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why does the D Major scale seem harder?
#3044651 11/11/20 12:36 AM
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Ok, getting a C Major down with both hands was really difficult.
After that, most other scales took a lot less work than C Major.

But D Major? The fingering just seems out of whack with all the other scales.
Each hand separately is do-able, but putting both hands together on it makes my brainwaves send stupid signals to my fingers.

Any hints?


Casio PX-S3000
Nope, no issues with it at all.
Took lessons from 1960 to 1969, stopped at age 16.
Started again in July 2020 at age 67. Lots more fun now!
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Re: why does the D Major scale seem harder?
trooplewis #3044655 11/11/20 12:49 AM
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My hint to myself: long fingers (2,3) go on sharps


"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: why does the D Major scale seem harder?
dogperson #3044656 11/11/20 01:24 AM
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The traditional fingering for D major works just fine for me. If you can play the scale hands separately, what's the problem, hands together? Analyze the problem: are you trying to play it too fast?

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: why does the D Major scale seem harder?
trooplewis #3044695 11/11/20 03:33 AM
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I quite often find hands together easier than hands separate on scales

Last edited by Wayne2467; 11/11/20 03:33 AM.
Re: why does the D Major scale seem harder?
trooplewis #3044765 11/11/20 07:25 AM
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The fingering for D major is the same as many other scales so how can it be "out of whack"?

Re: why does the D Major scale seem harder?
trooplewis #3044768 11/11/20 07:34 AM
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You might try using Chopin's or "Natural" fingering in LH putting 4 on the F# (starting with 2 on the D).


Richard
Re: why does the D Major scale seem harder?
Wayne2467 #3044792 11/11/20 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Wayne2467
I quite often find hands together easier than hands separate on scales

I do to. I only realised when doing 'Piano Marvel' exercises.

I am now fairly proficient in all of the 48 main scales to 2 octaves but in 'Piano Marvel' when they introduce a new key, there will typically be an exercise where you have to play, right hand, left hand, hands together at a fairly brisk speed.
Hands together, I can do fine, right hand is a bit more difficult but left hand is totally alien as I very rarely look at my left hand while playing as it just follows my right. When my right isn’t playing, it has nothing to follow.

Re: why does the D Major scale seem harder?
treefrog #3044794 11/11/20 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by treefrog
Originally Posted by Wayne2467
I quite often find hands together easier than hands separate on scales

I do to. I only realised when doing 'Piano Marvel' exercises.

I am now fairly proficient in all of the 48 main scales to 2 octaves but in 'Piano Marvel' when they introduce a new key, there will typically be an exercise where you have to play, right hand, left hand, hands together at a fairly brisk speed.
Hands together, I can do fine, right hand is a bit more difficult but left hand is totally alien as I very rarely look at my left hand while playing as it just follows my right. When my right isn’t playing, it has nothing to follow.
Yeah- I’m wondering if when it’s hands together that the stronger/ better hand pulls the weaker one along a bit

Re: why does the D Major scale seem harder?
Wayne2467 #3044799 11/11/20 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Wayne2467
Yeah- I’m wondering if when it’s hands together that the stronger/ better hand pulls the weaker one along a bit
Of course, the RH partially covers problems with the LH.

Re: why does the D Major scale seem harder?
trooplewis #3044826 11/11/20 11:13 AM
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When practicing scales, I use the same basic fingering for C, G, D, A, E.

Some very basic early steps that helped me learn the D major scale.

- Go really slow at first so you make no mistakes; you want to train your brain correctly.

- There are two sharps in the scale. The F# and C# have similar visual placement; both are the left-most in the group of black keys.

- For hands-together fingering:

-- The F# are the same, both 3rd finger (visually, the black keys F#, G#, A# are grouped in "three" as a reminder)

-- The C# are different, 2nd and 4th fingers (even fingers)

You can speak each note when playing, maybe say the sharps louder at the beginning as a reminder.

Regardless, make sure you are playing these scales effortlessly; if you have any physical stress or strain get that sorted out. Ask your piano teacher for recommendations.

