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#1557606 - 11/14/10 03:11 PM practicing scales Q  
Joined: Mar 2010
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KurtZ Online content
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KurtZ  Online Content
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The Heart of Screenland
Hi,

Is there an advantage to playing the tonic note at the top of a scale a second time before going back down?

Just curious about this. I tend to do it both ways depending on the day and wondered if there's an advantage to one way or the other. My teacher has never expressed a preference.

Kurt

Last edited by KurtZ; 11/14/10 03:15 PM. Reason: missed an apostrophe

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#1557626 - 11/14/10 03:39 PM Re: practicing scales Q [Re: KurtZ]  
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david_a Offline
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Sure, each way can have its benefits. I think most pianists practice scales without repeating the top note, because on the piano it's clumsy and inconvenient to replay that note. On some other instruments, the custom is the opposite, because on THOSE instruments it's clumsy and inconvenient if you DON'T.

It would be easy to create sophisticated rationalizations for this, but I think the convenience factor is the truth, and everything else just made-up stories.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
#1557645 - 11/14/10 04:22 PM Re: practicing scales Q [Re: KurtZ]  
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John v.d.Brook Offline
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David, I don't know about sophisticated rationalizations, but I always thought it had to do with rhythm. When playing 16th notes, repeating the top note just isn't very smooth. There are 7 groups of 4 going up, and again, 7 groups of 4 coming down. Adding an extra top note would royally screw up the rhythm, don't you feel?


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
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#1557669 - 11/14/10 05:13 PM Re: practicing scales Q [Re: KurtZ]  
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david_a Offline
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The rhythm of repeating the top note works fine for violinists all over the world. It's just fingering convenience/bowing convenience/whatever.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
#1557720 - 11/14/10 06:26 PM Re: practicing scales Q [Re: KurtZ]  
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John v.d.Brook Offline
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John v.d.Brook  Offline
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I wasn't aware that violinists did that. I never did. Well I did for one octave scales, but don't recall doing it for higher octaves. Now I'll have to pull out my Galamian tapes and check it out. Perhaps we extended the top note to fill out the beat.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
#1557772 - 11/14/10 07:10 PM Re: practicing scales Q [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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keystring Offline
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Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook
I wasn't aware that violinists did that. I never did. Well I did for one octave scales, but don't recall doing it for higher octaves. Now I'll have to pull out my Galamian tapes and check it out. Perhaps we extended the top note to fill out the beat.

In the RCM technical book, as of gr. 6 the top note isn't repeated, and that is when 3 octave scales start. The way they pull it off in groups of four involves the way it starts. for G major: GBAG.... or G (quarter) AB ... (eight), or GAGABC.....

Last edited by keystring; 11/14/10 07:10 PM.
#1557902 - 11/14/10 10:21 PM Re: practicing scales Q [Re: KurtZ]  
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david_a Offline
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david_a  Offline
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Perhaps my violin scales experience has been limited to the one-octave variety. I play a mean Happy Farmer. Mean, as in approximate. smile

In any case, it would be very easy to re-jig the rhythm of scales to just about anything we like, on either instrument.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
#1557909 - 11/14/10 10:30 PM Re: practicing scales Q [Re: keystring]  
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currawong Offline
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When I was doing 3-octave scales (violin & viola) they were grouped in 3s (the requirement for the exams I did), which meant the top note was neither repeated nor elongated.


Du holde Kunst...
#1558196 - 11/15/10 11:20 AM Re: practicing scales Q [Re: KurtZ]  
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TimR Offline
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There is a fingering rule that says always play repeated notes with a change of finger.

If you apply that rule to the scale (and yes, there are people who think scales teach fingering) then I think you will get some interesting results.

Personally I like doing them turning around, with one longer note at the bottom. First note is a quarter, then eighths up and back down to the tonic and up to re which is a quarter, then up and down on eighths, etc. Like the wind instruments do. Takes you through all the modes.


gotta go practice
#1558227 - 11/15/10 12:14 PM Re: practicing scales Q [Re: TimR]  
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keystring Offline
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Originally Posted by TimR

Personally I like doing them turning around, with one longer note at the bottom. First note is a quarter, then eighths up and back down to the tonic and up to re which is a quarter, then up and down on eighths, etc. Like the wind instruments do. Takes you through all the modes.

Cool! I have to try this! cool

#1558250 - 11/15/10 12:51 PM Re: practicing scales Q [Re: keystring]  
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TimR Offline
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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by TimR

Personally I like doing them turning around, with one longer note at the bottom. First note is a quarter, then eighths up and back down to the tonic and up to re which is a quarter, then up and down on eighths, etc. Like the wind instruments do. Takes you through all the modes.

Cool! I have to try this! cool


That's straight out of the Arbans.


gotta go practice

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