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How to practice scales

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How to practice scales

Post by Jussi on Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:57 pm

I've got a scale book that has fingerings for all scales in parallel and contrary motion plus parallel motion in thirds and sixths. It also contains major/minor triads, cadences and arpeggios for each key. The question is: should I take one scale or key at a time and learn it really, really well, including all the different versions of that scale plus other stuff, maybe practice a song in that key and then move on to next scale? Or would it be better to get a general idea of all the scales first and then start brushing them up? How fast should I be able to play the scales?

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Re: How to practice scales

Post by Admin Andrew on Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:07 pm

Jussi wrote:I've got a scale book that has fingerings for all scales in parallel and contrary motion plus parallel motion in thirds and sixths. It also contains major/minor triads, cadences and arpeggios for each key. The question is: should I take one scale or key at a time and learn it really, really well, including all the different versions of that scale plus other stuff, maybe practice a song in that key and then move on to next scale? Or would it be better to get a general idea of all the scales first and then start brushing them up? How fast should I be able to play the scales?

Thanks,
-Jussi


It really depends on your own personal preference, but I believe it would be smarter to focus on a key and learn all the different motions, that way you can keep your hands doing different motions. If you do to much of the same thing that's when injury can happen, so by practising all different types on the same key you're learning many motions, but not going TOO crazy and learning strange keys ^_^ hope that helps!

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Re: How to practice scales

Post by Dalirus on Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:46 pm

My professor tells her beginner students not to try to do scales fast, but focus more on accuracy. (i.e. not hitting wrong notes, synchronized playing of both hands) Which is what I did...when I first started. As my fingers got more used to playing piano, I just naturally were able to go faster later on. Now I can do them fast but if I try to go faster than I can currently, one hand gets left behind and I miss sharps/flats.

So, just start with a slow tempo and move your way up. Smile

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Re: How to practice scales

Post by Admin Andrew on Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:22 pm

Dalirus wrote:My professor tells her beginner students not to try to do scales fast, but focus more on accuracy. (i.e. not hitting wrong notes, synchronized playing of both hands) Which is what I did...when I first started. As my fingers got more used to playing piano, I just naturally were able to go faster later on. Now I can do them fast but if I try to go faster than I can currently, one hand gets left behind and I miss sharps/flats.

So, just start with a slow tempo and move your way up. Smile

Well said, you're bang on! I'm ALWAYS telling my students to play slow, but think of the end result, in other words instead of clunking your hands around slowly, think of playing fast, but in super slow motion, so small smooth movments ^_^

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Re: How to practice scales

Post by Thomandy on Sat Apr 12, 2008 11:33 pm

So there are different ways to move in scales also. Thought it held to learn one movement Razz But, where can I find the different fingering?
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Re: How to practice scales

Post by maggiekedves on Thu May 15, 2008 7:00 am

thomandy wrote:So there are different ways to move in scales also. Thought it held to learn one movement Razz But, where can I find the different fingering?

I think that is called personal creativity Very Happy
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Re: How to practice scales

Post by Benoit on Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:02 am

I would like if I should learn all the marjor scales or C major, then C minor harmonic, then the melodic one...Or should I learn all the scales with the same fingering first? how to choose the order?

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Re: How to practice scales

Post by Thomandy on Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:07 pm

Benoit wrote:I would like if I should learn all the marjor scales or C major, then C minor harmonic, then the melodic one...Or should I learn all the scales with the same fingering first? how to choose the order?

Its like you say a good idea to learn the major ones first Smile
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Re: How to practice scales

Post by Benoit on Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:41 pm

I can play the major ones now (except the flat majors and sharp majors). Should I learn those before going to the minors?

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Re: How to practice scales

Post by Thomandy on Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:43 pm

Benoit wrote:I can play the major ones now (except the flat majors and sharp majors). Should I learn those before going to the minors?

I did that. The flats/shaps are a tad harder I think.. So up to you. Many minors got the exact same movement as sme of the majors. So the movements are in you if you have practiced major scales, for many of the minors already Smile
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Re: How to practice scales

Post by Benoit on Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:48 pm

Do you think that it is "normal" if I could learn most of the major scales quite quickly but I have more difficulties to learn the Bb, Eb, Ab scales? I can't remember the fingering so easily, even if I still learn. I'm often unsure of the fingering when I change of scale. How many scales per week can I learn? (I nearly only do scales when I play the piano because I want to learn them first).

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Re: How to practice scales

Post by maestoso on Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:51 pm

Hi, which ones do you find easier? I agree that the flat scales are harder... starting on a black note normally requires a different finger and that feels strange at first.

My approach to learning scales was to do them in the circle of 5ths, e.g. C major/minor harmonic and melodic, then G, then D, and so on (adding the arpeggios as I went along). I know you want to learn all the scales first, but this is a big task and I think it would be quite boring... I would recommend mastering a few and also playing "proper" music as well. Don't spend too much time in one practice session on scales... do a little every day and over time you will be able to play them easily. Start slowly enough that you can play them perfectly before speeding up. That's just my advice based on my experience, hope it helps Smile

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Re: How to practice scales

Post by Thomandy on Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:13 pm

Yeah, it was a bit strange in the beginning but now its just as easy! Smile
Just do them SLOW enough in the beginning. That will save you a lot of time!!!! Very Happy If you do it to fast and mess up, and mess up some more then it will take much longer until you know them in and out!! Smile
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Re: How to practice scales

Post by Benoit on Fri Aug 29, 2008 4:32 pm

Practise makes perfect! I start to reach the level that I wanted in the scales. I just got confused sometimes but with a few days of breaks, it's ok.

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