FYI- my piano teacher said the c scale is the most complicated to play from a technique perspective. So don't feel bad about spending a lot of time there.

Re: why does the D Major scale seem harder?
trooplewis #3044842 11/11/20 11:58 AM
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There's lots of different ways to work on scales. What's your process?

I'm working my way through the minor keys now, and some of them have seemed a lot harder than others. I can't explain why, but it doesn't really matter to me. I just keep plugging away at them for 5-10 minutes a day using a variety of practice techniques and eventually they click. Some just take longer to click than others.


I ❤️ Mendelssohn, Yann Tiersen, Heller
Re: why does the D Major scale seem harder?
trooplewis #3044857 11/11/20 12:29 PM
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I don't have any issue playing pieces up to 2 sharps / flats. I have problems playing pieces with 3 and over.

Minor keys are like major keys. I can play Bm as easily as D with the same 2 sharps in the key signature. Part of playing in any given key is the muscle memory. The other part is ear training. If you play pieces in the same key 1 after the other, you program your fingers to always play certain black & white keys. You don't check the sharps & flats in the key signature since 1 piece is in the same key as another.

When you are used to playing in 1 key and switch to another, you may stumble a bit in the beginning. There are pieces with 1 or more key change(s). After you play the same piece over many times, your muscle memory takes over. You're not consciously thinking about the sharps & flats and just let your fingers go on autopilot.

Re: why does the D Major scale seem harder?
newer player #3044887 11/11/20 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by newer player
When practicing scales, I use the same basic fingering for C, G, D, A, E.

Some very basic early steps that helped me learn the D major scale.

- Go really slow at first so you make no mistakes; you want to train your brain correctly.

- There are two sharps in the scale. The F# and C# have similar visual placement; both are the left-most in the group of black keys.

- For hands-together fingering:

-- The F# are the same, both 3rd finger (visually, the black keys F#, G#, A# are grouped in "three" as a reminder)

-- The C# are different, 2nd and 4th fingers (even fingers)

You can speak each note when playing, maybe say the sharps louder at the beginning as a reminder.

Regardless, make sure you are playing these scales effortlessly; if you have any physical stress or strain get that sorted out. Ask your piano teacher for recommendations.

FYI- my piano teacher said the c scale is the most complicated to play from a technique perspective. So don't feel bad about spending a lot of time there.
Very helpful, thanks


I envy anyone who feels that hands together is easier than hands separately!


Casio PX-S3000
Nope, no issues with it at all.
Took lessons from 1960 to 1969, stopped at age 16.
Started again in July 2020 at age 67. Lots more fun now!
Re: why does the D Major scale seem harder?
trooplewis #3044889 11/11/20 01:47 PM
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Just to throw one in that gave me fits-“ C minor harmonic”—- after learning Cminor natural, the harmonic version gave me mega problems

Last edited by Wayne2467; 11/11/20 01:47 PM.
Re: why does the D Major scale seem harder?
trooplewis #3044890 11/11/20 01:47 PM
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I got to see some different aspects of scale playing.

The one I learned first was considering our 3 long middle fingers, and the 2 short outer ones (thumb, pinky) and how that relates to black and white keys and hand shape. I learned that 4 plays once in an octave; 5 doesn't play at all if you're going more than an octave - when there are a lot of black keys, 4 seems to like landing on the last of the 3 blacks (A# = Bb) - and that helped orient me.

I learned a totally different view later, which I'm still ambivalent about. This was considering the two hands at the same time and where fingers mesh or oppose. I had never considered one hand vis-a-vis the other, and had very weak awareness of this relationship. The scales where both thumbs play at the same time are (major scales) B, Db, Gb and I think I forgot one.

I'm thinking: in the very least, it may be possible that what one hand is doing may throw off the other hand in some way. How much are we aware of the two hands. (I think my usual way, my attention goes back and forth - for example, which hand has 4 at this point).

The other thing with scales that comes later is that we want to have as few turns as possible. The fingering we "learn" may not be optimum in some passages. And theoretically, C major could be started on any finger because there are no black keys to impose an optimum fingering. It just that we don't get into any kind of flow if we go willy nilly; and if we go C to C, the fingering we're given is the optimum one.

