Quote Originally Posted by Sethoflagos View Post
One problem of concentrating on scales is that you start grading keys as easy (C, F G) and hard (F#/Gb, C#). And most of the tunes you will be offered will be in the 'easy' keys which will just reinforce this.

One thing I would suggest is spending some part of your practice time playing hymn tunes without music in various keys. Just play by ear and try to hear the intervals as they come up. Fingerings are sort of secondary. The goal is to produce the correct sounds and that is primarily governed by feedback from the ears. By eliminating the paper middle-man and all those frightening sharps and flats you encourage direct communication between ears and fingers, and it's surprising how quickly the fingering patterns start to fall into place. There will just be particular 'colours' of note that will start your third finger wagging away.
100% Agree! A shining real life example of this advice must surely be the legendary Bix Beiderbecke who apparently just played the sounds he liked to hear, many times without even knowing the accepted fingering rules of making them. Theory, scales and reading are extremely important aids whatever the musical genre.......I'm not knocking them in any way, but in my 'umble opinion aural skills should surely run parallel.

Cynical realism is the intelligent mans excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation........Aldous Huxley