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Scales!


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#1 Guest: sarah-flute_*

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 16:35

I have come across a couple of good practice techniques for scales recently, which is good as I was really lagging behind on them - I've posted about splurts and chromatic scales, and I just wondered if anyone else has any good techniques/strategies you use for learning scales?

As well as what I have posted about, I keep a record by each scale of my best fluent and solid speed on that scale, so that it is obvious which ones need the most work; I also try to play both from memory as in an exam, and from the notation so I recognise the scale patterns (hopefully!) when I come across them in pieces. I also try and do slow scale practice especially for passages that are awkward/in the high register and for the turns at the top of the scales (particularly for melodic minors where the top 3 notes up and down ie raised 6th and 7th, tonic, lowered 6th and 7th) can be really easy to fluff.

I would really like to get my scales up to scratch (or even work ahead and be ahead of myself on them as I am on piano) so any ideas you have or techniques you've used to get your scales good which you can share would be great, and maybe we can all help each other? smile.gif
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#2 Guest: GoneChopinBachSoon_*

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 17:28

i've found that going the opposite way helps, and in mixed articulations and rhythms helps
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#3 Guest: sarah-flute_*

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 18:20

QUOTE(GoneChopinBachSoon @ Oct 6 2005, 05:28 PM)
i've found that going the opposite way helps

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huh.gif do you mean starting at the top?
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#4 Guest: recorderzrule_*

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 19:01

The opposite way gets you thinking! Alternative articulations help me to concentrate too. Slur in 2s 4s, slur 2 staccato 2 slur 3 stac 1 etc
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#5 Guest: GoneChopinBachSoon_*

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 19:11

QUOTE(sarah-flute @ Oct 6 2005, 06:20 PM)
QUOTE(GoneChopinBachSoon @ Oct 6 2005, 05:28 PM)
i've found that going the opposite way helps

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huh.gif do you mean starting at the top?

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yes

e.g. C major 2 octaves on flute

start on top C, go to bottom C and back up and repeat 3 times
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#6 Guest: nicki_flute_*

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 19:42

Have you ever tried crabwise scales? It is where you go up in C major, come done in Db major, back up in D major etc.
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#7 Guest: sarah-flute_*

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 20:32

I keep meaning to try that Nicki, but I need to be feeling brave.... smile.gif
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#8 Guest: nicki_flute_*

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 20:35

Well, once you have gone throuhg it really slowly, it starts to make sense.

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#9 Guest: GoneChopinBachSoon_*

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 20:59

QUOTE(nicki_flute @ Oct 6 2005, 07:42 PM)
Have you ever tried crabwise scales? It is where you go up in C major, come done in Db major, back up in D major etc.

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i do that a lot. B flat major and B major confuse me at the top sad.gif
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#10 Guest: sarah-flute_*

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 21:03

QUOTE(nicki_flute @ Oct 6 2005, 08:35 PM)
Well, once you have gone through it really slowly, it starts to make sense.

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I shall try it one day - I want to make sure I know all my grade 6 scales though, Majors would probably be OK because I actually know them all, minors would be scary! (melodic? harmonic? decisions... then moving up a semitone!! ohmy.gif unsure.gif ph34r.gif)
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#11 Guest: elliewelly_*

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 11:16

Down and up.

Different rhythms, e.g. swung quavers - makes you think, and makes you practise steps between the notes more quickly. But if you start with a long swung quaver, do the scale again starting with a short swung quaver.

Have two boxes labelled "can do" and "can't do". Write the scale names on bits of paper and put them all in the "can't do" box. Each day, pull out a scale, try it tongued and slurred. If you can do both perfectly at a suitable speed, put the paper in "can do" and try another. If not, it's back in "can't do" for that one. I'm not sure whether you play them all every day, but you can do as many as you like this way. When they are all finally in the "can do" box (and this can take me a week or so), put them back in "can't do" and start again!
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#12 Guest: Helen_*

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 16:08

Take the first group of 5 notes and go up and down those. Lets take Eb major scale as an example.

Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb, Ab, G, F, Eb as many times as you need to, to make them even and with a nice tone.

Go one step up, F, G, Ab, Bb, C, Bb, Ab, G, F

And again: G, Ab, Bb, C, D, C, Bb, Ab, G

When you get to the note which would officially be the top (ie high Eb), carry on in that key (up to top Bb) and back down still in the groups of 5 until the lowest ote possible (low C) and back up to the note you started on (in this case, Eb).

Well thats what my flute teacher teaches. It's a very laborious method though. smile.gif
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#13 Guest: zauberfagott_*

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 01:57

Dotted rhythms help a lot.

i.e. dotted quaver followed by a semiquaver.

And when you have that working well, you reverse the rhythm! It shows up all the problems with fingering - so you know exactly what you need to work on - and the process itself will help sort out the problems.
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#14 Guest: elliewelly_*

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 10:37

That's what I was trying to describe (except 'swung' - doesn't matter too much) except you explained it so much better than me! biggrin.gif
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#15 Guest: Lyii-Piccolo_*

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 03:14

ugh i hate chromatic scales, the only two scales im good at is the concer B-flat, and the f major scale.
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