Re: why does the D Major scale seem harder?
trooplewis #3044937 11/11/20 03:33 PM
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This is a popular basic book on scales:

https://www.alfred.com/the-complete-book-of-scales-chords-arpeggios-cadences/p/00-5743/

You might find the visual dot method and drils from Philip Johnston to be helpful.
https://www.amazon.com/Scales-Bootcamp-fastest-clearest-scales/dp/0958190542/
https://vimeo.com/47792970
https://vimeo.com/47792971

Basic music theory helps put scales into perspective so learning becomes more intuitive. There are a ton of theory books available and some good on-line free resources This is a popular music theory book; it is pretty dense and well edited.
https://www.alfred.com/alfreds-essentials-of-music-theory-complete/p/00-16486/

As keystring and a few others noted, maybe the best way around is to practice a lot of music and lean the scales that way. For sure, don't spend too much time every day on scales alone.

Re: why does the D Major scale seem harder?
trooplewis #3044938 11/11/20 03:34 PM
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Here's another testimonial just to show how things can differ a lot from person to person:

I play 2 scales a day (one major and its corresponding harmonic minor; have not done melodic minors yet) and rotate through them. I do 4 octaves of: hands separate, hands together (parallel motion), crescendo and decrescendo, legato and staccato, and one hand piano/other hand forte. Also do arpeggios hands separate and together (4 octaves as well). I stick with the "standard" fingering that you can find by Googling.

Here's the "weird" part: for most scales, I play while looking at my right hand, BUT for some of them I play better if I look at my left hand! (some of the minor ones). Can't explain why! :-) As an "exercise," I've been trying to force myself to vary the hand I look at. Haven't mastered that yet.


Talão

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Re: why does the D Major scale seem harder?
newer player #3044983 11/11/20 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by newer player
As keystring and a few others noted, maybe the best way around is to practice a lot of music and learn the scales that way.
Actually I haven't. In fact I got messed up because a) I learned to play on my own when I was a child and got into poor habits. b) When I got a piano again before having a teacher, I used the book by Cooke, did what he said, and within 10 months I got one numb hand and weird stuff in the other. The physical things were so entrenched by the combo of old self-taught me + that book, that I haven't really gotten back to them properly yet.

Re: why does the D Major scale seem harder?
keystring #3044989 11/11/20 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by newer player
As keystring and a few others noted, maybe the best way around is to practice a lot of music and learn the scales that way.
Actually I haven't. In fact I got messed up because a) I learned to play on my own when I was a child and got into poor habits. b) When I got a piano again before having a teacher, I used the book by Cooke, did what he said, and within 10 months I got one numb hand and weird stuff in the other. The physical things were so entrenched by the combo of old self-taught me + that book, that I haven't really gotten back to them properly yet.

So you should become the "Poster Child" for why you need a teacher smile


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
Re: why does the D Major scale seem harder?
treefrog #3045030 11/11/20 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by treefrog
Originally Posted by Wayne2467
I quite often find hands together easier than hands separate on scales

I do to. I only realised when doing 'Piano Marvel' exercises.

I am now fairly proficient in all of the 48 main scales to 2 octaves but in 'Piano Marvel' when they introduce a new key, there will typically be an exercise where you have to play, right hand, left hand, hands together at a fairly brisk speed.
Hands together, I can do fine, right hand is a bit more difficult but left hand is totally alien as I very rarely look at my left hand while playing as it just follows my right. When my right isn’t playing, it has nothing to follow.


I'm guessing that you are speaking of the chords/arpeggios in PM, not scales. Because the fingering in scales is different from left to right hand (except maybe F-Major?), especially after the first 3 notes. And that takes my 67 year old brain some time to assimilate.

Last edited by trooplewis; 11/11/20 06:28 PM.

Casio PX-S3000
Nope, no issues with it at all.
Took lessons from 1960 to 1969, stopped at age 16.
Started again in July 2020 at age 67. Lots more fun now!
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