Major Scales Memorization?

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

  1. BigDub

    BigDub Fortissimo User

    Dec 19, 2009
    Hillsborough, NJ
    And why you have an editor........grammer? Grammer? Let me fix that.....grammar- there. Done. Mission accomplished.
  2. BigDub

    BigDub Fortissimo User

    Dec 19, 2009
    Hillsborough, NJ
    HURTFUL. Very hurtful. But true.

    We are fairly bad practitioners of the mother tongue, are we not?
  3. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Obviously, this American has not.
  4. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Thanks for following my thoughtful post with a lot of banal chatter. :-P
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I understand your concern, but none of this is pointed at you. It is the subject, it is a philosophy and above all it is a passion.

    I use the expression googler for a specific use case: Information (which can be highly qualified or even complete trash) repeated with little reference to the context of the subject. It can be caused by convenience, apparent applicability or a number of other reasons. For me it often disqualifies the discussion (not the person discussing) because there is no first hand background that explains the content. Heifetz was an example of the content behind the action of "scales" that never finds its way into the explanation of why he does what he does - unless you ask him or one of his fine students that didn't get away with playing an aimless note..

    This thread is about Major Scale Memorization. That to me is a complete waste of time as an isolated concept as presented in the original post. Major Scales are an opportunity. We NEVER need a major scale as an isolated activity except for a teacher demanding learning by rote. The opportunity is to travel from here to there in a musical way. If we view etudes, scales, arpeggios, lipslurs as musical events instead of exercizes, we learn them because they have a purpose - to bring us from here to there. They can even be fun! We store complete patterns for PURPOSE. If we learn by rote, we can pick up a checkmark in the scale a week club, but those first three notes of the Haydn Concerto will NEVER be in time.

    Google the Haydn, listen critically to those "scale practicers". There are enough of them out there that do fine 30 measures later with 16ths and the high Eb, but really suck for those first 3 half notes (or any of the other 3 half note series!). What happened? I think that my other posts cover the reasons in detail enough.

    It makes no sense to attack anyone - even if it may seem that way. The problem is that only a few players ever really get to the top because the rest really have a primitive view of the easy stuff. I would prefer for all of us to walk away with a much more sophisticated view that is no more difficult but reaps 1000s of times more success.

    How we learn things for the very first time give us the base for all future recall. That fact puts a very big load on approaching things that we don't yet have under our belt. I had an operation in February and had to stop playing for three months. When I started again, I made some of the same mistakes that I trained in 1966 when I first learned the trumpet. History repeats itself and this thread is proof.
  6. strad116055

    strad116055 Pianissimo User

    May 27, 2014
    thank you, rowuk, for your reply, and your detailed explanation. i am also glad to hear that you think it senseless to attack anyone.
  7. tjcombo

    tjcombo Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 12, 2012
    Melbourne, Australia
    Every teacher I've been fortunate to have has taught that exercises (even scales) should be played as tunefully and musically as possible - a common line being "play it as if you're performing". There's nothing new about taking an holistic approach to practicing. I think we're talking about degrees of emphasis rather than black or white. The OP asked a simple question about how to "memorize" scales. We could take a literal view of the question as strictly about learning by rote or a broader view that learning scales is to internalise, learn patterns, incorporate the learning into our sound concept whatever.

    Whilst the discussion has been robust at times, there's been a lot of useful info and reminders about whys and wherefores of practicing. All (or at least mostly :-)) good.

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