2022 our 25th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
39 members (Carey, brennbaer, 0day, Alex Hutor, AndrewJCW, Burkhard, Animisha, 8 invisible), 729 guests, and 214 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 4 of 5 1 2 3 4 5
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,904
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,904
Originally Posted by bzpiano
May I ask who is this "other teacher, who also has a significant level of respect"?
Thank you!
You should include his or her name too or other wise maybe other people will accuse you of "plagiarism"
<Grin>

When someone quotes something and states that it was written by someone else, immediately that is not plagiarism, because plagiarism means you are claiming someone else's work as your own. smile

Like PS88, I googled the phrase and easily found the source. That teacher is indeed well respected, but he is sometimes taken too literally in the teaching he tried to impart via forums some years ago.

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1,090
B
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1,090
So if I mentioned the article was from such and such book means I am not plagiarism, right?


Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Follow my 4YO student here: http://bit.ly/FollowMeiY
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 6,294
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 6,294
Originally Posted by bzpiano
So if I mentioned the article was from such and such book means I am not plagiarism, right?


That is correct. When you credit the source of the material you are not committing plagiarism. It may be a copyright violation depending on the length and nature of the material.


Learner
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,831
P
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,831
Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by bzpiano
May I ask who is this "other teacher, who also has a significant level of respect"?
Thank you!
You should include his or her name too or other wise maybe other people will accuse you of "plagiarism"
<Grin>

When someone quotes something and states that it was written by someone else, immediately that is not plagiarism, because plagiarism means you are claiming someone else's work as your own. smile

Like PS88, I googled the phrase and easily found the source. That teacher is indeed well respected, but he is sometimes taken too literally in the teaching he tried to impart via forums some years ago.


We should always cite the reference for any assertion or opinion based on published documents. Otherwise, our assertions have no value and can be dismissed as hearsay.

Telling a person that they can do a google search of a phrase to find the reference is lazyiness on the part of the poster.

Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,555
T
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,555
Originally Posted by prout
Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by bzpiano
May I ask who is this "other teacher, who also has a significant level of respect"?
Thank you!
You should include his or her name too or other wise maybe other people will accuse you of "plagiarism"
<Grin>

When someone quotes something and states that it was written by someone else, immediately that is not plagiarism, because plagiarism means you are claiming someone else's work as your own. smile

Like PS88, I googled the phrase and easily found the source. That teacher is indeed well respected, but he is sometimes taken too literally in the teaching he tried to impart via forums some years ago.


We should always cite the reference for any assertion or opinion based on published documents. Otherwise, our assertions have no value and can be dismissed as hearsay.



No. If something makes sense it doesn't matter who said it. The logic can stand or not.

There are times when the judgment does require some expertise and we would want to know the opinion was an informed one.

This was not one of those cases. Clearly.

Since you're weighed in, where do you stand? Orthodox scale fingerings only, or some of the proposals that there are more efficient choices?


gotta go practice
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,831
P
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,831
I don't teach beginners so am not in a position to comment regarding ab initio scale fingerings. However, I do warm up every day with 20 minutes or so of HT orthodox fingering-based scales - low speed and very high speed over the full compass of the piano (along with a contrary motion, parallel M3 scales, arpeggios). I never start or end on 5 in either hand, always thumb under as required. I do however practice a number of structures that excercise 54 and 543 patterns both in mirror image and with 12 123 in the other hand in order to get the thumb under crossings and parallel motion precisely in time.

That being said, I finger scale-based passages in music according to effeciency of the overall phrase - looking at the beginning and ending and, most important, how it coördinates with the other hand.

I have no problem using 1234123412341234 if it serves the purpose. The key here, for me, is pulse in the music which does not always suit 1231234 but sounds more musical, and is easier therefore with 12341234.

Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,555
T
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,555
Originally Posted by prout
. However, I do warm up every day with 20 minutes or so of HT orthodox fingering-based scales - low speed and very high speed over the full compass of the piano (along with a contrary motion, parallel M3 scales, arpeggios).


Would it be possible for you to give the unorthodox fingerings a trial? Or are the old ones too ingrained?

Quote
I never start or end on 5 in either hand, always thumb under as required.


Me either. If I'm doing something for exercise, might as well get the most benefit. Although it's not thumb under at any kind of speed.


gotta go practice
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,831
P
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,831
Originally Posted by TimR
Originally Posted by prout
. However, I do warm up every day with 20 minutes or so of HT orthodox fingering-based scales - low speed and very high speed over the full compass of the piano (along with a contrary motion, parallel M3 scales, arpeggios).


