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#2311770 - 08/06/14 12:53 AM Do you have a favorite book of scales and arpeggios?  
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MaggieGirl Offline
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Are any better than others? A quick online shows there are free pdf's of old books, but if there is something that is recommended more than others I don't mind buying something.

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#2311775 - 08/06/14 01:04 AM Re: Do you have a favorite book of scales and arpeggios? [Re: MaggieGirl]  
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laguna_greg Offline
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Hi Maggie,

My experience of these teaching materials is that they are a waste of money and paper. The student will do much better to have, at first, the teacher make up or suggest exercises for these straightforward textures based on the circle of 5ths. The student usually repeats these patterns in every major and minor key. This will work very well until the student is ready for the advancing intermediate études of Czerny, for example. Doing this, the student will actually learn enough so they're not dependent on a book for the theory, and will also acquire some very useful technical skills. Students who depend on a book, in comparison, never learn much of anything.

Why don't you just make up your own?


Laguna Greg

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#2311842 - 08/06/14 06:39 AM Re: Do you have a favorite book of scales and arpeggios? [Re: laguna_greg]  
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mc9320 Offline
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London, UK
Originally Posted by laguna_greg
Hi Maggie,

My experience of these teaching materials is that they are a waste of money and paper. The student will do much better to have, at first, the teacher make up or suggest exercises for these straightforward textures based on the circle of 5ths. The student usually repeats these patterns in every major and minor key. This will work very well until the student is ready for the advancing intermediate études of Czerny, for example. Doing this, the student will actually learn enough so they're not dependent on a book for the theory, and will also acquire some very useful technical skills. Students who depend on a book, in comparison, never learn much of anything.

Why don't you just make up your own?


Agree with this. I very rarely use book in the beginning. I try to teach scales and arpeggios using improvisation, playing to a chord sequence and that seems to get them practicing more and learning different patterns naturally.

The only book I've tried is this one http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Scales-Chords-Arpeggios-Cadences/dp/0739003682

It's ok, but I would only use it with more advanced students


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#2312202 - 08/07/14 01:17 AM Re: Do you have a favorite book of scales and arpeggios? [Re: MaggieGirl]  
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TwoSnowflakes Offline
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I started with the Brown book, and then bought the Alfred book because it had cadences in it. But the Brown book has the broken arpeggios (or four note chords? I can't recall--there are certain things the Brown book has that the Alfred does not). I like the Alfred because it is clear where to put down the fourth finger, which is nice when building up a fingering scheme. It also has some helpful preliminary material for those interested in some basic theory behind concepts like key signature, chord building, scale degrees, etc. It has some suggestions for memorizing fingering schemes in groups as well.

However, after a while my teacher started giving me the look of death if I went to open a book to play any part of our scale routine. "Really? You need a book for the second inversion of the dominant seventh chord in A major?"

Now our warm-up consists of her naming a key and then my job is to play what she says in that key--contrary, parallel, chromatics, arpeggios, chords, cadences, broken chords. I grudgingly admit that it is a good thing to wean off the books so that these things are automatic.

But until that is a reasonable step to take, I do like the Alfred. Just make sure that whatever it is (that I can't remember) that the Alfred doesn't have, have the Brown at the ready.

#2312203 - 08/07/14 01:25 AM Re: Do you have a favorite book of scales and arpeggios? [Re: MaggieGirl]  
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TwoSnowflakes Offline
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I will check tomorrow, however my daughter, who is in her second year of piano, is not using the Alfred book or no book but rather my teacher is using something more basic for her. She is only just starting contrary motion: in the same pattern as I am expected to do it (up halfway, split, return, up rest of way, down halfway, split, return, down rest of way) but only over two octaves rather than four. I don't think that pattern is in her book, though. And I don't think it's in the Alfred/Brown, either. I think one of those books has it in the back as a common scale pattern, but not on each key page.

I would venture to guess that once they've made a full swing through the circle of fifths, my daughter will lose her book privileges as well!

Last edited by TwoSnowflakes; 08/07/14 01:29 AM.
#2312249 - 08/07/14 05:29 AM Re: Do you have a favorite book of scales and arpeggios? [Re: MaggieGirl]  
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tonyster220763 Offline
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Montreal Quebec Canada
Hanon ?


