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Parallel scales #2824563
03/09/19 09:20 AM
03/09/19 09:20 AM
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 551
Sweden
Animisha Online content OP
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Animisha  Online Content OP
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I find parallel scales really difficult to learn, especially, for instance, C major. I think everything is going just fine and then I notice that the wrong finger is on the right key. Looking at the score doesn't work, because the notation for the fingering is too small and too wide apart. I scoured the net and got inspired to make this picture. I know it is not complete yet, and once I have made a complete version, I will also upload it, but so far I haven't even played a single piece in a different major scale than one of these. Next I will make parallel minor scales. I'm still thinking about how to make a picture for contrary scales.

Anyway, here it is, in case anybody else has the same problem as I have and is helped by this picture.

[Linked Image]


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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Re: Parallel scales [Re: Animisha] #2824584
03/09/19 10:54 AM
03/09/19 10:54 AM
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 358
India
Tech-key Offline
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Animisha, the fingerings you’ve put up are very helpful smile Thanks a lot! I’ll get this printed asap.

For the white key scales, a trick I learnt from a video some time back, has really helped me. It’s to remember where the 4th finger should go for both hands. For e.g., in C Major scale, LH 4th finger will always be on a D, and the RH 4th finger will always be on a B. So, maybe you could try highlighting the 4th fingers in the image, when you’re practicing, and see if it gets easier.

Another pattern in white key scales is that the 2nd finger of one hand and the 4th finger of the other hand always match. This helps me sometimes in quickly checking whether both hands are doing the correct thing.

Looking forward to the whole series!


Think Twice, Play Once
Re: Parallel scales [Re: Animisha] #2824604
03/09/19 12:04 PM
03/09/19 12:04 PM
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Sidokar Offline
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Animisha the principle of the fingering is always the same: you want to alternate turning on 3rd and 4th finger for the right hand and landing alternatively on 3rd or 4th finger for the left hand. All the fingering of C, G, D, A and E major starts the same and B major is almost identical except the start on the 4th finger of left hand.

For the other major scales the only difference is the finger on which you start the scale and wether you turn/land first on the 3rd of the 4th finger. There is no need to associate each finger with each note. It is just a question of automatism. The other principle is that you want to always have the thumb landing on a white key. So for example when you start C sharp major, you have in the right hand 2 black keys, one white, 3 black: the sequence is then 2-3, thumb on the white E sharp, then 2-3-4 again thumb on B sharp and 2-3. If you take A flat Major, you have in the 2 bk then 1 wk 2 bk, 2wk the sequence that works is 3-4/1/2-3/1/2-3-4. So it is the same sequence as C sharp except you started on a different finger: 1-2-3-1-2-3-4-1. In the first case you started with the second in order and for A flat with the 5th in order.

Once you have remembered the sequence in coordination of both hands and understand the principles you can recreate yourself the fingering without any paper. I would suggest you start with the sharp keys; They are almost all identical and F sharp and C sharp are quite easy too. Then you can move to the flat ones which are a bit more complex to assimilate though the principle is exactly the same. Also bear in mind that for convenience reasons sometimes you would start on a different finger than the one normally required by the sequence. For example in B flat major I see you start on the right hand on 4. That is the normal finger in the sequence but practically speaking everybody is using the finger 2 which is a usual substitute and much more convenient for starting the scale.

I would stay away from the minor scales until you are really comfortable with the major ones.

Re: Parallel scales [Re: Animisha] #2824607
03/09/19 12:24 PM
03/09/19 12:24 PM
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John305 Offline
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Animisha, the good news is that you shouldn’t have to bother for contrary motion scales, they are much easier in that both hands are doing the same thing, that is both hands are playing 1,2,3,1,2,3,4 etc. when moving away from each other and then both hands will play 5,4,3,2,1,3,2,1,4,3,2,1,3,2,1 when they are coming back together.


It’s never too late to be what you might have been. -George Eliot
Re: Parallel scales [Re: John305] #2824631
03/09/19 02:08 PM
03/09/19 02:08 PM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 1,654
Warsaw, Poland
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Originally Posted by John305
Animisha, the good news is that you shouldn’t have to bother for contrary motion scales, they are much easier in that both hands are doing the same thing, that is both hands are playing 1,2,3,1,2,3,4 etc. when moving away from each other and then both hands will play 5,4,3,2,1,3,2,1,4,3,2,1,3,2,1 when they are coming back together.

