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#1310175 - 11/22/09 01:56 AM Scales, now I'm confused!  
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MovementCode9 Offline
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Today I visited the website of a very respectable member of this forum who is a teacher. She has written her own method book for teachers and beginners. In this book, she devised her own method for the fingering of scales. I am just beginning to put scales into my daily practice routine. Her method sounded very logical to me, but as a beginner, does it really matter how scales are learned, I mean is there some benefit to learning the "so called" old way, compared to perhaps an innovative "new way"? Could this be just another fingering for the masses dilemma?...pat

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#1310179 - 11/22/09 02:16 AM Re: Scales, now I'm confused! [Re: MovementCode9]  
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Passion Offline
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I would like to know this as well. I'm new to the piano (don't yet have a teacher) but I've been forcing myself to play scales 1-2-3-1-2-3-4-5 and in reverse on the way down. I've been doing chords/arpeggios in octaves as 1-3-5, first inversion 1-2-5, second inversion 1-3-5, 1-3-5 and so on. (this being with the right hand of course)

Last edited by Passion; 11/22/09 02:23 AM.
#1310186 - 11/22/09 02:37 AM Re: Scales, now I'm confused! [Re: Passion]  
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MovementCode9: Could you be specific about the fingerings, though not about the name of the person - and don't use their words, just finger numbers. There's certainly no reasonable thought of copyrights or patents on the bare finger numbers for scales, but copying the person's words could certainly offend and could conceivably bring other problems.

Very few people really devise their own method for fingering scales, even if they think they have, simply because most of the good methods have been around a while. Most of the time it's a copy, or an extremely close relative, of something that's been around for a hundred years or more.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
#1310205 - 11/22/09 03:36 AM Re: Scales, now I'm confused! [Re: david_a]  
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Studio Joe Offline
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No fingering works for all scales.

All major scales that begin on a white note (except F)use the fingering below:

1-2-3-1-2-3-4-5

For the key of F, use 1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4 because thumb under from A to Bb would be too awkward.

For keys that begin on a black note:

Start with finger 2 and thumb under when you encounter the first white note in the scale.

The above are for right hand; LH of course would be mirror image.


Joe Whitehead ------ Texas Trax
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#1310220 - 11/22/09 04:35 AM Re: Scales, now I'm confused! [Re: Studio Joe]  
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MiM Offline
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Originally Posted by Studio Joe

For keys that begin on a black note:

Start with finger 2 and thumb under when you encounter the first white note in the scale.



What I found from various sources (not my method) is that you start with finger 2 on the first black key of each black key set (the 2 and 3 black key groups), then finger 3 on the next black key, then finger 4 on the next (Bb).

#1310252 - 11/22/09 08:04 AM Re: Scales, now I'm confused! [Re: MiM]  
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TimR Online content
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All scale patterns are 1231234 continuously. I'm not sure of the value of continuous scales beyond an octave, because of the rarity in the music, but you can certainly do four octave scales this way.

What changes is which finger you start on. If it happens to be finger 2, then you will continue with 231 or 2341, depending on which scale, and then the pattern continues. Some scales begin on 3.

There are slightly better fingerings, in terms of starting fingers, than those given in most of the books. So this teacher, whoever he/she is, may very well be right. The difference is probably small, and I'd think what is important is to settle on one and stick to it.

I just read Gieseking, and he recommends not doing HT scales. He says it is very important to listen intently and make all the notes exactly equal in tone (volume) and time, and that's impossible to do if your other hand is covering it up.


gotta go practice
#1310289 - 11/22/09 10:02 AM Re: Scales, now I'm confused! [Re: TimR]  
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rocket88 Offline
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Originally Posted by TimR

I just read Gieseking, and he recommends not doing HT scales. He says it is very important to listen intently and make all the notes exactly equal in tone (volume) and time, and that's impossible to do if your other hand is covering it up.


That is just one person's opinion, not a hard and fast rule. Once you can do HS scales with exact and equal tone, (an important skill), listening to two notes at a time (HT scales) teaches you to listen and play more than one note at a time with the same control, a good skill to develop.


Piano teacher and Blues and Boogie-Woogie pianist.
#1310317 - 11/22/09 10:56 AM Re: Scales, now I'm confused! [Re: rocket88]  
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You need to work on hands together scales for other reasons as well:
- Quite frankly, you need to deal with the hand coordination challenges of hands together scales.
- It's important to work on different dynamics in each hand.
- Also different articulation (staccato one hand, legato the other.)

Also, scales of more than one octave are pretty common in the lit. Even at the level of Clementi Sonatinas you are working on scales of over an octave (but not quite two).

Rich


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#1310325 - 11/22/09 11:11 AM Re: Scales, now I'm confused! [Re: DragonPianoPlayer]  
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rocket88 Offline
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Dragon, you are right. Playing both HS and HT scales has benefits, such as you describe.

It is problematic whenever someone reports that famous pianist __________did such and such, thus implying that that way is better, or the best, and / or the only way to do it.

One person's practice or performance regimen may have value, but, in most cases, should not be taken as the only way. If it were, we would all be playing Bach with the keys at nose level (Glenn Gould), etc, etc.

The exception here is if the famous pianist' way is in agreement with standard accepted practice, such as the standard scale fingering mentioned earlier in this thread.


Piano teacher and Blues and Boogie-Woogie pianist.
#1310328 - 11/22/09 11:17 AM Re: Scales, now I'm confused! [Re: Studio Joe]  
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Originally Posted by Studio Joe
No fingering works for all scales.

All major scales that begin on a white note (except F)use the fingering below:

1-2-3-1-2-3-4-5

For the key of F, use 1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4 because thumb under from A to Bb would be too awkward.