Would it be possible for you to give the unorthodox fingerings a trial? Or are the old ones too ingrained?

Quote
I never start or end on 5 in either hand, always thumb under as required.


Me either. If I'm doing something for exercise, might as well get the most benefit. Although it's not thumb under at any kind of speed.


I guess I could try different approaches, but in my other playing on the clavichord and when playing pre-baroque music, I do not use the thumb on scales except the odd time at the end of a run. This type of fingering is unorthodox for modern piano, but was standard technique some centuries back. The advantage of using unorthodox fingerings is that it makes the phrasing and musical line so much easier and more obvious, especially on harpsichord, organ or clavichord..

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,904
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,904
The quoted fingering is within a much larger context, and probably makes less sense when it's just an excerpt. This is the entire discussion, which begins with a question within a very specific context. This particular teacher also kept in mind the background of whoever was asking him, and context of the question:
http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=2619.msg22539#msg22539

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,521
G
Gary D. Offline OP
6000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
6000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,521
Originally Posted by keystring
The quoted fingering is within a much larger context, and probably makes less sense when it's just an excerpt. This is the entire discussion, which begins with a question within a very specific context. This particular teacher also kept in mind the background of whoever was asking him, and context of the question:
http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=2619.msg22539#msg22539

Yes. But the most important thing he says is:
Quote

In fact, practising too much scales with a specific fingering (be it orthodox, or the one I suggested) may be counterproductive since you may find difficult to overcome the habitual fingering when necessary to use a completely different new fingering.

That trumps everything else he says.

His LH fingerings for G, D, A and F will be horribly slow and labored for the specific cases I mentioned, when you want to play just an octave, quickly, especially with both hands. And there are quite a few instances when that is exactly what is written in the music.

So I would not teach people to play scales in his manner that start and end on the tonic. There are too many times when they would be awkward.

However, the unorthodox fingerings he suggest ARE fingerings I both use and suggest in PASSAGE work.

Those are entirely different situations.

There are a number of grand "sweeps" that happen on the piano, where you play a scale as fast as possible for about 4 octaves, most often up, with the pedal.

There are two in the Brahms 1st Rhapson, F and F# scales. G minor in the Chopin G minor Ballade. Bb minor in the Chopin Ab Polonaise. And so on.

I have never seen a pianist use Berhard's G minor fingering in the Chopin Ballade. So if we believe him, he knows more than the greatest pianists on the planet.

That's the problem...

What does him in is rigidity.

Again, the fingerings he recommends are the best for many passages. His principles are sound, but not always the best for standard scales, hands together, played from tonic to tonic.

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 18
D
Junior Member
Offline
Junior Member
D
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 18
So, getting back to the original question (though I have practiced the Bernhard scale fingerings pretty extensively in the past)...

Have you seen Candida Tobin's method for teaching scales? I've started using it with students within the past few months with pretty great success.

Basically, instead of memorizing the 7 notes of each scale, you learn the tetrachords and combine then, thus only requiring the student to remember four note groups that can be mixed and matched.

So, with RH fingering 1231 you write on a sheet of paper and have the student play:

C D E F. then G A B C (still 1231 for each new tetrachord).
D E F# G. A B C# D.
E F# G# A. B C# D# E.
FGABb.

Then you repeat each group, but only use 2345 (or 2341 I suppose). In case it wasn't obvious, the 1st line is no #'s, 2nd is 1#, 3rd is 2#'s, 4th line is the 1b tetrachord.

Then you tell the student that you will combine two tetrachords (a WS apart) to make a full scale! So they play CDEF (1231), pause, GABC (2345). Then start from G.
GABC (1231), DEF#G (2345).

Repeat with the other scales. Using this method I can usually get a student playing 6 major scales within 1 lesson. Granted, it's just RH one octave, but there are only 5 other tetrachords (those starting from the black keys) and you do a similar fingering process for the LH. I find this really eases a student into the first step of learning scales, which is remembering what combination of white and black keys to play.

I just thought I'd share about this because I found it greatly changed my approach to teaching scales.

Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,555
T
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,555
Originally Posted by doranws
I find this really eases a student into the first step of learning scales, which is remembering what combination of white and black keys to play.


I guess I'm not really following this.

Well, I understand how you do it. But does it teach anything beyond how to finger a scale? Part of the point of a beginner learning scales is to understand a key signature so you can apply it in music, right?, and it seems like this would let you play scales without ever understanding them.


gotta go practice
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,291
P
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,291
Why do you think starting by constructing scales out of tetrachords would prevent someone from understanding scales or key signatures?


