Major Scales Memorization?

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

  1. strad116055

    strad116055 Pianissimo User

    May 27, 2014
    rowuk's gonna be surprised. dr. feelgood is about to lose it.

    you don't learn your scales to be done with them. you play scales and arpeggios every day of your life as a musician. they are the building blocks of every piece of music you'll ever play, and the building blocks of the technique of every instrument you'll ever learn. you never outgrow them, and you never stop playing them. michael brecker played them 8 hours a day. heiftetz practiced them 2 hours a day before breakfast. you not only play them in all keys, but in all styles, all dynamics, and all articulations. and if you don't have them memorized, it means you aren't playing them nearly enough.
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Spoken like a true googler!

    Our entire existance is based on patterns not math. We read by pattern, we sleep by patterns, we speak by patterns. Even our stride is a pattern that people who know us can immediately identify.

    I perform with people in the top category that you mention on a regular basis. They also teach and practice patterns. The reason is that they get to where they are by leveraging how the human state works. What you miss by reducing the attention to "scales" is everything else that patterns promote. We have short, medium and longterm memory. Different types of exercizes can reinforce what we have learned, or compensate what we have incorrectly learned.

    Herbert Clarke and St. Jacome are two trumpet pedagogists that pioneered patterns. They are THE universal solution for many things technical and musical and the subset scales are only a small part of them.

    We all practice scales. When we "get it", we learn that a pattern is much more that a series of 8notes. The scale alone is useless.

    Dr feelgood always loses it due to short sightedness or agenda.

  3. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

    Jan 9, 2010
    East Yorkshire
    I find nemonics are only useful in a theoretical situation. Oviously this works and as you say of you are stuck it can help especially if you get a mental block but the most important sentence in you post (and I repeat it here) is

    "Then go home and practice your scales!"

    That isn't to criticise you Bowcha bu to reinforce what we are all saying.

    Learn the patterns its easier than intellectualising things
  4. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    Here we go with semantics. I wouldn't argue this, but when I personally think of practicing "scales", to me that doesn't mean root to octave and back. That means the scales in as many possible combinations as I can think of, e.g. scales in thirds, fourths, 1-2-3-5 sequences, scales from the lowest to highest practical notes one can play, as opposed to root-to-root., and so forth. So for me, when I say/think of practicing "scales" it inherently means in many variations and patterns.

    (Also scales in chord sequences, like ii-7/V7/IMaj around the cycle of fifths.)
  5. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    My crib sheet for (some, not all) scales of C.


    Repeat for C#, Db, D, Eb, E, F, F#, Gb............
  6. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    (never mind - technology is not cooperating with me tonight.)

    Attached Files:

  7. Ed Kennedy

    Ed Kennedy Forte User

    Nov 18, 2006
    Repetition, I repeat, repetition.
  8. 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.
  9. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Or better yet... do them when you never had the music in the first place.
  10. strad116055

    strad116055 Pianissimo User

    May 27, 2014
    well, kehaulani got what i meant, anyhow. a major scale is a pattern. it just happens to be the most basic one. of course, after you've mastered it, you branch out and learn as many different patterns as you can. all of our exercises in the repertoire are patterns, and most of them are based on scales and chords. the trumpet itself is based on the harmonic series, which is a chord (and a pattern.) and of course you do not limit yourself to the basic scales. my point, for those that missed it, is that you do not "memorize" your scales like you memorize information for a quiz. you live them. many many people pracitce the basic scales every single day. some of those who have consigned their daily practice routines to paper for our benefit (schlossberg, michael sachs, chase sanborn, and others) manage to go through the scales in 12 keys in their warmup. then they go on to practice many patterns derived from those scales. the op was looking for a "trick" to avoid learning his scales by playing them until he knew them. "don't tell me to go practice my scales". yeah, well i'm here to tell you: dude, go practice your scales.

    "spoken like a true googler" would indicate to me that my remarks have been taken in some kind of perjorative context, as in someone who pretends to know things he really doesn't know to impress other people. all i can do is apologize if i have created that impression.

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