[*A flirt with the A (natural) minor scale (which consist of A, B, C, D, E, F, G. It contains the same note as the C major scale, but the emphasis is different). It’s not uncommon to add notes to the pentatonic scale, and the minor (aeolian, if you will) scale is a very obvious candidate for adding to the minor pentatonic.]

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