Major Scales Memorization?

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

  1. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    A little paranoid Kehaulani, eh? No, I am definitely not including you as a you, as I am not putting it in the same context as the British "we". BUT with that said, we ALL can rely on muscle memory to get us through scales and difficult passages.

    By the way, there are bepop lines that are piano player (Keigo) writes for the quintet, that makes even the toughest scale sequence look like child's play. Thank god for devoted practice time AND muscle memory to get me through those passages.
  2. Honkie

    Honkie Pianissimo User

    Feb 22, 2013
    This topic is close to my heart. I believe an improvising musician need to be equally comfortable in all 12 keys. (And it can't hurt a non-improvising musician, either.)

    One of the biggest problems is that written music, by its very struture, implies that C major is the "default" key -- and all other keys are variations or derivations of it. You get the 11 non-C keys by adding sharps or flats to C major.

    This is totally weird and arbitrary. We are tripped up by this naming convention.

    A major scale is a just pattern: whole step, whole, half, whole, whole, whole, half. Where you start doesn't matter, it's the same. I believe if you feel this pattern, you can begin to feel that all the keys are the same.
    Cornyandy likes this.
  3. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

    Jan 9, 2010
    East Yorkshire
    Fabulous statement Honkie, to me once you can trust your fingers to do the right thing, then train the mind to listen and pre empt, any scale is relatively easy
  4. tjcombo

    tjcombo Forte User

    Nov 12, 2012
    Melbourne, Australia
    For me, getting "off the page" and practising scales without sheet music worked best. Running through all 12 major scales as part of a daily routine, it doesn't take long before you don't have to think what note you play next. For minor scales, you simply think of the related major key but start the scale a minor third lower (Aeolian mode).

    Reading the scales can be unnecessarily confronting when starting out - for example E major hits you in the eye with 4 sharps when reading, but is ridiculously easy with your eyes shut because the 2nd valve stays down all the way up to E in the top space of the staff.
  5. BigDub

    BigDub Fortissimo User

    Dec 19, 2009
    Hillsborough, NJ
    I guess you is you. As in, the reader.
  6. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    You can use Alt fingering 1&2 for the E, and keep the 2nd down the whole way.... Useful in B Major as well. Those Lip Slur exercises are great to find those alternate fingerings, and learn the tonal/tuning difference when practicing.
  7. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    Yessir, "you" are right. Sometimes, "one" needs to be keep in mind that commenting directly after a post usually refers to that previous post, unless otherwise stated. ;-)
  8. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    I hope you don't mean me?

    I am not paranoid; Who said I was?
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Sometimes I get an attitude when I read threads like this. The goal is to store patterns in our head, not memorize scales. Fingering patterns are one of the basic building blocks of playing.

    We can intellectualize the process and get through playing scales, but have wasted the complete effort if the PATTERNS are not available for instant recall.

    Slow, accurate, thousands of repetitions.
  10. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    I had all kinds of trouble memorising scales - until I took Rowuk's advice quite a long time ago now and concentrated on the patterns - I now no longer think in terms of which NOTE goes where, my fingers do that following a glimpse at the little black things - the one that somehow still occasionally trips me is the enharmonic of Bb in the staff :dontknow:.

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