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Scales 🤔 When to start?
#2977370 05/10/20 09:39 AM
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Hi guys! Im new on this forum and I thank you in advance to take the time to read.

I started to play about 1 month ago (I had played the classical guitar before, studying for 3 years and then I stopped to play non classical styles), as a self taught before and with a teacher later.

Before reaching out I had looked at hand position, reviewed some Piano Adventures methods and the microkosmos method as well, with some hanon practice. Fortunately my prof told me that I didnt mess up and I was doing things correctly.

By now, I am practicing the Bach Prelude in C major with the first Hanon excercise. I was just wondering, what about scales? I started looking at some major scales but my prof would prefer to start studying them later so I stopped.

What do you think about that? I know I am a bit impatient but just wondering after how long should I start learning scales as I got its really essential.

Thank you in advance for your help

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Re: Scales 🤔 When to start?
Iknownothing999 #2977394 05/10/20 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Iknownothing999
...I started looking at some major scales but my prof would prefer to start studying them later so I stopped....

What do you think about that?

Good decision.

It appears your teacher knows a thing or two.

If you wish to know WHY your teacher prefers to start studying them later, I suggest you ask your teacher.

Do not go by the responses you get here, they will be all over the map and hotly contested from one post to the next.

Good Luck


Don

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Re: Scales 🤔 When to start?
Iknownothing999 #2977410 05/10/20 11:02 AM
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I mean going by most of the advice you get on here, you would be led to believe not to waste time practicing scales and just learn the pieces.

It also depends on what you want to learn, e.g. ragtime and jazz tend to be much more chord than scales heavy, and even then I was able to learn Minute Waltz in my teens without ever having practiced scales.

I think I remember I bought a scales and arpeggios book back when I used to study and never used it much, I should try look for it, but it's not at all too difficult to just improvise these things and practice based on whatever weaknesses your hands have.

I think it is more important to individually scrutinize your own playing, look at your own weaknesses and focus on improving those.


'Its too rare to break a hand from playing the piano ... But playing Hanon as written will break your hand'

- Self proclaimed 'piano teachers' on the internet.
Re: Scales 🤔 When to start?
Iknownothing999 #2977412 05/10/20 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Iknownothing999
I started looking at some major scales but my prof would prefer to start studying them later so I stopped.

What do you think about that? I know I am a bit impatient but just wondering after how long should I start learning scales as I got its really essential.
If you trust your teacher (and there seems no reason why you shouldn't), let him be your guide.

If you're interested, my first teacher got me started on my first scale, the C major scale (one octave, hands separately) after six months of lessons.

N.B. Never go by what those who have no teachers tell you to do. Especially those who never had teachers.


"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: Scales 🤔 When to start?
Iknownothing999 #2977417 05/10/20 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
[quote=Iknownothing999]

N.B. Never go by what those who have no teachers tell you to do. Especially those who never had teachers.

What's wrong with not needing a teacher to know how to play an instrument? Though on that matter no teacher of mine ever gave me scales / arpeggios / any technical exercises, just sheet music for whichever pieces they wanted me to learn, and they never taught me proper hand placement or fingering nor sight reading.

It takes next to nothing to become a teacher, you don't even need to be good at what you do to teach, just pass a few exams.

Last edited by Bhav; 05/10/20 11:13 AM.

'Its too rare to break a hand from playing the piano ... But playing Hanon as written will break your hand'

- Self proclaimed 'piano teachers' on the internet.
Re: Scales 🤔 When to start?
Bhav #2977422 05/10/20 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Bhav
Originally Posted by bennevis
N.B. Never go by what those who have no teachers tell you to do. Especially those who never had teachers.
What's wrong with not needing a teacher to know how to play an instrument? Though on that matter no teacher of mine ever gave me scales / arpeggios / any technical exercises, just sheet music for whichever pieces they wanted me to learn, and they never taught me proper hand placement or fingering nor sight reading.

