I spend a lot of time practicing scales and arpeggios. I find them to be invaluable for developing good intonation, bow control and so many other aspects of technique.
I have recently broadened my range to include 3 octave scales and arpeggios in all keys (rather than just those specified for grade 8). One reason for doing this was the hope that by extending the range in which I practice to about a sixth above the higher range of the standard orchestral repertoire, I would become more proficient at playing the higher notes in orchestral parts. Pleasingly, this does seem to be happening.
I've been using the book 'Scales for Advanced Violists' by Barbara Barber as a starting reference for various suggestions of fingerings. Some of the fingerings suit me well, others I find rather counter-intuitive. At the moment, I am attempting to practice a variety of fingerings although what I actually use, especially when trying to play at speeds other than very slow, is often a pretty inconsistent mish-mash.
I was wondering about the relative merits in the long term of sticking to a consistent fingering for scales.
A possible benefit that I can see of consistency is that in a stressful situation such as an exam, usually what you play is what you practiced - practicing something that will work and being able to produce it every time has its merits.
But I think I can see more benefits for inconsistency: being used to playing scales as a pattern of sounds rather than a pattern of fingers; familiarity with using different fingers for the same sound might make it easier to keep going once you've strayed from the fingering you intended to use; scalic passages in real music are very rarely a neat up-and-down-x-octaves-starting-on-the-tonic and can require different fingerings; and finally in the grand scheme of things, exams are not the primary reason for practicing scales.
What do other people think?