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Problems with Scales
#2902821 10/21/19 02:17 PM
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Hello everyone. I am a few months into learning and I'm hoping someone can help with a particular issue. I can play single octave contra-motion and parallel scales fairly easily. I can play 2 octave contra-motion scales easily. But My brain has a major hang up on 2 octave parallel motion.

Are other beginners having trouble (or had in the past) mastering this task? Left hand fingering is 5 4 3 2 1 3 2 1 4 3 2 1 3 2 1 Right hand 1 2 3 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 1 2 3 4 5.

Of course playing them with either hand separately is no problem and my fingers know the way almost automatically but together I'm having trouble. I can do it really slow up but not down. I have even tried matching up the 3's but I have to think so much about it that steam comes out of my ears smile

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Re: Problems with Scales
stevechris #2902831 10/21/19 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by stevechris
Hello everyone. I am a few months into learning and I'm hoping someone can help with a particular issue. I can play single octave contra-motion and parallel scales fairly easily. I can play 2 octave contra-motion scales easily. But My brain has a major hang up on 2 octave parallel motion.

Are other beginners having trouble (or had in the past) mastering this task? Left hand fingering is 5 4 3 2 1 3 2 1 4 3 2 1 3 2 1 Right hand 1 2 3 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 1 2 3 4 5.

Of course playing them with either hand separately is no problem and my fingers know the way almost automatically but together I'm having trouble. I can do it really slow up but not down. I have even tried matching up the 3's but I have to think so much about it that steam comes out of my ears smile

The two octave parallel scales use different crossover points and fingers in each hand, which means it takes longer to get it right. I had to practice each 2 octave parallel scale longer, slower and more diligently than other scale configuration. It does teach hand independence. You will become proficient if you keep practicing. Start by playing each scale very slow and then gradually pick up the tempo.


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Re: Problems with Scales
stevechris #2902867 10/21/19 04:05 PM
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do you have anything you use to guide you as to what you should do ?

A method book ? A teacher ?

If not, I would suggest you get something so that you are not just randomly doing "things" that seem important.

Sometimes they are not as important as they are made out to be.


Don

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Re: Problems with Scales
stevechris #2902881 10/21/19 04:56 PM
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I learned my scales a very long time ago, so I dont really remember how long it took me. But my experience is that it does take some time to get the 2 hands coordinated the first time. My advice is to play slowly both hands together on one octave first, back and forth. Do not be in a hurry. Just do it everyday for 5 to 10mns. When you start to feel how the hands should work together, you are on the right path. Then you can slowly increase the speed to something moderate and then try out to go to 2 octaves. Again, there is no point being in a hurry, a little training everyday will eventually make it work.

Re: Problems with Scales
stevechris #2902885 10/21/19 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by stevechris
Hello everyone. I am a few months into learning and I'm hoping someone can help with a particular issue. I can play single octave contra-motion and parallel scales fairly easily. I can play 2 octave contra-motion scales easily. But My brain has a major hang up on 2 octave parallel motion.

Are other beginners having trouble (or had in the past) mastering this task? Left hand fingering is 5 4 3 2 1 3 2 1 4 3 2 1 3 2 1 Right hand 1 2 3 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 1 2 3 4 5.

Of course playing them with either hand separately is no problem and my fingers know the way almost automatically but together I'm having trouble. I can do it really slow up but not down. I have even tried matching up the 3's but I have to think so much about it that steam comes out of my ears smile

Two-handed parallel scales require a high degree of hand independence, which you haven't yet got.

I suggest that you leave them until after you've been playing pieces for at least twelve months, while developing the ability of your brain to coordinate different fingers in both hands simultaneously.

BTW, this was the piano syllabus I followed as a student - it's also the syllabus that millions of piano students follow around the world:

https://gb.abrsm.org/media/62972/piano_syllabus_2019___2020_complete.pdf

Students on average progress at one grade a year. Have a look at the scales requirements for Grade 1, i.e. at the end of one year: only one-handed scales are required.


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Re: Problems with Scales
dmd #2902886 10/21/19 05:19 PM
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Sorry, I should have said. Yes, I have a teacher. She gave me the lining up 3rd finger trick. It helped but still having trouble. And the book we are using is Keyboard Musicianship for adults 10th edition.

Re: Problems with Scales
stevechris #2902892 10/21/19 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by stevechris
Sorry, I should have said. Yes, I have a teacher. She gave me the lining up 3rd finger trick. It helped but still having trouble. And the book we are using is Keyboard Musicianship for adults 10th edition.


Well, good …. then, you are in good hands.

I would just practice it slowly and with your full attention a few times each day and then forget about it.

It is certainly not critical for you to get that down any time soon.

Good Luck


Don

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Re: Problems with Scales
stevechris #2902898 10/21/19 05:56 PM
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scales, although they might seem easy on the surface of things can be very tricky. This is just the way it is.


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Re: Problems with Scales
dmd #2902910 10/21/19 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by stevechris
Sorry, I should have said. Yes, I have a teacher. She gave me the lining up 3rd finger trick. It helped but still having trouble. And the book we are using is Keyboard Musicianship for adults 10th edition.


Well, good …. then, you are in good hands.

I would just practice it slowly and with your full attention a few times each day and then forget about it.

It is certainly not critical for you to get that down any time soon.

Good Luck






Good to know. I thought I had an LD.

Re: Problems with Scales
stevechris #2902922 10/21/19 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by stevechris
Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by stevechris
Sorry, I should have said. Yes, I have a teacher. She gave me the lining up 3rd finger trick. It helped but still having trouble. And the book we are using is Keyboard Musicianship for adults 10th edition.