Piano Career Academy - Ilinca Vartic teaches the Russian school of piano playing
Musical-U - guidance for increasing musicality
Theta Music Trainer - fun ear training games
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,949
8000 Post Club Member
Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,949
Originally Posted by TimR
Part of the point of a beginner learning scales is to understand a key signature so you can apply it in music, right?

No.

The primary reason for beginners to learn scales is to get used to the fingering patterns and develop the independence of hands while using those fingering patterns.

That's also the reason why I don't advocate teaching scales in the order of Circle of Fifths.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,904
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,904
From the little I know about Tobin, I believe it is about understanding music itself, rather than being about playing the piano. There are two sides to scales here. One side is simply understanding them musically, like in theory. You have the key signatures, which notes are sharped or flatted, the intervals patterns, common supporting chords etc. All that is pure theory and music.

The other side is learning to play scales on an instrument, and here we also get into technique. For example, on violin the first two scales are D and A major, because you use the same spacing of fingers on both strings, and that spacing is most natural and easy for the human hand. On piano B major and Db major are often cited because the high black notes draped by the lower down white notes mimic the shape of the relaxed hand which is sort of cupped with the shorter outer fingers.

I think the present discussion is mostly about scales at the piano, and aspects for learning to play them with ease.

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,521
G
Gary D. Offline OP
6000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
6000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,521
Originally Posted by keystring
From the little I know about Tobin, I believe it is about understanding music itself, rather than being about playing the piano. There are two sides to scales here. One side is simply understanding them musically, like in theory. You have the key signatures, which notes are sharped or flatted, the intervals patterns, common supporting chords etc. All that is pure theory and music.

The other side is learning to play scales on an instrument, and here we also get into technique. For example, on violin the first two scales are D and A major, because you use the same spacing of fingers on both strings, and that spacing is most natural and easy for the human hand. On piano B major and Db major are often cited because the high black notes draped by the lower down white notes mimic the shape of the relaxed hand which is sort of cupped with the shorter outer fingers.

I think the present discussion is mostly about scales at the piano, and aspects for learning to play them with ease.

From my perspective much too much is made of the fact that the last 4 notes of a scale are the first 4 notes of another scale. If you think about it, it is obvious. But how does that help people actually mastering scales?

To me the advantage of knowings scales "in your bones" is that it gives you all sorts of valuable information which you can then draw upon. For instance, as a pianist I can easily see all 8 notes (including an octave) in any scaled, pressed at the same time, so I can immediately visualize the key signature for anything up to 5 sharps or flats.

E, I see F# G# C# D#, as a group. I don't care a bit about the order in the key signature. That's not how I experience the scale. If you can play any mode of the E scale, play any triad within that scale, form 7 chords on all those notes, you simply won't have a problem knowing that there are 4 #s in E major.

It's the same for any other key.

I'm a fan for saying, let's learn all the scales, then use the scales, then we can tear them apart later to figure out the theory.

I don't like theory first, practical skills later. I think that is bass ackwards. smile

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,521
G
Gary D. Offline OP
6000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
6000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,521
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by TimR
Part of the point of a beginner learning scales is to understand a key signature so you can apply it in music, right?

No.

The primary reason for beginners to learn scales is to get used to the fingering patterns and develop the independence of hands while using those fingering patterns.

That's also the reason why I don't advocate teaching scales in the order of Circle of Fifths.

I know you also teach contrary motion, but with parallel motion I do think that circle of 5ths works just fine for C, G, D, E and A. I'm not saying that is the best order for teaching them, but it is not illogical.

Db, F#/Gb ,B is also circle of 5ths. No harm in teaching them as a group.

But I like the idea of starting with the scales with all the black keys first, hands together, because even almost beginner students don't screw them up. Then F, because it completes the scales with thumbs on the same notes.

I like C next because the problem is totally different. It is confusing to the hands (at first) but ends up being a blue print for D, E, G and A. Traditional fingering is the same for all of them. That takes care of 9 of the scales, and Ab ends up being the same as C, D, E, G. That leaves only Bb and Eb, which are unique when the hands play together.

I would tend to leave Ab, Eb and Bb until last for that reason.

As for the circle, there are much better ways to stress that concept. Chords work far better.

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,949
8000 Post Club Member
Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,949
Originally Posted by Gary D.
As for the circle, there are much better ways to stress that concept. Chords work far better.

