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A Scale Per Day or Per Week or Per...
#2882559 08/22/19 10:13 PM
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I've heard many different methods. Practicing every major scale per day isnt quite working for me. Has anyone had luck taking the one scale per week or even month approach?


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Re: A Scale Per Day or Per Week or Per...
writebynight #2882565 08/22/19 10:18 PM
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writebynight #2882569 08/22/19 10:25 PM
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I just resumed lessons a month ago after many years away from piano. I did only C major scales for the first 3 weeks, at my teacher's suggestion, and just started G major last week. It seems to build confidence slowly but surely for me.


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LCantoni #2882573 08/22/19 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by LCantoni
I just resumed lessons a month ago after many years away from piano. I did only C major scales for the first 3 weeks, at my teacher's suggestion, and just started G major last week. It seems to build confidence slowly but surely for me.


I agree with the confidence thing. I'm starting with Bmaj scale as it feels the best on my fingers and move on from there next week. I'm not singing along, just solo piano, so I think I can afford to be patient.


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Re: A Scale Per Day or Per Week or Per...
writebynight #2882580 08/22/19 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by writebynight
Practicing every major scale per day isnt quite working for me.


perhaps because you don't have the time or are not seeing results?

Either way the major scales are one thing, but when you add it all the minor scales, contrary motion, chromatic, double sixths, etc, etc, get into arpeggios in all positions, it is a pretty long road to travel. So it is important to break such things down into manageable chunks, without the need to spend hours on just technical work. If you take the view that you have the rest of your piano life to learn and perfect technical exercises, then you can stop thinking that just because you have learned a scale, you have to maintain it.

However for the purpose of answering the question directly, I have a large amount of technical work I am preparing for an exam later this year. I have been learning and maintaining this list of scales and arpeggios for two years. I do not try to play everything every day as this would send me crazy, so I split everything into four groups and play one group per day. I find this very manageable and can get a basic group played through in ten minutes. I happen to single out a couple of arpeggios (all black notes) that need extra work, and those I play every day. With this method I am repeating the same group every four days, and over a long duration this has worked out just fine.


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earlofmar #2882591 08/22/19 11:34 PM
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Thanks Earl


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writebynight #2882596 08/23/19 01:04 AM
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When I do scales, I use this chart I made up. But it doesn't have to read "Day 1, Day 2", etc., it could be "Week 1, Week 2." If this is too complex for your current level, you could modify the idea and include only those technical exercises with scales that you know and can handle.

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Some times I'll change the routine doing the chart horizontally; one row per day.

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Re: A Scale Per Day or Per Week or Per...
writebynight #2882600 08/23/19 02:17 AM
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I divide my scale playing into two parts. The part in the morning, for warming up, is the same every day: all scales I know so far (eight) parallel and contrary, and a chromatic scale. The part in the afternoon is to give one scale extra attention, for instance triads and arpeggios, or playing parallel and contrary staccato. I notice though that the morning part is getting boring, so I have to add some challenge to it. For now, the challenge is to play with a metronome that ticks for each third note. Other challenges can be playing the scales with a crescendo or a diminuendo.


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Re: A Scale Per Day or Per Week or Per...
writebynight #2882618 08/23/19 06:21 AM
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My routine is to do all 12 sets on the weekends, and to cycle them on weekdays.

For the weekdays, I am practicing a major scale, followed by it’s three parallel minors (N,H, and M). I go up and down 4 octaves, then play the arpeggio up and down 4 octaves, major and minor. Then I do the Dom 7 and then Dim 7 up and down 3 octaves, three times each. Finally, I end with cadences, either IV-V7-I and / or ii-V-I in the key. I usually do a white key based scale and a black key based scale, so I hit two per day on the weekdays.

On the weekends, I play through all 48 - the major, then all 3 relative minors - 4 octaves up and down. I then play all 24 arpeggios, major and minor. On one day I will go chromatically, on the other day around the circle.


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Re: A Scale Per Day or Per Week or Per...
Tyrone Slothrop #2882642 08/23/19 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop


Thanks Tyrone! My mug of scales was very useful when I was learning everything. Now that I have them in my head, I play all the scales in various ways on odd calendar days, and all the arps in various ways on the even calendar days. It only takes a few minutes, now that I no longer have to think about key signatures and fingering.

For instance, this morning was an odd day, so I did the major scales going up chromatically. The sharps and C were done in the contrary motion pattern, the flats in thirds (something I am not very fast at). The minors were done around the circle of fifths, alternating LH legato RH staccato and LH staccato RH legato (I love the sound of that). Then I finished with chromatic up and down the full width of the keyboard.

That whole thing took a little over 16 minutes, a little more than usual because of how slow I do the scales in thirds. So once you get used to it, not that time consuming.

Sam

Re: A Scale Per Day or Per Week or Per...
writebynight #2882647 08/23/19 07:57 AM
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For me? No more than 5 minutes a day. I usually can do 1 scale in major and the 3 minors mode.

Last edited by Serge88; 08/23/19 07:58 AM.


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Re: A Scale Per Day or Per Week or Per...
writebynight #2882667 08/23/19 08:52 AM
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After I'd been away from serious playing for quite a while - still playing, but unfocused - then suddenly had to accompany my daughter's Conservatory auditions, I had to learn her accompaniments which were much more difficult than anything I'd played in nearly 20 years. And I'd probably never played a scale in 20 years either.