Well, that's only true for some keys. For instance, B-flat major contrary motion is not symmetric (as most of the scales starting on a black key). The fully symmetric keys where both hands are doing the exact same thing in contrary motion are: C major, A minor natural, E-flat major, G minor natural, E major, E minor harmonic, and the chromatic scale starting on D or A-flat.


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Re: Parallel scales [Re: Animisha] #2824635
03/09/19 02:17 PM
03/09/19 02:17 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 22,602
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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Originally Posted by Animisha
[...]Looking at the score doesn't work, because the notation for the fingering is too small and too wide apart.[...]


Do you have a vision problem that makes your picture necessary? How do you deal with fingering in scores other than in scores for scales? I would think that most people would benefit from having both the notation and the fingering together rather than have a diagram where the score is replaced by a diagram with the names of the notes. I think that it is much faster (more efficient) to follow a score than to follow names of notes.

That said, of course this must work for you, otherwise you would not have gone to the trouble to work this out.

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: Parallel scales [Re: Sidokar] #2824639
03/09/19 02:25 PM
03/09/19 02:25 PM
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 551
Sweden
Animisha Online content OP
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Originally Posted by Sidokar
I would suggest you start with the sharp keys; They are almost all identical and F sharp and C sharp are quite easy too.

I follow a scales-course and it starts with C major, followed by G, D, A, etc. I like this course very much so I will stick to this order.

Originally Posted by Sidokar
For example in B flat major I see you start on the right hand on 4. That is the normal finger in the sequence but practically speaking everybody is using the finger 2 which is a usual substitute and much more convenient for starting the scale.

I know. In the example I found on the internet it said 2. I might change that when I am less confused. Now finger 4 tells me that I should play finger 1, 2 and 3 next, and not 1, 2, 3 and 4.


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
Re: Parallel scales [Re: Tech-key] #2824641
03/09/19 02:28 PM
03/09/19 02:28 PM
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 551
Sweden
Animisha Online content OP
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Animisha  Online Content OP
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Originally Posted by Tech-key
Animisha, the fingerings you’ve put up are very helpful smile Thanks a lot! I’ll get this printed asap.

For the white key scales, a trick I learnt from a video some time back, has really helped me. It’s to remember where the 4th finger should go for both hands. For e.g., in C Major scale, LH 4th finger will always be on a D, and the RH 4th finger will always be on a B. So, maybe you could try highlighting the 4th fingers in the image, when you’re practicing, and see if it gets easier.

Another pattern in white key scales is that the 2nd finger of one hand and the 4th finger of the other hand always match. This helps me sometimes in quickly checking whether both hands are doing the correct thing.

Looking forward to the whole series!

Thank you Tech-key, but this cheatsheet works for me right now. I'll look at your ideas when I am more sure that my hands play correctly. smile


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
Re: Parallel scales [Re: BruceD] #2824649
03/09/19 02:40 PM
03/09/19 02:40 PM
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 551
Sweden
Animisha Online content OP
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Animisha  Online Content OP
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by Animisha
[...]Looking at the score doesn't work, because the notation for the fingering is too small and too wide apart.[...]


Do you have a vision problem that makes your picture necessary? How do you deal with fingering in scores other than in scores for scales? I would think that most people would benefit from having both the notation and the fingering together rather than have a diagram where the score is replaced by a diagram with the names of the notes. I think that it is much faster (more efficient) to follow a score than to follow names of notes.

That said, of course this must work for you, otherwise you would not have gone to the trouble to work this out.

Regards,


Just eyes that are not quite young anymore... smile In ordinary scores I focus mostly on reading the notes. But I can tell you, I play all notes in C major parallel correctly. But not with the correct fingers. eek

And you're right. I have tried playing with an ordinary score, and I just got lost all the time. The score that was presented in my scales course didn't even have bar lines.

Last edited by Animisha; 03/09/19 02:40 PM.

Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
Re: Parallel scales [Re: Animisha] #2824825
03/10/19 05:44 AM
03/10/19 05:44 AM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 175
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Sidokar Offline
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Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by BruceD
[quote=Animisha][...]Looking at the score doesn't work, because the notation for the fingering is too small and too wide apart.[...]


In ordinary scores I focus mostly on reading the notes. But I can tell you, I play all notes in C major parallel correctly. But not with the correct fingers. eek

And you're right. I have tried playing with an ordinary score, and I just got lost all the time. The score that was presented in my scales course didn't even have bar lines.


The point is that you actually do not need to read the score nor the fingering, or am I missing something ? Once you position the right finger of each hand on the starting note, the rest should follow by itself. If it does not it is because either you have not assimilated the sequence of fingers and/or you do not know your scale (ie which are black keys vs white one and in which order). In any case reading the score is not that helpful because what you have to work on is learning those 2 elements. An exercise that can help to memorize the sequence as well as the combination of white and black keys: for example in C Major (works also, for D, A, ...): HS press 1 (thumb) and then 2+3 together, 1 again and then 2-3-4 together and back to 1 (obviously left hand would be 5/4+3+2/1/3+2/1). You can do that over 2 or 3 octaves until you reach moderate speed. That way you can visualize where the thumb lands and how the fingers match with the keys. In A flat Major RH you would start 3+4/1/2+3/1/2+3+4.

The other point is to work on 1 octave only especially when doing HT, then move to 2 octaves once you have memorized the 1 octave. Those are all basics. I assume your teacher has given you all these advices.

Re: Parallel scales [Re: Sidokar] #2824829
03/10/19 06:36 AM
03/10/19 06:36 AM
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 551
Sweden
Animisha Online content OP
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Animisha  Online Content OP
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Originally Posted by Sidokar
The point is that you actually do not need to read the score nor the fingering, or am I missing something ? Once you position the right finger of each hand on the starting note, the rest should follow by itself.

Yes, my fingers will automatically play incorrectly. Suddenly I find my thumb on a b, and I don't know what I did wrong..

I have no problem with this when playing HS or when playing in contrary motion. I know very well when to play 1-2-3, and when 1-2-3-4.

Thank you for your advice, but actually, my cheatsheet works for me. That is why I posted it, in case there is someone with the same problem as I have and who is also helped by this cheatsheet.
Different approaches work for different people, and this works for me. smile


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
Re: Parallel scales [Re: Animisha] #2824837
03/10/19 07:02 AM
03/10/19 07:02 AM
Joined: Oct 2018
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India
Tech-key Offline
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Originally Posted by Animisha
Yes, my fingers will automatically play incorrectly. Suddenly I find my thumb on a b, and I don't know what I did wrong..

I have no problem with this when playing HS or when playing in contrary motion. I know very well when to play 1-2-3, and when 1-2-3-4.
The same happens to me while playing HT. Especially in F, because of the different fingering pattern in RH. (I only play C, D, F, G, and A major as of now.)


Think Twice, Play Once
Re: Parallel scales [Re: Tech-key] #2824863
03/10/19 10:21 AM
03/10/19 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Tech-key
Originally Posted by Animisha
Yes, my fingers will automatically play incorrectly. Suddenly I find my thumb on a b, and I don't know what I did wrong..

I have no problem with this when playing HS or when playing in contrary motion. I know very well when to play 1-2-3, and when 1-2-3-4.
The same happens to me while playing HT. Especially in F, because of the different fingering pattern in RH. (I only play C, D, F, G, and A major as of now.)


Yes, this is a pretty common issue. I remember when I was learning scales (long time ago) I was having also similar situations and most people I know had them too. When playing HS the attention can focus on this one movement and many contrary motion scale are in fact symmetrical so both hands are turning at the same time. But in HT obviously each hand has its own slightly different pattern and it is complicated for our brain to coordinate 2 different movements at the finger level.

Re: Parallel scales [Re: Sidokar] #2824866
03/10/19 10:29 AM
03/10/19 10:29 AM
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 551
Sweden
Animisha Online content OP
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Animisha  Online Content OP
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Originally Posted by Sidokar
Yes, this is a pretty common issue. I remember when I was learning scales (long time ago) I was having also similar situations and most people I know had them too. When playing HS the attention can focus on this one movement and many contrary motion scale are in fact symmetrical so both hands are turning at the same time. But in HT obviously each hand has its own slightly different pattern and it is complicated for our brain to coordinate 2 different movements at the finger level.