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#2312259 - 08/07/14 06:11 AM Re: Do you have a favorite book of scales and arpeggios? [Re: TwoSnowflakes]  
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ClsscLib Offline

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Originally Posted by TwoSnowflakes
I started with the Brown book, and then bought the Alfred book because it had cadences in it. But the Brown book has the broken arpeggios (or four note chords? I can't recall--there are certain things the Brown book has that the Alfred does not). I like the Alfred because it is clear where to put down the fourth finger, which is nice when building up a fingering scheme. It also has some helpful preliminary material for those interested in some basic theory behind concepts like key signature, chord building, scale degrees, etc. It has some suggestions for memorizing fingering schemes in groups as well.

However, after a while my teacher started giving me the look of death if I went to open a book to play any part of our scale routine. "Really? You need a book for the second inversion of the dominant seventh chord in A major?"

Now our warm-up consists of her naming a key and then my job is to play what she says in that key--contrary, parallel, chromatics, arpeggios, chords, cadences, broken chords. I grudgingly admit that it is a good thing to wean off the books so that these things are automatic.

But until that is a reasonable step to take, I do like the Alfred. Just make sure that whatever it is (that I can't remember) that the Alfred doesn't have, have the Brown at the ready.


Two Snowflakes, what is the Brown book? I'm not sure I know that one.


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#2312316 - 08/07/14 08:27 AM Re: Do you have a favorite book of scales and arpeggios? [Re: MaggieGirl]  
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malkin Offline
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#2312322 - 08/07/14 08:40 AM Re: Do you have a favorite book of scales and arpeggios? [Re: MaggieGirl]  
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Morodiene Offline
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When I start students out with scales, I have a sheet that shows them the key signature of every key and fingering for scales and arpeggios. I'd much rather that they learn them by looking at their hands rather than reading notes, so they really internalize them. However, with some of my students, they lose sheets easily (despite me suggesting a binder to hold it in), for them, I just have them buy a book. Keith Snell's Scale skills are fine, but I usually start them a bit higher up in level because I want them to do all keys right away, but not too high to where they are 2 octaves, which my students don't do right away. Anyways, I haven't found anything that's perfect yet.


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#2312349 - 08/07/14 09:32 AM Re: Do you have a favorite book of scales and arpeggios? [Re: Morodiene]  
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TwoSnowflakes Offline
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
When I start students out with scales, I have a sheet that shows them the key signature of every key and fingering for scales and arpeggios. I'd much rather that they learn them by looking at their hands rather than reading notes, so they really internalize them. However, with some of my students, they lose sheets easily (despite me suggesting a binder to hold it in), for them, I just have them buy a book. Keith Snell's Scale skills are fine, but I usually start them a bit higher up in level because I want them to do all keys right away, but not too high to where they are 2 octaves, which my students don't do right away. Anyways, I haven't found anything that's perfect yet.


That's the scale book my daughter uses! The Snell. But her teacher goes "off book" for quite a bit of it, so I guess she hasn't found anything perfect yet, either.

I might just write out everything in Sibelius and then print out a packet. If you wanted the perfect scale "packet" what would it have in it for each key?

#2312355 - 08/07/14 09:42 AM Re: Do you have a favorite book of scales and arpeggios? [Re: malkin]  
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TwoSnowflakes Offline
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Originally Posted by malkin


Yes, that is, indeed, it.

So, the Brown has double thirds, broken forms and chords for each key, stuff Alfred puts in the back. The Alfred has cadences and the triads up the scale in any key with their numeric designations, plus fingering hints (where the four goes down in each hand in the regular scale is at the top of the page).

Brown has additional information in the back, like chromatics, octaves and some alternate fingerings, but Alfred has WAY more. Not that I've ever really used it.

Alfred puts the "grand form" in the back, which is, more or less, the up, contrary, up, down, contrary, down pattern I do for all scales. But I just don't see why you need this written out at all.