I picked the 5 or 6 scales from the keys of the pieces she & I were learning - and that's all I did. A different one each day day - and used segments of the accompaniments as exercises as well.


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writebynight #2882669 08/23/19 08:55 AM
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I'm just doing those that are needed for RCM 7 at the moment. RCM 7 also introduces the 4 note broken chords, e.g., C-E-G-C, then E-G-C-E, etc. Hands together. Not easy at first and I can't figure out when I'll actually have to do that in any piece. I don't like em frown

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Re: A Scale Per Day or Per Week or Per...
writebynight #2882684 08/23/19 09:28 AM
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b#, similar motif's are found in a lot of Baroque, no? Bach has this kind of thing all over if you think about his inventions in terms of chords rather than notes. Chopin's L hand accompaniments in the Nocturnes often uses a similar technique with broken arpeggiated chords. Nocturne in Emin comes to mind, although notes are skipped. Debussy also. I think you'll find it more often as you approach this repertoire.

As I've said before, the systematic way you are learning, grade by grade, is excellent. I jumped too far, too fast, and have to fill in gaps. When you start playing the pieces I struggle with, you'll be well prepared.


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Re: A Scale Per Day or Per Week or Per...
writebynight #2882720 08/23/19 11:14 AM
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I can run through the scales easily by ear without a score. Going from 1 scale to the next starting from C > C# > D > D#, etc. isn't my idea of music practice. I'd limit myself to running through the scale of the pieces I'm working on that day such as I'm doing a Bach Fugue in D minor I'd just run through the D minor scale instead going from A minor and run my scales 1 by 1.

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writebynight #2882739 08/23/19 12:18 PM
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My teacher introduces scales very slowly, though thoroughly. I rotate them daily, usually doing them in the morning. Whenever I get new one I additionally practice it every day in the afternoon till it's ready to be added to morning rotation. So far: B, Gb/F#, g, F, G, d (no idea why I learn them in this order :D).
For every major scale I play HT through 4 octaves (for minor ones the work doubles as I play harmonic and melodic):
- octave apart (parallel and formula pattern)
- third/tenth apart (parallel and formula pattern)
- sixth apart (parallel and formula pattern) - sometimes my brain can't handle this one for formula pattern melodic minor and I have to slow down significantly
- arpeggio and 2 inversions octave apart (parallel and formula pattern)
- dominant 7th arpeggio
This usually takes 5-10 min depending on scale.

Re: A Scale Per Day or Per Week or Per...
writebynight #2882772 08/23/19 02:04 PM
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I think at least as important(probably much more important) than a discussion of each person's practice routine for scales(I played a few over 60 years ago), is having the correct technical knowledge about playing scales.

In a separate vein, I not at all sure it makes sense for beginners or intermediates to practice endless varieties of each scale, i.e. contrary motion, a third apart, a sixth apart, crescendo, decrescendo, staccato, etc. Perhaps better to work mostly on getting a basic four octave scale even, smooth, appropriately fast for one's level, and with proper technique.


Last edited by pianoloverus; 08/23/19 02:12 PM.
Re: A Scale Per Day or Per Week or Per...
pianoloverus #2882785 08/23/19 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think at least as important(probably much more important) than a discussion of each person's practice routine for scales(I played a few over 60 years ago), is having the correct technical knowledge about playing scales.

In a separate vein, I not at all sure it makes sense for beginners or intermediates to practice endless varieties of each scale, i.e. contrary motion, a third apart, a sixth apart, crescendo, decrescendo, staccato, etc. Perhaps better to work mostly on getting a basic four octave scale even, smooth, appropriately fast for one's level, and with proper technique.


Good.....b/c I have no intention of doing 3rds, 6ths, etc at this time!


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Re: A Scale Per Day or Per Week or Per...
thepianoplayer416 #2882791 08/23/19 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
I can run through the scales easily by ear without a score.

True, but I found it useful to also prompt myself with the notation. Being mindful about the key sigs and notes on the staffs easily transferred to reading music down the road.


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Re: A Scale Per Day or Per Week or Per...
writebynight #2882797 08/23/19 03:17 PM
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The good thing (if there is such a thing as a good thing wink ) about learning all those scales & arpeggios whilst doing ABRSM exams, adding more on with each grade, is that all of them became second nature to me, such that I can just think: "Ah! There's a F# melodic minor scale, starting on the third note A!" when I see one in a piece, and just toss it off without thinking about the notes, fingering etc.

I don't think I've ever practiced any of them since I finished with piano exams in my teens, but there are very few pieces I've played since then that haven't required a recall of at least one scale or arpeggio. So, in a way, I'm constantly revisiting them in my pieces, if not actually practicing them.......

If I was going to instruct a student, I'd advise adding them on gradually over the years rather than learning and memorizing the whole lot in the space of a few weeks and then practicing every one of them, whether every day or in rotation. If you're not going to be playing any piece in E flat minor (e.g. Rachmaninov's Op.39/5 Étude-tableau) for a few years yet, why practice that scale & arpeggio like some abstract technical exercise which has no relevance to any piece you're playing, or likely to be playing in the near future?


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