Major Scales Memorization?

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

  1. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

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    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Can't be any plainer than that! :cool:
     
  2. BrotherBACH

    BrotherBACH Piano User

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    Here are two tricks that worked for me. First, is the constant practicing. But, rather than counting sheep, I rested my hands on my stomach while lying on my back. My right hand was over my left so that the tips of my playing fingers could hit the knuckles of the left hand like trumpet keys. I would then proceed to work through, fingering the scales as I fell off to sleep.

    BB
     
  3. BigDub

    BigDub Fortissimo User

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    Would you believe I have done the same thing, but the problem for me was it was not a sleep aid, but rather kept me awake more than I would have liked. ;-)
     
  4. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    I agree, but with a side thought that you have to fundamentally know them as root to octave and back before it's wise to start getting into exercises utilizing the scale patterns. Another side thought is that, "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..." is essentially playing music, isn't it?
     
  5. strad116055

    strad116055 Pianissimo User

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    exactly. thank you.
     
  6. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

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    Hawaian homey
    Maybe. Of course one can play unadorned, octave to octave scales musically and patterns perfunctorily, so where's the dividing line?

    My comment wasn't to try to define "playing scales" in general but just to add that when I think of the term, that's how I relate to it when it comes to practicing.

    As an aside, for novices, another advantage of working on scales and related patterns, is that, when you're sight-reading and you see a long run, if you can identify the parent scale of that run (for example a run of low Db to Ab above the staff, with Ab and Cb in the run = Gb major), you don't have to think of each individual note, you just eyeball the run, think "Gb Maj from Db to Gb", and let 'er rip.
     
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Sorry guys, you are missing the core of what I said.

    We can learn scales, all of the notes by rote, we can play them loud and soft, fast and slow - that is still not how we work.

    Let's take Heifetz since he was mentioned. The "scales" that he played were actually his "breathing" exercizes and what was packed into them were far more than the notes that you all seem to be concerned about. They had NOTHING to do with scales as such, the exercizes were part of a musical line that gave reliable fluidity to his playing. This is what I mean by a googled example - the context of the action is not mentioned in the article or understood by the reader - unless they have worked with people like that (who then don't need google). It is hard to find a trumpeter that works a whole life on improving every aspect of their playing on a daily basis. Talk to most of Vince Cichowiczs students - they got it...........

    You see the context of what we play requires far more than the right notes.

    When I talk about patterns, there may be 5-12 notes in a row, but that is perhaps 10% of the pattern. Learning scales is a waste of time out of context. They could be our breathing, tension reducers, articulators, flow studies, groovebuilders if we just gave a crap. First and foremost the musical content should determine the pattern that we store in our head. As the human state retrieves patterns, amusical, mechanical patterns can destroy ones marketability. There is so much more preparation required before tackling successive fingerings.

    Without the context, we train patterns that limit our playing in the name of "memorized scales".

    When I adjudicate, I can usually stop the player after hearing one single scale. I don't need the solo that usually comes afterwards. I already know what is coming. There is the rare occasion however when the scale is packed like an exquisite chocolate, then I can't wait to hear the rest. The first 3 notes of the Haydn Concerto tell us everything that we need to know - the first three notes of an F major scale - in half notes!

    I don't think that we have a semantic discussion here. Most players would be better off playing easy tunes then being sent home "unprepared" with a scale or arpeggios for next week! Try and fix those players that have learned "shallow". It is not fun.
     
  8. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

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    Hawaian homey
    Sorry, but I'm just missing how what you are advocating is at odds with a more conventional interpretation of practicing scales. Aren't you talking about taking the obvious scale practicing to a more sophisticated level? It seems to me that you've got an agenda (and I don't mean that negatively) that you're trying to get across but are overstating it. I just don't see the either-or. One has to walk before they run, nicht wahr?
     