Quite right Sidokar, and that is why I need a cheatsheet. smile


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
Re: Parallel scales [Re: Animisha] #2824881
03/10/19 11:45 AM
03/10/19 11:45 AM
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This is a good example of where really slow practice helps. Do it so slowly that you cannot make a mistake, then speed it up ever so slightly. After days, to weeks, the fingering will be seared into your brain. Be careful that you're not learning too many scales at once, as this can make it more confusing. I personally added one / week until I had them all down, realizing the practice gets longer as you add on, and you might spread it out to adding one every 2-3 weeks as they get more complicated or longer.

I did this for the 12 major scales, then practiced them for a year or more before adding on the minor scales.


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Re: Parallel scales [Re: Animisha] #2824882
03/10/19 11:45 AM
03/10/19 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by Sidokar
Yes, this is a pretty common issue. I remember when I was learning scales (long time ago) I was having also similar situations and most people I know had them too. When playing HS the attention can focus on this one movement and many contrary motion scale are in fact symmetrical so both hands are turning at the same time. But in HT obviously each hand has its own slightly different pattern and it is complicated for our brain to coordinate 2 different movements at the finger level.

Quite right Sidokar, and that is why I need a cheatsheet. smile

Have you mastered the scales in those keys HS, until you can play them in your sleep?

There's no point trying to grapple with 2-handed scales until you're completely fluent with one-handed ones, so that the muscle memory is totally ingrained.

When scales appear in real music, they're usually so fast that you don't have time to think about 'which finger goes where'.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Parallel scales [Re: Animisha] #2824912
03/10/19 12:40 PM
03/10/19 12:40 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 22,602
Victoria, BC
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While working on your scales, whether or not you are using your "cheat sheet," try this exercise. using C major as a starting point and then moving to other keys.

Right hand, slowly at first:
1) Accent the thumb on C, then softly play D, E, and stop on F, accenting that key. Go through the scale, at least two octaves (four is better), stopping on and accenting the thumb on every C and F.
2) Start again on C, but this time accent and stop on D and G (the keys that your second finger plays).
3) Start again on C, but this time accent and stop on E and A (the keys that your third finger plays).
4) No point in doing this with the fourth finger and fifth fingers for obvious reasons.

Note that 2) and 3) really are superfluous (hence the smaller text size) since the real key is getting a positively strong sense of where the thumb falls; all the other fingers should literally fall into place.

Do a similar exercise in the left hand.

This exercise should help you get a feel for where each finger must fall in each key signature. It may sound like - and is - a rather painstaking exercise because you are often working in groups of two then three so you will get a rhythmically uneven scale, but since you seem to be having such difficulties with placing the right finger on the right note, this may - or may not - help.

Is it worth a try?

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: Parallel scales [Re: Animisha] #2824917
03/10/19 12:59 PM
03/10/19 12:59 PM
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Brittany, France
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I have a question about the value of playing scales two hands together. Not saying not to do it, just wondering why the emphasis because going through my scale books it's always done that way - I have to admit that I often play the hands separately to concentrate on the 'touch', but that's probably just laziness.


regards
Pete
Re: Parallel scales [Re: bennevis] #2824943
03/10/19 02:22 PM
03/10/19 02:22 PM
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 551
Sweden
Animisha Online content OP
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Have you mastered the scales in those keys HS, until you can play them in your sleep?

Yes, I have played scales HS for three years. Like Pete, I did not understand the value of playing scales two hands together. And I am still not so sure, but very fascinated by this exercise in coordination.


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
Re: Parallel scales [Re: Animisha] #2824947
03/10/19 02:29 PM
03/10/19 02:29 PM
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Brittany, France
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Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by bennevis
Have you mastered the scales in those keys HS, until you can play them in your sleep?

Yes, I have played scales HS for three years. Like Pete, I did not understand the value of playing scales two hands together. And I am still not so sure, but very fascinated by this exercise in coordination.

Oddly enough, I'd just returned to the computer to suggest 'co-ordination' and read your comment! Great minds and all that smile


regards
Pete
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