It takes next to nothing to become a teacher, you don't even need to be good at what you do to teach, just pass a few exams.
LOL. I needed a dose of humor this morning! grin


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Re: Scales 🤔 When to start?
Tyrone Slothrop #2977424 05/10/20 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Bhav
Originally Posted by bennevis
N.B. Never go by what those who have no teachers tell you to do. Especially those who never had teachers.
What's wrong with not needing a teacher to know how to play an instrument? Though on that matter no teacher of mine ever gave me scales / arpeggios / any technical exercises, just sheet music for whichever pieces they wanted me to learn, and they never taught me proper hand placement or fingering nor sight reading.

It takes next to nothing to become a teacher, you don't even need to be good at what you do to teach, just pass a few exams.
LOL. I needed a dose of humor this morning! grin

Here is the circle of fifths, somehow this is going to make you play better.

Nope.


'Its too rare to break a hand from playing the piano ... But playing Hanon as written will break your hand'

- Self proclaimed 'piano teachers' on the internet.
Re: Scales 🤔 When to start?
Bhav #2977430 05/10/20 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Bhav
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Bhav
What's wrong with not needing a teacher to know how to play an instrument? Though on that matter no teacher of mine ever gave me scales / arpeggios / any technical exercises, just sheet music for whichever pieces they wanted me to learn, and they never taught me proper hand placement or fingering nor sight reading.

It takes next to nothing to become a teacher, you don't even need to be good at what you do to teach, just pass a few exams.
LOL. I needed a dose of humor this morning! grin
Here is the circle of fifths, somehow this is going to make you play better.

Nope.
Dunning–Kruger effect


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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
Re: Scales 🤔 When to start?
Tyrone Slothrop #2977434 05/10/20 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Bhav
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Bhav
What's wrong with not needing a teacher to know how to play an instrument? Though on that matter no teacher of mine ever gave me scales / arpeggios / any technical exercises, just sheet music for whichever pieces they wanted me to learn, and they never taught me proper hand placement or fingering nor sight reading.

It takes next to nothing to become a teacher, you don't even need to be good at what you do to teach, just pass a few exams.
LOL. I needed a dose of humor this morning! grin
Here is the circle of fifths, somehow this is going to make you play better.

Nope.
Dunning–Kruger effect

Is that meant to describe me or my teachers?

My middle school teacher said I was both the star pupil of the year and the best music student she had ever had. She also got me into both keyboard and choir lessons. But all she ever did was hand me sheet music and I would have to learn it on my own at home but I played daily as much as I could. In my upper school I won a prize for being best in my music class. My music teacher there handed me her full class timetable during my A Levels and any time the music room was free I alone was allowed to use it and the sole piano inside the soundproof practice room. I was also the first student in that schools history to actually go onto a music degree.

Then I got to university and somehow everyone else was waaaay above and beyond me and I'm thinking wth did all these teachers fill me with?

And then I broke a wrist from playing too much with poor technique.

Then I realized all my teachers actually taught me nothing other than over encourage me and just handed me sheet music to do on my own which I did religiously.

Last edited by Bhav; 05/10/20 11:39 AM.

'Its too rare to break a hand from playing the piano ... But playing Hanon as written will break your hand'

- Self proclaimed 'piano teachers' on the internet.
Re: Scales 🤔 When to start?
Iknownothing999 #2977438 05/10/20 11:41 AM
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Thank you guys smile Honestly I was doubting because I thought it could be just as useful as practicing on Hanon excercises at the beginning. It would help to read better and to understand more of the patterns of the pieces you are studying. But yeah, I will follow my prof and eventually open the discussion again.

Re: Scales 🤔 When to start?
Iknownothing999 #2977444 05/10/20 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Iknownothing999
... But yeah, I will follow my prof ...

Good Decision smile


Don

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Re: Scales 🤔 When to start?
Iknownothing999 #2977478 05/10/20 12:54 PM
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What is the secret reason to not play scales? Now that it's been built up... somebody give the reason please?

Is it the same reason to not play scales for students starting out in classical guitar or in violin? For classical guitar and violin I started with open strings. Bowing and plucking, tone production, control, before scales.

Re: Scales 🤔 When to start?
wszxbcl #2977482 05/10/20 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by wszxbcl
What is the secret reason to not play scales? Now that it's been built up... somebody give the reason please?
There is no secret, and there is no reason......but until you have developed some basic finger technique so that you can learn and execute thumb under and finger over movements with some semblance of smoothness, there's no point.