For keys that begin on a black note:

Start with finger 2 and thumb under when you encounter the first white note in the scale.

The above are for right hand; LH of course would be mirror image.
Those are the standard fingerings which the original poster says they already knew. This thread is about something maybe a bit different.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
#1310331 - 11/22/09 11:19 AM Re: Scales, now I'm confused! [Re: TimR]  
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david_a Offline
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Originally Posted by TimR
I'd think what is important is to settle on one and stick to it.
I think, for the purposes of practicing scales, it's hard to beat this advice.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
#1310337 - 11/22/09 11:25 AM Re: Scales, now I'm confused! [Re: david_a]  
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rocket88 Offline
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Originally Posted by david_a
Originally Posted by TimR
I'd think what is important is to settle on one and stick to it.
I think, for the purposes of practicing scales, it's hard to beat this advice.


That advice about fingering is golden...it goes for everything you play, not just scales.


Piano teacher and Blues and Boogie-Woogie pianist.
#1310736 - 11/23/09 12:12 AM Re: Scales, now I'm confused! [Re: rocket88]  
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I would like to thank everyone who replied to this post. As usual for this forum, the replies seemed intelligent, respectful and informative. Since I am an adult beginner, I don't have the fingering for scales burnt into my brain yet. I don't want to mention the book I'm using now (for scales) for obvious reasons, but I did purchase the method book I mentioned in my original post. If this proves beneficial to me, I will certainly share my experience here...pat

OMT...OK I have to ramble for at least 30 seconds...This forum has opened my eyes and ears to things that were always there, but I never paid any attention to. I never listened (really listened) to Chopin (although it annoys me I have to constantly turn the volume up and down), But now I am. There are mentions of so many contempory classical pianists I never heard of until now and will now be able to appreciate. And last but not least, this is where I first heard of Ludovico Einaudi. Thank you...pat

#1310742 - 11/23/09 12:41 AM Re: Scales, now I'm confused! [Re: MovementCode9]  
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Passion Offline
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I have a question but didn't want to make a new thread, if you don't mind.

I'm having an issue playing scales with both hands together because of the fingering (crossing over at different times). For instance if I play with the fingering:

RH: 1231234
LH: 5432132

I'm thrown off because of the crossing over at different times. Will this ever become second nature? Admittedly I've only been playing piano for about a week but I figured I'd have more hand independence coming from cello. Apparently not!

Last edited by Passion; 11/23/09 12:42 AM.
#1310754 - 11/23/09 01:21 AM Re: Scales, now I'm confused! [Re: Passion]  
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currawong Offline
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Originally Posted by Passion
Will this ever become second nature?
It certainly will. Just give yourself time smile


Du holde Kunst...
#1310784 - 11/23/09 06:52 AM Re: Scales, now I'm confused! [Re: Passion]  
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Swingin' Barb Offline
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Originally Posted by Passion
Will this ever become second nature? Admittedly I've only been playing piano for about a week but I figured I'd have more hand independence coming from cello. Apparently not!

I too have a cello background. The hand independence issue between the two instruments is totally unrelated. Just be patient. At least the bass clef is no problem for you. grin

Barb


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#1310914 - 11/23/09 11:58 AM Re: Scales, now I'm confused! [Re: Swingin' Barb]  
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Rui725 Offline
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Hanon is great book to work on to develop hand independence. As it also shows all the fingerings for scales.

#1311036 - 11/23/09 04:29 PM Re: Scales, now I'm confused! [Re: Rui725]  
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thelily Offline
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Hi, I am also a new adult beginner (4 months with a teacher Bastien book). My teacher just started me on scales two weeks ago. I have played the C-Major scale 150 times and now only trip over my thumb on one hand or the other every 6th or 7th time through with HT. I added the G-major scale two days ago and it is going very slowly. At this rate, I assume I will have pretty good (not great) hand co-ordination after the 300th repitition. I'll keep you posted.

Oh, for both major scales, I use 12312345 and then reverse.

Last edited by thelily; 11/23/09 04:30 PM.
#1311143 - 11/23/09 08:05 PM Re: Scales, now I'm confused! [Re: thelily]  
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rocket88 Offline
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Originally Posted by thelily
H I have played the C-Major scale 150 times and now only trip over my thumb on one hand or the other every 6th or 7th time through with HT.


Hanon has an entire section of thumb under preparatory exercises for playing scales.


Piano teacher and Blues and Boogie-Woogie pianist.
#1311759 - 11/24/09 08:56 PM Re: Scales, now I'm confused! [Re: MovementCode9]  
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Nikalette Offline
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I would only use the classical fingering for the scales. At the college where I took some group classes, there was an alternate fingering presented for SOME scales only, in the 2nd semester, however, the instructors on the higher levels wouldn't allow it.

The classical fingering for the CAGED scales are easy. It gets trickier on the black note scales and the 2 "odd" white note major scales.

But JUST WAIT! When you get to the 3 forms of the minor scales everything changes yet AGAIN! Then you have the F#, C# and G# sharp minors where the finger changes on the melodic ascending or descending scales.

My theory: just do it the old-fashioned way. There are no short cuts on scale fingerings and it continues to get worse. Nothing is more disturbing than trying to change a fingering once you've got it down, and if you progress in piano, and want to take college classes, you might have to change back to the traditional fingering.

#1312273 - 11/25/09 04:10 PM Re: Scales, now I'm confused! [Re: rocket88]  
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thelily Offline
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Rocket88: Thank you, I have only been given one hannon excercise and I really enjoy it. I was wondering about the others.


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