Best way to practice major scales?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Snorglorf, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. Snorglorf

    Snorglorf Pianissimo User

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    Nov 13, 2008
    What is the best way to practice major scales?

    I know them, or at least, can write them all out and figure them out in my head. I'm trying to get them to translate to my horn and I'm not having much trouble, but what's the most efficient way of drilling it all into my skull?

    It's not that I have trouble picking up which notes are in which scale, it's just getting my fingers in motion properly.

    I was just practicing with my metronome set at 80bpm doing eighth notes, going from tonic to tonic and back down again, supertonic to supertonic and back down again, mediant to mediant and back down again etc etc. I did this through my entire range and went around the cycle of fourths. I decided I'd had enough after doing this for the key of C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab and Db. I'll pick it up and do some more later.

    What's everyone's preferred method of practicing? Arbans? One key at a time until it's perfected? Cycling like me?
     
  2. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

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    It seems that you have asked a number of questions. First of all as part of my daily routine I do two octave scales from low F# going up chromatically to F. This gives me a workout on scales as well as flexibility, intonation, and range. Each day then I can vary the type of scales I do from all three minor to major. As far as Arbans is concerned that is saved until everything is working right and I go on to working something technical in the book. I hope this answers your question. It works for me it might not for someone else.
     
  3. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

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    There are a number of ways to practice your scales as part of your daily routine. Cycle of forths or fifths. or for major scales you can start on an F major scale one octave with arpeggios. then E , Eb descending by half steps down to low F#. Rest then start on middle F# one octave and ascend up by half steps until you need to stop. rest as needed. This can also work as a range builder in both directions. Play only as fast as you can play the scale without any mistakes. Since some of the scales will be more difficult at first , I wouldn't use a metronome until you have them all at the same speed. When you feel ready you can start playing the scale from C down 2 octaves. You can expand that as needed.

    you can use these same exercises for your minor scales. You can alternate different modes of scales every other day. I've found if you really know (can play) your major scales you don't need to practice your mode scales. Ex. a Bb Dorian Minor is Bb to Bb in the key of Ab major.

    Once you get these up to speed you can play through all your major or minor scales in 5 minutes a day. The key is to work on them every day.
     
  4. Snorglorf

    Snorglorf Pianissimo User

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    Nov 13, 2008
    What do you mean by this?


    And thanks for the answers! That was pretty much exactly what I was looking for Bob, but any other input will still no doubt come in handy.
     
  5. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    hi snorglorf,
    You practice your scales based on The Cycle and do it daily as part of your regular routine but the fingers won't motion properly. right? Well, first off, good for you. Thats a great way to approach learning the major scales. Basing it on the Cycle.
    1)measure where you can go the fastest with the best sound without making mistakes and work up from there and measure your progress.
    2)this is gonna sound strange but, practice with your left hand for a while then go back to fingering with your right hand. The speed in your right hand should increase.
     
  6. Hoghorn

    Hoghorn Pianissimo User

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    Play the scale up and down, followed by the thirds, followed by the arpegio, any scale you can do 2..........or more....octaves do them. each key in one breath...scale up and down, thirds up and down, arppegio up and down.

    hoghorn
     
  7. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    somebody once described "dice" with the 12 different scales,
    each day, you'd roll the dice and play that scale and either its relative or parallel minor (doesn't matter, so long as you're consistent)
    This would force you to be able to play any of the scales

    I also do what s. Coomer described as a warm-up sometimes
     
  8. Graham

    Graham Pianissimo User

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    The way in which I practice my scales is fairly simplistic. As I'm studying Music at University, I'm expected to be able to play all keys at a Technical Assessment halfway through the year every year.

    What I have done is typed all the names of the scales out onto a piece of paper, cut them all out, and I keep them in a big plastic jar with a lid. Every day I shake the jar, take one out, and if I can play it correctly ON THE FIRST ATTEMPT, I put it aside. I do this until the jar is empty.
     
  9. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Hi Snorglorf,
    Markie here, If you're looking for something different but in the same vein, use a SPIT Book. Its got 48 scales each arranged in four different ways. It's a butt kicker but what a workout. You can usually find them on ebay.
     
  10. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

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    The way I like to do it is one day major scales. The next day minor scales. The next day melodic minor, etc. To be honest I've never needed to practice the natural minor or mode scales since they are built on the major scales. Maybe because I had so much music theory. though You may need to practice them. I wouldn't worry about the harmonic minor as it was created to advance the V7 in minor keys. The melodic minor was created to use over the V7/I-7. let us know if we can help.
     

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