Well, good …. then, you are in good hands.

I would just practice it slowly and with your full attention a few times each day and then forget about it.

It is certainly not critical for you to get that down any time soon.

Good Luck






Good to know. I thought I had an LD.


It is best to approach all aspects of learning to play piano with confidence that it will happen in its' own time.

You cannot "make it happen".

Additional focused practice will help but nothing is guaranteed in a particular time period.

Just enjoy your time at the piano and rest assured that it will happen but not necessarily when you want it to.

Good Luck


Don

Casio PX-S1000, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq, Focus Rite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface
Re: Problems with Scales
stevechris #2902950 10/21/19 10:00 PM
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Play slow enough to be able to do it. 1 second per note, hands together, 5 seconds, 10 seconds, whatever it takes. You'll get it eventually. We've all been there. 😊


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Re: Problems with Scales
ebonykawai #2902951 10/21/19 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by ebonykawai
Play slow enough to be able to do it. 1 second per note, hands together, 5 seconds, 10 seconds, whatever it takes. You'll get it eventually. We've all been there. 😊

Or you think you've gotten it... until you get to the lovely lovely B harmonic minor... wink


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Re: Problems with Scales
Tyrone Slothrop #2902964 10/22/19 12:12 AM
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I struggled for a long time before I got it. The breakthrough for me was to literally write down each step. So “play C, D, E, cross RH 3 to 1, play F, G, cross LH 1 to 3, play A” and so on.

My piano teacher looked at me like I was from another planet when I told her how I’d learnt it, but hey, everyone learns in different ways.

The good news is that once you crack the first two or three scales the coordination aspect gets easier even if the scale pattern or fingering might be harder.

Last edited by scirocco; 10/22/19 12:17 AM.

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Re: Problems with Scales
stevechris #2902965 10/22/19 12:39 AM
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Try playing with a little delay between hands. A note in right hand, then a note in left hand, then a note in right hand and so on. You'll be able to play notes simultaneously after some practice.

Re: Problems with Scales
bennevis #2902971 10/22/19 01:50 AM
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As others
Originally Posted by bennevis


I suggest that you leave them until after you've been playing pieces for at least twelve months, while developing the ability of your brain to coordinate different fingers in both hands simultaneously.

.


as I always remark to such posts, the above was exactly my experience. I tried to learn scales a couple of times in my first year and found it rather daunting, but when the time was right and I tried later, I was more experienced and ready. While I understand why people want to do scales early, (and why some teachers want their students to be doing them), it is good to keep in mind that once commenced, you might well be doing scales for the rest of your piano journey. Plenty of time to get better and perfect them. Initial struggles now will seem like blips on the radar in a few years.


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Re: Problems with Scales
Iaroslav Vasiliev #2902986 10/22/19 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Try playing with a little delay between hands. A note in right hand, then a note in left hand, then a note in right hand and so on. You'll be able to play notes simultaneously after some practice.

I tried alternating groupings up until the crossovers but I havent tried this suggestion yet. The slight delay might just help.

Re: Problems with Scales
Tyrone Slothrop #2903024 10/22/19 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by ebonykawai
Play slow enough to be able to do it. 1 second per note, hands together, 5 seconds, 10 seconds, whatever it takes. You'll get it eventually. We've all been there. 😊

Or you think you've gotten it... until you get to the lovely lovely B harmonic minor... wink


Bb harmonic minor still trips me up on the way down, lol. 😂😂😂 I do 4 octave so eventually it falls into place. That's my absolute worst scale!


Lisa

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Re: Problems with Scales
ebonykawai #2903029 10/22/19 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by ebonykawai
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by ebonykawai
Play slow enough to be able to do it. 1 second per note, hands together, 5 seconds, 10 seconds, whatever it takes. You'll get it eventually. We've all been there. 😊

Or you think you've gotten it... until you get to the lovely lovely B harmonic minor... wink


Bb harmonic minor still trips me up on the way down, lol. 😂😂😂 I do 4 octave so eventually it falls into place. That's my absolute worst scale!

Funny I had thought of a thread topic on favorite / least favorite scales. Bb harmonic minor is definitely fun wink. G# harmonic minor is another.
Then there's the 4 octave Eb min arpeggio. Can't get that one up to speed.


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Re: Problems with Scales
Tyrone Slothrop #2903030 10/22/19 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by ebonykawai
Play slow enough to be able to do it. 1 second per note, hands together, 5 seconds, 10 seconds, whatever it takes. You'll get it eventually. We've all been there. 😊

Or you think you've gotten it... until you get to the lovely lovely B harmonic minor... wink


Ugh 😑. B harmonic minor. Wish me luck trying to play that scale in OCTAVES, sixteenth note values, with quarter note = 80 for my MINUMUM required tempo. Exams, am I right?

*cries in anxiety*

Re: Problems with Scales
Ijustplaypiano #2903032 10/22/19 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Ijustplaypiano
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by ebonykawai
Play slow enough to be able to do it. 1 second per note, hands together, 5 seconds, 10 seconds, whatever it takes. You'll get it eventually. We've all been there. 😊
Or you think you've gotten it... until you get to the lovely lovely B harmonic minor... wink
Ugh 😑. B harmonic minor. Wish me luck trying to play that scale in OCTAVES, sixteenth note values, with quarter note = 80 for my MINUMUM required tempo. Exams, am I right?

*cries in anxiety*

Yep, B harmonic minor is in the RCM level 4 exam.


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across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
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