Best way to practice major scales?

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

  1. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    One day I will do major scales, then natural minor, harmonic minor the next, and melodic minor the next.
  2. tunefultrumpet

    tunefultrumpet Pianissimo User

    Apr 9, 2008
    New Zealand
    It can be fun to practice scales modally, so for example run up and down F# major, then do scales starting on each successive note of the F#maj scale, but staying on the notes of F#major key.
  3. Rushtucky

    Rushtucky Pianissimo User

    Sep 15, 2008
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Scales and Long Tones are a must, especially for the Comeback Player. Each should, and sounds like, are a daily part of your Practice Routine. Practice-Practice-Practice.

    As far as practicing scales (which can be very boring) I would suggest doing each scale 4times each. Say the name of the scale first, tongue two sets and slur two sets. Do two octives on the 3rd and 4th set.

    Do Chromatic Scales every day - full range. Tongue and slur until you can do them "in your sleep". Arbans has some has some great exercises on page 57 to 86. However I would recommend doing most of them only after you know all of your major and minor scales. Have fun...mix and match and improv some of the exercises.
  4. Snorglorf

    Snorglorf Pianissimo User

    Nov 13, 2008
    I'm not a comeback player, I've been playing for a year or so. My range isn't really good enough to do all of the scales two octave yet. I'm comfy up to a B flat or so, depending on how long or hard I've been playing.

    I've been doing at least 15 minutes of long tones per day and 15 minutes of slurs. After this I rest and during my next session I do 15 minutes of chorales and 15 minutes of arpeggio exercises (I Recommend book). After this I'll do whatever I feel like, which is sometimes playalong jazz stuff, sometimes sight-reading from the Real Book and sometimes Arbans stuff. Today I realized I don't play enough scales so I'm going to start working that in after my arpeggio exercises and before my whatever I feel like. Maybe I should push it to the end in case I'm throwing my chops off with the scales up to the top of my range.

    I do chromatic scales, but a very good point you make on doing them to the top of my range - this rarely happens.

    Thanks to whoever reminded me to both tongue and slur the scales.

    Thanks for everyone's input actually. I don't think the dice or the jar thing are for me though, I'll just work up to doing all of them every day. :lol:
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The ONLY way to practice scales in the beginning is slowly. Your brain does not store individual movement, it stores patterns. Practice to fast and the pattern is sloppy. That sticks!

    Do not gradually increase speed. Play the scale slowly until it is 120% perfect then jump 10 beats per minute and perfect again. Gradually increasing means that we are ALWAYS playing on the border to sloppy and our brain will store that, messing up any future progress!


    Do NOT start playing high until the finger patterns are rock solid in your normal range. You are just adding something else to mess the pattern up! Use a metronome!
  6. BergeronWannabe

    BergeronWannabe Piano User

    Feb 6, 2007
    I think the best way to practice scales is with Arban's.
  7. Snorglorf

    Snorglorf Pianissimo User

    Nov 13, 2008
    Yeah, this is what I meant by gradually increasing speed. I play til it's perfect then make a jump. I'll stay low then. Thanks. :)
  8. Trumpet Dad

    Trumpet Dad Pianissimo User

    Jun 20, 2008
    New Jersey, USA
    Find out what your "state scale" requirements are and practice them that way. For example, New Jersey scales ascend with a "quarter" note followed by six "eighth" notes and a "quarter" note at the top, then descend with six "quarter" notes followed by a "whole" note. Memorize them!

    Different memory techniques could be: look at the page--play it--turn the page over--play it from memory. Sing the notes saying da or ta. Say the notes out loud while fingering the valves. Another good technique is sing, buzz, play. Sing the first note (using da or ta), check your pitch by playing that note on your trumpet, then sing the scale, then buzz it on your mouthpiece, then play it on your trumpet.

    Don't try to learn them all at once. Start with 0,1,2 flats & sharps. Once those are memorized you can expand.

    Even if you don't try out for "All State", knowing your scales will really help your ability to transpose.

Share This Page