Major Scales Memorization?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by bhavjain, Sep 6, 2014.

  1. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    The Cincinnati Reds had such a sucky season, they don't count as being in the majors, so there is one less in the Majors to count.
  2. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    I just use scales as a start-up for my daily routine. Usually start with the Circle of 5ths.
    I run through:
    Major scales
    Minor Scales
    Pentatonic Scales and Arpeggios
    Chromatic runs

    You can have some fun, by mixing it up like.
    1, 121, 12321, 1234321, 123454321, 123456543231, etc.
    Then start missing the 3rd... 1, 121, 12-21, 12-4-21, 12-454-21, etc.. Miss 3rd and 5th etc
    Just have fun. Your fingering will get faster as you get used to the sequences. and it really is an essential for good improvisation.

    Put aside 10 to 15 minutes for scales. It is repetition, and getting the ear and brain in co-ordination.
  3. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    This may be helpful..

    If you practice scales in the Circle of 5ths, or circle of 4ths, then it all makes sense, and does not matter. Guitarists learn this formula early, brass players don't really get taught this, but it works.
    (Sorry I cannot get the Circle of 4ths and 5ths to save correctly - the blanks keep disappearing...Check it out on Wiki)

    If you want to play in concert, just start up a tone, and follow the formula above... It works for all transposing instruments, just start at the correct point, and you will be in tune with the Concert instruments.
  4. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    I forgot to add an observation - helpful memory hint...

    If you follow the circle of 5ths/4th (just clockwise or anti-clockwise), then the last 4 notes of the scale played, becomes the first four notes to the next progression. If makes it easier to follow the sequence.

    The last four are added with a Raised 7th.
    G Major
    D Major
    A Major
    Sidekick likes this.
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Yup. The best way to learn scales is to play them over and over and over and over again until you don't need the music anymore.
  6. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Maybe I don't know what I'm doing, but I read out the transposition of the concert key signature and sharpen or flatten all the notes called for, and do likewise when the composer interjects another or naturalizes it. It's just a mechanical process for me. Of course, if it is pre-transposed music for my instrument, it saves me some effort. Otherwise, it is my regimen of practicing a chromatic scale that allows me to play the correct notes where they are supposed to be, with C pitched music a step/whole tone higher with my Bb trumpet.

    Yup C music is C C# D Eb E F F# G Ab A Bb B
    Bb music is D Eb E F F# G Ab A Bb B C C#
  7. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    The point I was making, by use of the Circle of 4ths and fifths, is that you can use it to move around your scales with all the other different Keyed instruments. You just pick your starting point and then go... If played with concert, then just use the starting point stated for the Concert Key, and for Bb trumpet raise a tone to pick the starting point.

    Very useful exercise for Bands or groups to learn to listen to each other when playing the scales.

    Concert, Bb, Eb, F, G - it does not matter. Just play around the circle, and it all falls into place for the other instruments in the Band. A simple way to learn scales, and play relative to other instruments.
  8. bhavjain

    bhavjain New Friend

    Jun 7, 2014
    Thanks for the tremendous advice!
  9. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    Who's the "you" in that statement?
  10. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    I very much agree with this and offer a case in point I've just run into.

    I decided to end my practice today by just running through an old hymnbook for half an hour, transposing as per normal up a tone from the organ score. Obviously, I look at the key signature first, but I purposely close my mind to what the actual key is and just play the written intervals, letting ear, muscle memory and other subconcious processes take care of the fine details.

    I got through about a dozen without incident, but tripped up at one point on "The Royal Banners Forward Go" (to the tune Vexilla Regis). It's an old plainsong melody in a very irregular metre, so plenty of room for excuses. But the interesting bit is the key.

    The concert pitch melody is F# aeolian mode so what key are you playing in when you transpose up one? Well it's G# isn't it? Are the G# modal scales on anybody's list? Probably not.

    And I suggest if you ran into this live, and started worrying about how many accidentals there were in the various modes of G#, you'd not get through the first bar. And even if you did, you'd be floored by any key change - there just isn't time to work this stuff out consciously.

    But if you've put in enough hours on B major for your fingers to recognise the patterns without you having to thinking about them, you should cope okay. And yes, it was an A# that caught me out so I'll have to schedule a bit of time for B, F# and C# scales. :-)

Share This Page