#2312393 - 08/07/14 11:30 AM Re: Do you have a favorite book of scales and arpeggios? [Re: TwoSnowflakes]  
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Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted by TwoSnowflakes
Originally Posted by Morodiene
When I start students out with scales, I have a sheet that shows them the key signature of every key and fingering for scales and arpeggios. I'd much rather that they learn them by looking at their hands rather than reading notes, so they really internalize them. However, with some of my students, they lose sheets easily (despite me suggesting a binder to hold it in), for them, I just have them buy a book. Keith Snell's Scale skills are fine, but I usually start them a bit higher up in level because I want them to do all keys right away, but not too high to where they are 2 octaves, which my students don't do right away. Anyways, I haven't found anything that's perfect yet.


That's the scale book my daughter uses! The Snell. But her teacher goes "off book" for quite a bit of it, so I guess she hasn't found anything perfect yet, either.

I might just write out everything in Sibelius and then print out a packet. If you wanted the perfect scale "packet" what would it have in it for each key?
Ya, that's the thing, I don't think having everything written out is necessary, just maybe an example in C major to get things started. For example, if you are doing the formula type scales, having a written out example for the purposes of simply explaining what you do, but not to read from it as you play it would be helpful.

In fact, a book that shows examples of these different ways of playing scales and arpeggios would be great. I know Hanon has some of them, but it's not complete, and of course they write everything out in all keys for you.


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#2312480 - 08/07/14 02:51 PM Re: Do you have a favorite book of scales and arpeggios? [Re: MaggieGirl]  
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I guess I'm missing something. Why would you need chromatics in different keys? Do they just spell them differently/start on different notes?


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#2312540 - 08/07/14 04:39 PM Re: Do you have a favorite book of scales and arpeggios? [Re: jdw]  
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TwoSnowflakes Offline
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Originally Posted by jdw
I guess I'm missing something. Why would you need chromatics in different keys? Do they just spell them differently/start on different notes?


You don't. I don't think I've ever seen a scale book with chromatics written out for each key. I mean, heck, it doesn't even change major/minor. It is what it is. No matter where you start, the fingering is the same and in both hands, the patterns by which the twos go down stays exactly the same.

The only thing that changes key to key in chromatics is contrary motion, or if you are doing them parallel but decide to shift which note one hand starts on. Then the pattern of how the fingering goes in relation to each hand executing the pattern shifts. In contrary, the pattern moves by key--or should I just say "starting note" since key isn't really accurate.

But, in any event, no, you're not missing anything and you don't need that written out, you just need to get used to it.


Last edited by TwoSnowflakes; 08/07/14 04:45 PM.
#2312541 - 08/07/14 04:43 PM Re: Do you have a favorite book of scales and arpeggios? [Re: Morodiene]  
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TwoSnowflakes Offline
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by TwoSnowflakes
Originally Posted by Morodiene
When I start students out with scales, I have a sheet that shows them the key signature of every key and fingering for scales and arpeggios. I'd much rather that they learn them by looking at their hands rather than reading notes, so they really internalize them. However, with some of my students, they lose sheets easily (despite me suggesting a binder to hold it in), for them, I just have them buy a book. Keith Snell's Scale skills are fine, but I usually start them a bit higher up in level because I want them to do all keys right away, but not too high to where they are 2 octaves, which my students don't do right away. Anyways, I haven't found anything that's perfect yet.


That's the scale book my daughter uses! The Snell. But her teacher goes "off book" for quite a bit of it, so I guess she hasn't found anything perfect yet, either.

I might just write out everything in Sibelius and then print out a packet. If you wanted the perfect scale "packet" what would it have in it for each key?
Ya, that's the thing, I don't think having everything written out is necessary, just maybe an example in C major to get things started. For example, if you are doing the formula type scales, having a written out example for the purposes of simply explaining what you do, but not to read from it as you play it would be helpful.

In fact, a book that shows examples of these different ways of playing scales and arpeggios would be great. I know Hanon has some of them, but it's not complete, and of course they write everything out in all keys for you.


By "different ways" do you mean patterns (Russian contrary pattern vs. something other thing), or kinds of scales (thirds, sixths, melodic minor)?


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