In this series, we’re going to provide the tools to get you improvising and sharpening those skills! If you’ve never improvised before, or even if you’re familiar with some of these concepts, there’s great stuff in here to get you better, faster.
We’ll dive into essential areas of the Major Pentatonic, Minor Pentatonic and the Blues scale. Each topic will focus on short, progressive modules that cut to the chase and get you on a path to better playing:

  • Technique workout to build your strength and get away from just running scales
  • Call and response exercise to get your ear stronger and your fingers moving
  • Transcription of Mark Wood soloing to develop your vocabulary
  • Original composition to perform that ties all of the elements and concepts together!

There are parts available for Violin, Viola, Cello, and Double Bass so everyone can play! We’ve also included special versions of two lesson compositions for Grade 1 and 2 players to enjoy along with a video from Mark that focuses on working with the Moveable Grid.

Lastly, there’s a complete original composition for full string orchestra “Fan the Flames” to play and along with a special tutorial for Lead Violin.

Access the “Mark Wood Playbook” in SmartMusic and enjoy all of the Playbook content plus exclusive bonus material with your subscription! Use world-class practice tools with additional exercises, loops and Mark’s other original compositions to challenge and support your journey!


The SmartMusic content in the following lessons is only accessible in Google Chrome with ad blockers disabled. Content is not available on iPads and mobile phones.

D Major Pentatonic

A Minor Pentatonic

A Blues Scale

Working with the Moveable Grid Fingerboard

Fan the Flames
Composition for Full Orchestra

Grade 1/2

mark wood playbook

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mark wood playbook

Recording artist, performer, producer, inventor, Emmy Award-winning composer and Juilliard trained music education advocate, Mark Wood has spent the past four decades electrifying the orchestra industry – literally.

Wood is a world-renowned performer who rose to fame as string master and original member of the internationally acclaimed Trans Siberian Orchestra. A successful solo artist in his own right, Wood writes and records original music for film and television, has released six solo albums, and tours with his band The Mark Wood Experience (MWE) which features his wife, vocalist Laura Kaye. His commission credits include The Juilliard School and extensive TV broadcast music including The Winter Olympics and The Tour de France (for which he won an Emmy).

But his true passion is music education. His program Electrify Your Symphony (EYS) – celebrating its 20th year in 2020 – is an intensive rock and roll workshop for school music education departments that boosts student self-esteem and motivation and helps raise money for music education. Today EYS visits upwards of 60 schools per year and there is a waiting list of schools wanting to participate. The organization has been featured on The Today Show and CBS Evening News and in countless local media outlets.