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Pausing on the key note playing scales? #2901622
10/18/19 11:38 AM
10/18/19 11:38 AM
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UK
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matthew28 Offline OP
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Hi,
I have the Alfred's Complete Book of Scales, Chords Arpeggios and Cadences.
At the back as enrichment options it has a scale in what they call the 'Grand Form' and say it is used by many piano conservatories and master piano teachers throughout the world. I did a search around the forum and found it also referred to as the Formula Pattern or the Russian Pattern but not answering my query.

My question is regarding the note length where the keynote is shown as a longer quaver/eighth, and the other notes as semiquavers/sixteenths, putting a pause on the C in this case. I have copied it in to MuseScore (as I will tweak it to use in Piano marvel), but the portion shown below is identical to the book.

I have only been playing for a few months but have never seen any scales which don't have equal note durations. Is this really what they teach at advanced levels as I like this Grand Form/Formula Pattern with the parallel and contrary motion but am wondering whether I should change the note values so they are all equal before I start practising it (and transposing it in to other keys)?
Thanks
[img]https://www.screencast.com/t/cyA8IrGh[/img]


Roland FP30 (portable piano)
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Re: Pausing on the key note playing scales? [Re: matthew28] #2901632
10/18/19 11:54 AM
10/18/19 11:54 AM
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Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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matthew28:

I don't see the utility of pausing on the tonic in playing this scale pattern. The main purpose of scale practice/playing is to develop evenness and fluency. Doesn't pausing on the tonic interrupt that flow?

This is the way I have always seen it published and this is the way I have always done it :

[Linked Image]

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: Pausing on the key note playing scales? [Re: matthew28] #2901639
10/18/19 12:05 PM
10/18/19 12:05 PM
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Sidokar Offline
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You can play a scale in any rythmic form. This one is simple as it allows to match the 4/4 tempo with a duple division of the crotchet (ie 1 quarter = 8x16th) and it is very frequent to find this pattern in classic pieces. But you can also play the scale in any other pattern like long-long-short or sicilian rythm or whatever. That would be more advanced way to train while playing the scales. The basic scales which you start with is to play even and that is what you should focus on to start with and later on, when you master the basic form, you can alternate with more advanced patterns.

Re: Pausing on the key note playing scales? [Re: matthew28] #2901641
10/18/19 12:05 PM
10/18/19 12:05 PM
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If the image doesn't show in the above post, here's a link:

Formula scale pattern

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: Pausing on the key note playing scales? [Re: matthew28] #2901642
10/18/19 12:06 PM
10/18/19 12:06 PM
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Sidokar Offline
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Sorry 1 crotchet = 4x16th obviously !

Re: Pausing on the key note playing scales? [Re: matthew28] #2901671
10/18/19 01:18 PM
10/18/19 01:18 PM
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johnstaf Online crying
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There's nothing wrong with pausing if it helps you to concentrate or gather your thoughts, but it's not a good idea to always stop in the same place. When you develop fluency, it will be as easy to continue on as it is too pause.

Re: Pausing on the key note playing scales? [Re: matthew28] #2901700
10/18/19 01:59 PM
10/18/19 01:59 PM
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Iaroslav Vasiliev Offline
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It's actually a good idea to pause on the tonic for a second when you are learning the scale, it gives you time to relieve tension and to imagine your next octave. I learned to play scales like that, too. You will get rid of that pause when you feel you are ready to do more than one octave in a run.

Re: Pausing on the key note playing scales? [Re: matthew28] #2901909
10/19/19 03:37 AM
10/19/19 03:37 AM
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matthew28 Offline OP
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Playing more than one octave (with both hands), recently clicked for me so I can get through this but playing it with the pause had felt to me a little too much like pieces where I am slow crossing my fingers over and getting them in to the new position and I wasn't sure whether building a 'muscle memory' of pausing all the time was a good idea.
I think I will change it to all notes being the same, semiquavers/sixteenths, and focus on playing evenly as a general rule for my scales and only consider pausing or emphasising certain notes occasionally to add the odd bit of variety at a much later date.
Thanks for your help everybody.

Last edited by matthew28; 10/19/19 03:40 AM.

Roland FP30 (portable piano)
Re: Pausing on the key note playing scales? [Re: matthew28] #2901915
10/19/19 04:12 AM
10/19/19 04:12 AM
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Iaroslav Vasiliev Offline
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I don't think pauses get built into muscle memory. Muscle memory contains only the movements, not the pauses between them. So you don't need to worry about it. You can make pauses wherever you like. You can get rid of them later quite easily.

Re: Pausing on the key note playing scales? [Re: matthew28] #2902005
10/19/19 09:41 AM
10/19/19 09:41 AM
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matthew28 Offline OP
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Thanks Iaroslav. I thought I would just change the 8th note values to 16ths on the version I entered in to MuseScore thinking it would be a two minute job but as soon as I started I realised everything rapidly goes out of sync so all the notes need to be moved up or down the scale, and all the fingering notes I added are now wrong, and it would probably be quicker to do the whole piece again from scratch than try and change it all note by note.
So I'll stick with the pauses, at least for a while and see how I like it. (I put it in to MuseScore so I could then tweak it to use in Piano Marvel so it ensures I play it evenly throughout).

Last edited by matthew28; 10/19/19 09:43 AM.

Roland FP30 (portable piano)
Re: Pausing on the key note playing scales? [Re: matthew28] #2902023
10/19/19 10:16 AM
10/19/19 10:16 AM
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Hi Matthew
Can I suggest just using a metronome to check whether you are playing a scale evenly? That would avoid the MuseScore and PianoMarvel work and cut straight to scale work. If you want to play at 8th notes or 16th notes, you would only adjust the number of notes per metronome beat when you play.

Maybe I’m missing the advantage of all of the extra work—- if so, my apologies. I’m just a simple soul.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Re: Pausing on the key note playing scales? [Re: dogperson] #2902222
10/20/19 06:07 AM
10/20/19 06:07 AM
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matthew28 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by dogperson

Can I suggest just using a metronome to check whether you are playing a scale evenly? That would avoid the MuseScore and PianoMarvel work and cut straight to scale work. If you want to play at 8th notes or 16th notes, you would only adjust the number of notes per metronome beat when you play...

Good point, simple solutions...Thanks


Roland FP30 (portable piano)
Re: Pausing on the key note playing scales? [Re: matthew28] #2902299
10/20/19 10:55 AM
10/20/19 10:55 AM
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BDB Offline
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You should be able to pause or not pause at will.


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