I do more pencil and paper work for teaching the Circle of Fifths. Kids ought to learn how to draw the order of sharps and flats. That's actually the hard part. Learning the key signatures is pretty basic.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,904
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,904
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Gary D.
As for the circle, there are much better ways to stress that concept. Chords work far better.

I do more pencil and paper work for teaching the Circle of Fifths. Kids ought to learn how to draw the order of sharps and flats. That's actually the hard part. Learning the key signatures is pretty basic.

When I learned theory the first time round it was via pencil and paper. I felt uncomfortable about it, because it seemed too cerebral and disconnected from music. In my training in language teaching we were taught "integration" - always connecting abstract things to real things. I restudied it all at the piano and this made a difference. Later when I taught theory, practical experiences were the first step. In discussions it seemed that for many people who learned music theory, there was a disconnection between theory on one hand, and applying to actual music on the other.

For those reasons I like the idea of chords, played, as an introduction to the circle of fifths. I have experienced how music theory can become mere algebra and geometry - just a shoving around of shapes and names. You can become very good at that, and yet it hasn't connected to practical music.

When you do the pencil and paper approach, do you also integrate this to playing in some way? That would make a difference for me.

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 18
D
Junior Member
Offline
Junior Member
D
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 18
Originally Posted by Gary D.
From my perspective much too much is made of the fact that the last 4 notes of a scale are the first 4 notes of another scale. If you think about it, it is obvious. But how does that help people actually mastering scales?

To me the advantage of knowings scales "in your bones" is that it gives you all sorts of valuable information which you can then draw upon. For instance, as a pianist I can easily see all 8 notes (including an octave) in any scaled, pressed at the same time, so I can immediately visualize the key signature for anything up to 5 sharps or flats.

E, I see F# G# C# D#, as a group. I don't care a bit about the order in the key signature. That's not how I experience the scale. If you can play any mode of the E scale, play any triad within that scale, form 7 chords on all those notes, you simply won't have a problem knowing that there are 4 #s in E major.

It's the same for any other key.

I'm a fan for saying, let's learn all the scales, then use the scales, then we can tear them apart later to figure out the theory.

I don't like theory first, practical skills later. I think that is bass ackwards. smile


I don't know, I had been playing all my major scales for many years and I never made the connection that the first four notes and the last four notes = WWH until I saw it in this Tobin piano book (Wizard's Way Piano Book 1). I don't think it's obvious for everyone, even those who know their scales well.

Also, I agree that seeing the "shape" of the scale is the important part. I'm a jazz musician, so the 7 notes of each scale light up for me when I'm improvising. The question is, how can we most efficiently and quickly get our students to view the scales in the same way? How can we start getting them to correctly play those 7 notes with the right fingering, so that eventually A major's notes light up in their mind as obviously as C major? I think memorizing 12 four note groups is easier at first than 12 seven note groups. Plus, with the way Tobin has the student practice them, the fingerings come easily.

Why not try it with a new student? Then you can compare the results yourself. I used to teach scales as WWH,WWWH with one finger, then the proper fingerings, starting with the sharp keys, but it progressed really slowly and students often still confused which black keys and which white keys to play.

My goal is to get the student physically playing the scale correctly, and over time the subconscious mind memorizes the scale not as the 2 tetrachords but as a full scale, as it should be. I see the tetrachords as a scaffolding step.

Last edited by doranws; 04/10/16 04:52 PM.
Page 4 of 5 1 2 3 4 5

Moderated by  Ken Knapp 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
Piano Buyer - Read the Articles, Explore the website
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Boston UP-118S opinions
by skern49 - 08/08/22 10:22 PM
OT-ish: what kind of Yamaha is this?
by ShiroKuro - 08/08/22 06:53 PM
Crack on soundboard
by phucahwa - 08/08/22 05:43 PM
Cage:Sonatas and Interludes
by pianoloverus - 08/08/22 05:31 PM
Bluetooth Pedal - page turner
by danno858 - 08/08/22 04:00 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
What's Hot!!
FREE June Newsletter is Here!
--------------------
Forums RULES, Terms of Service & HELP
(updated 06/06/2022)
-------------------
Music Store Going Out of Business Sale!
---------------------
Mr. PianoWorld's Original Composition
---------------------
Sell Your Piano on our world famous Piano Forums!
---------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Forum Statistics
Forums43
Topics214,303
Posts3,214,910
Members106,036
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2022 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5