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#2625099 - 03/19/17 09:23 AM My Mug of Scales
Sam S Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/07
Posts: 2217
Loc: Georgia, USA

Here you see my "Mug of Scales". Craft sticks (aka popsicle sticks, tongue depressors), each with the name of a major, harmonic minor or melodic minor scale written on it.

Time to practice scales? Reach in the mug and see what you win today!

This ensures that I do them in a random order - and it's a little bit whimsical and extremely low-tech, which adds to the fun.

You can also see in the photo my "counters". Five beach stones from Maine that I use to count repetitions.


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#2625104 - 03/19/17 09:32 AM Re: My Mug of Scales [Re: Sam S]
Pianoperformance Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 07/19/16
Posts: 335
More inspirations from Sam... my popsicle sticks will represent when I achieve them!
Dream came true : playing the piano
Kawai CS11/Yamaha Arius 161
lessons: 150 hours + counting

#2625110 - 03/19/17 09:48 AM Re: My Mug of Scales [Re: Sam S]
sara elizabeth Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/16
Posts: 224
I like your stones. I have made myself a "success-o-meter", which is a cardboard thing that goes from 1-10 with a little slider. I move the slider along as I play with no mistakes. Make a mistake- slide back to 1. I do wish I had started at 0 though.

#2625126 - 03/19/17 11:03 AM Re: My Mug of Scales [Re: Sam S]
Qazsedcft Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/17/15
Posts: 937
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I like the idea of the popcicle sticks. Do you put them away afterwards to avoid repeating?

For counting reps I have this thing with 3 little bowls and I use pennies for counting (but stones or beans will do too). In the first bowl I keep 10 pennies. When I want to count reps I put the right number of pennies in the second bowl. After each correct rep I move one penny from the second to the third bowl. When I fail I put all the pennies in the third bowl back in the second one. I do this until I have moved all pennies to the third bowl.

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#2625138 - 03/19/17 11:47 AM Re: My Mug of Scales [Re: Qazsedcft]
Sam S Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/07
Posts: 2217
Loc: Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By Qazsedcft
I like the idea of the popcicle sticks. Do you put them away afterwards to avoid repeating?

If I am doing all the scales, I keep pulling them out until the mug is empty. Sometimes I will do a subset ("sharp minor scales") and I will pull those out first and then put them back as I go.

The key for me is to be random. If I always do the same order then I learn them in that order and can't do them out of order - odd isn't it? Almost like memorizing a piece of music. At the piano jury at school they ask for a few scales at random, so pulling a random stick out of the mug simulates that.

I need to get another mug for arpeggios!

For the repetitions I only use 5 stones. If I want to do 10 reps then I move the stones over one at a time and then move them back = 10!


#2625143 - 03/19/17 12:09 PM Re: My Mug of Scales [Re: Sam S]
Ralphiano Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/05/15
Posts: 627
I thought a mug of scales meant dandruff!

Casio Privia PX-760
Pianoteq Stage
Pianist since April, 2015

#2625144 - 03/19/17 12:14 PM Re: My Mug of Scales [Re: Ralphiano]
SwissMS Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 1894
Loc: Costa del Sol
The sticks are a great idea. I use little slips of paper in a bowl, and they are often all over the room when I am done. grin

My YouTube Channel

#2625148 - 03/19/17 12:22 PM Re: My Mug of Scales [Re: Sam S]
Stubbie Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 1396
Loc: Midwest USA
Hah! So I'm not the only one who uses small, interesting stones for counters!

My counting stones are on the right, and, rather than popsickle sticks for my scales, I use light-colored stones (I've collected a lot of them) with the names of the scales (major and relative minor) written on them with pencil (on the left). I keep those in a mug, and draw at random.

#2625227 - 03/19/17 06:43 PM Re: My Mug of Scales [Re: Sam S]
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3985
Loc: not in Japan anymore
The stones are pretty! Many years ago I bought ten dice and I use those for counting reps. I got the dice because they're square and won't roll, so that works pretty well.

Other than that, the only good thing about the dice is that Mr. SK made me an origami box out of a piece of sheet music, so that looks pretty nice. But the stones are more appealing. smile

I have also used index cards for doing things in random properly but I like the popsicle sticks better too. Aesthetically appealing helps IMO.
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:


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