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My teacher just calls them contrary scales. Of course only part of it is contrary. I've stopped doing regular arpeggios and just do these now. Surprising tough - particularly when your hands are at opposite ends of the keyboard.
I sometimes play the Grand Scale in C (I just learnt the name) and I find it difficult but fun. In other keys the problem is that my contrary motion scales are awful, I should practice them more but I really hate them. I don't remember having learnt them as a child, so they are quite new and difficult for me.
jazzwee, I play the Grand Scale with my body centered at middle D, and I don't experience problems.
By the time you get to the 4th octave, your fingers will be at an angle to the keys. Now as you play it faster and faster it will be a lot of gyration.
I still can't play the grand scale at 150bpm (16ths) -- which I can do easily with the RH only. I fail at the top of the 4th octave. And as I examined the problem it's the LH that is severely angled. So the only solution is to move the body from side to side.
I was taught to improve the angle of the fingers by moving my upper body (which as a consequence causes the lower body to shift).
If I play a four octave C scale, for example, starting with RH on middle C and LH an octave lower, I do lean my body, and I lean towards one side of my bottom and the other side unweights from the branch. But when you said you had to move your bottom to play these, I took you to mean that you actually moved your bottom from one spot to another on the bench.
My teacher gave me homework to learn how to play my scales differently. She couldn't remember what its called.
I'm only doing this in one octave with C scale:
The pattern is:
play up together, apart, back together, up together, down together, apart, back together, and down together.
I really like learning this just want to know what it's called! (formula, pattern etc.)
Hi everyone, my FIRST post. Back in the day, my mom pushed me to take piano lessons. And I did for almost 9 yrs. Jump ahead 50+ years and I had a serious itch to start playing again. Bought me a spinet, 42 yr-old piano. Fingers a little stiff, ha!
So question; will someone explain to me this pattern in more detail? I'd like to try it but I don't understand/know where to start. I'd appreciate any input.
hi Carl, My teacher also recently started me on the grand scale. Here is the pattern he uses- start down low and go up 2 octaves out 2 octaves back in 2 octaves up 2 more octaves down 2 octaves out 2 octaves in 2 octaves down 2 octaves and you are back where you started.
I started with C major. I have now done F, b flat, E flat, and A flat major scales this way. I thought it would be more difficult as the scales had more flats but I actually found E flat and A flat easier than F and B flat. I usually practice the contrary part of it alone first. It is difficult when your hands are way apart at difficult ends of the piano. My teacher is talking about doing the scales in 3rds, 6ths and 10ths next. I'm not sure how to do that yet.
Do you mean you've stopped doing regular scales? Arpeggios are something else aren't they? I can imagine it is pretty tough if your hands are at either end of the keyboard, must try this tonight.
No, I do some arpeggios of different patterns from a book by Peskanov (The Russian Technical Regimen for the Piano, book 2); contrary arpeggios similar to the grand scale pattern and then scales in either thirds or sixths (either the right hand starts a third above the root of the scale or the left hand starts a sixth down from the root of a scale). Occasionally I'll replace those with chromatic or the grand scale.
We're slowly working up from C in a chromatic fashion - right now I'm on F#.
The RCM curriculum calls it "Formula Pattern Scale". Its part of their exam technical requirements. Depending on grade level it is either 2 octaves (half the compass of what Jazzwee described), or four octaves.