QUOTE(barry-clari @ Nov 13 2011, 06:59 AM)
I don't think that's you : I think generally they're more intuitive on piano. And on bowed strings, for that matter.
I agree that scales are less intuitive on wind instruments than on piano and strings, but I think they still are much more important for strings than they are for piano. On piano you don't even have to worry about intonation. Yes, understanding fingerings, crossing the thumb fluently, evenness between hands, etc. can still be difficult with piano scales, but this isn't anything that can't be found in more musically satisfying exercises and pieces. With strings, I think scales are more useful because intonation, good tone production, and physically getting around the instrument is so much more difficult. The motions required to play a four octave scale or arpeggio on piano are pretty repetitive through the octaves, but the same can't be said for a three octave scale or arpeggio on strings because the distances between notes change. Also, the same approach to tone production essentially works for all registers on the piano (assuming one is just playing an even scale or arpeggio), whereas on string instruments the mechanism (in terms of bow speed, contact point, and angle) is quite different in the high, low, and middle ranges. And a lot of these things are hard to find in exercises/repertoire because most things that aren't super-virtuosic don't have as large a range as is spanned by practicing all three octave scales. And that's why I feel strongly that scales aren't nearly as important for piano as for any other instrument
I would be interested to hear how you folks who practice piano scales regularly disagree
As for what I'm learning... I've made extremely ambitious goals for what I want to have prepared for my next lesson. I'm sick of underwhelming my wonderful teacher
And my next lesson probably won't be until January... so here's what I want to have for then:
Kabalevsky - Sonata no. 3 (it's mostly a matter of getting the third movement up to scratch, the others are alright)
Chopin - Barcarolle (I can basically play the notes, but the music is a different matter
Mozart - K. 311, 3rd movement (the notes aren't too hard, but it has to be perfect)
Albeniz - Albaicin from Iberia (I've only read through this one - teacher has wanted me to play something from Iberia for a while now, but I hadn't gotten around to it)
Then for technique I also want to work on Chopin op. 10 no. 12 and Moszkowski op. 72 no. 6. I don't know whether I will show these to my teacher, but I think they will help everything else. I think my teacher and I tend to gravitate towards pieces where shoddy technique can be largely compensated for by musicality, so I want to work on some stuff where there's nowhere to hide. I would love to be able to play them at full speed for my teacher and show her that I have better technique than she thinks I do, but that probably won't happen by January.
Of course these are totally realistic goals...