  9. strad116055

    strad116055 Pianissimo User

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    rowuk, forgive me for missing the core of your remarks. perhaps i was distracted by those remarks that seemed to be directed at me.

    what is a "googler", exactly? does it refer to a deficiency of knowledge or experience, or is it more of a character defect?

    "short-sighted" is self-explanatory, but what do you assume to be my "agenda"? does it mean, for instance, that i have a certain stock response to any question that i wish to promote, or is it somehow more nefarious? am i to understand that you suspect me have having some alterior motive in posting answers to certain questions that would somehow subvert the purpose of the website? or that my opinions are somehow so damaging to the general readership that i should be prevented from posting them by your intimidation? and if using name calling and generalizations are not intimidation, how would you prefer those remarks to be interpreted?

    if we are not having a semantic discussion, what is the difference between a "pattern" and a "scale"? and if a scale is practiced with intention and musicality, or in a variation, does it stop being a scale? and if we are still trying to learn the fingerings for the major scales, should we not practice them? or is there a secret, or a deeper meaning to the question, that i may have missed? what band or orchestra director, or private teacher, would disagree with the general advice of practicing scales=a good idea? and why would you go postal over something so obvious?

    in other words, if a person admits to not knowing his scales, how does an exhortation to practice them become grounds for such vehement disagreement? we do not know each other, so it could not be personal. or could it? if so, how?

    if there is an agenda here, i would seem to be yours. your dominance on this website is clear; if fact, it is legendary. it is mostly directly due to the respect you deserve as a player and teacher. what puzzles me is why you find it necessary completely roll over posts or people that even slightly annoy you.

    i completely baffled by what seems to be a personal attack. i've spent over 40 years in professional music, as a player. i certainly get the politics, and i believe i have shown due respect to the leadership here, by which i mean primarily, you. did i disrespect you by referring to you in my post? if so, i apologize. there was no disrespect intended. i believe "feelgood" was an appellation you applied to me elsewhere. i can live with it. i would in fact, embrace it.

    i'm sure this is way off topic, and i don't mean to take everybody's time with something that was directed at me. but if i am to continue to be a member of this community, i clearly need to understand what i have done to merit this sort of treatment, or if i need to extricate myself from this company. if that would be preferable, i guess that's ok.
    i don't want to be a member of a club that wouldn't have me as a member. but that is not the response i am accustomed to from my colleagues, and i admit i find it distressing.
     
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  10. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

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    I think we have to look at the reason scales are taught. For many students they are only doing them "Because a teacher says they have to" and certainly in the UK and I would assume pretty much worldwide, that is because the exam baords want them as part of the assesment. The examiner is basically looking for accuracy that has been rote learned with perhaps an extra half a mark for a bit of a crescendo the top and a dim coming down. Doing it because we are told is no reason to do anything creative. I had decided I wanted to spend quite a lot of time painting over the summer and got painters block. Even if we explain that a given piece of music becomes easy if you know your scale, because then you can see that as a scale and not have to read the whole couple of bars. We still have that exam chore and focus to deal with.

    Once we can revel in a scale play it as a piece of music, (I'm not sure about convention in other countries but in UK exams a scale is straight up and down in crotchets, boring) then they can become a pleasure we might change our percetion of them. I know a superb violinist, brilliant player leader of a good orchestra who hates scales. simply because they are a chore. Once we can rid ourselves of this feeling that we do scales for someone else or because we have to and make even a simple root octave root scale sound something more than just eight notes we have to play then they become easier to learn because we enjoy them. It can be as simple as one student I have now plays a scale with a long note sweeps up and back down to a long note and loves doing this because it sounds better to him. He does understand that he has to do it differently in an eaxm and is intelligent enough to make the switch. It can be so much more than just playing a pattern but for me that is a starting point.

    I'll hold my own hand up and say I tend not to practice scales as an entity a huge amount now. I tend to use the scalic versions of the Clarke Excersises in their place, mainly because they are scales presented in a more enjoyable fashion.
     

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