Ask someone who've never played a keyboard to make those movements on the piano, and watch the contortions they (try to) force their hands and fingers to undergo.


"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: Scales 🤔 When to start?
Iknownothing999 #2977485 05/10/20 01:05 PM
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The not-at-all secret reason is that the best thing to do is to follow the teacher's instructions.

The teacher knows more than the student.


Learner
Re: Scales 🤔 When to start?
bennevis #2977489 05/10/20 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by wszxbcl
What is the secret reason to not play scales? Now that it's been built up... somebody give the reason please?
There is no secret, and there is no reason......but until you have developed some basic finger technique so that you can learn and execute thumb under and finger over movements with some semblance of smoothness, there's no point.

Ask someone who've never played a keyboard to make those movements on the piano, and watch the contortions they (try to) force their hands and fingers to undergo.

I was able to automatically do all off that and every scale from age 5 when I first touched a keyboard? I played every scale by ear and mostly anything I heard by ear just one key at a time. I didn't need anyone to show me or practice how to play smoothly or to tuck my thumb it was easy.

What I could never do is use finger 5 and played everything with 1-4 only.

Last edited by Bhav; 05/10/20 01:16 PM.

'Its too rare to break a hand from playing the piano ... But playing Hanon as written will break your hand'

- Self proclaimed 'piano teachers' on the internet.
Re: Scales 🤔 When to start?
malkin #2977491 05/10/20 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by malkin
The not-at-all secret reason is that the best thing to do is to follow the teacher's instructions.

The teacher knows more than the student.

BINGO !

And ...That should be enough.

But .... Ok, with the little I may know about it ... with things I have heard over the years ....

When your teacher begins working with you on "scales" ....

They are not doing it for the primary purpose of having you learn the notes in the scale or which fingers to use ....

They are working with you to play with control of the notes you are playing ..... soft, loud, stacato, evenly spaced, etc ....

All those types of things.

If you begin on your own, usually (as a beginner) you concern yourself with what the notes are and how fast you can play them and other sorts of things of much lesser importance.

So, there you have it .... and now .... the arguments are next.

Fortunately, I will not see most of them .... (ignore) .... LOL ...

Good Luck


Don

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Re: Scales 🤔 When to start?
Bhav #2977495 05/10/20 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Bhav
I was able to automatically do all off that and every scale from age 5 when I first touched a keyboard? I played every scale by ear and mostly anything I heard by ear just one key at a time. I didn't need anyone to show me or practice how to play smoothly or to tuck my thumb it was easy.
.
You're obviously a prodigy.......


"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: Scales 🤔 When to start?
bennevis #2977498 05/10/20 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by Bhav
I was able to automatically do all off that and every scale from age 5 when I first touched a keyboard? I played every scale by ear and mostly anything I heard by ear just one key at a time. I didn't need anyone to show me or practice how to play smoothly or to tuck my thumb it was easy.
.
You're obviously a prodigy.......

I used to play it for my music teacher and then she made me play it at old people homes.

Last edited by Bhav; 05/10/20 01:25 PM.

'Its too rare to break a hand from playing the piano ... But playing Hanon as written will break your hand'

- Self proclaimed 'piano teachers' on the internet.
Re: Scales 🤔 When to start?
Bhav #2977514 05/10/20 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Bhav
Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by Bhav
I was able to automatically do all off that and every scale from age 5 when I first touched a keyboard? I played every scale by ear and mostly anything I heard by ear just one key at a time. I didn't need anyone to show me or practice how to play smoothly or to tuck my thumb it was easy.
.
You're obviously a prodigy.......

I used to play it for my music teacher and then she made me play it at old people homes.

Were you playing Hanon or scales for those poor old people ?
Or maybe you were sight-reading for them ?


Kawai ES110

Re: Scales 🤔 When to start?
Bhav #2977550 05/10/20 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Bhav
[...]My middle school teacher [...]all she ever did was hand me sheet music and I would have to learn it on my own at home[...] My music [upper school] teacher there handed me her full class timetable [and] I alone was allowed to use it [...]Then I got to university and somehow everyone else was waaaay above and beyond me and I'm thinking wth did all these teachers fill me with?
[...]

From the context of this post, your music teachers [filled you with] nothing; why blame them?

Regards,


BruceD
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