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Joined: Dec 2020
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I was looking for a different approach to practicing scales. I am not yet ready for four octaves, 16th notes in both hands. I've been slogging away at that and made progress but wanted a little variety not found in Gail Smith's big book, Complete Book of Exercises for the Pianist, published by Mel Bay. The material is really for very end of grade 3 (like the end of Bastien book III) moving to grade 4 and on to 5 really fast. I'm not quite there. I'd say the book is really at grade 5 or even 6. I'm moving back to rehearsing every day now. I was in the middle of the Bastien Grade 4, 25 years ago and stopped. Have not been at practicing every day for about a year. Hoping to keep it going from my beginning again six weeks ago.

However I did already have Carl Czerny's 160 Eight-Measure Exercises, Op. 821, published by Schirmer, Kalmus, and Alfred. Also, Petrucci Music Library has a free PDF of an old Peters edition which is quite sharp, clean and truly amazing. So the variety of scales (for example modulation to a neighboring key-a common Czerny technique), gives a real world flavor of performance. 'Cause not often that one attends a concert where the performance is devoted to this man's works-a challenge I guess.

Anyway, the material starts at the end of grade two (about 12 exercises), spends a lot of time in grade 3(about 35 exercises)-all the rest move from grade 4 to grade 5. Again my grading is based on what I've done with the Bastion Piano Literature series from the Vol III and IV-grades 3 and 4 respectively. Their grading system is a bit tougher than some. They went off the rails on Vol II as half of that is actually grade 4.

I find the Czerny material in the book clever, fascinating and even enjoyable in the deeper sense of really fine art music.

So check out the Czerny, I'm hoping you'll find it as helpful as I did.

Last edited by Raymond_L; 12/29/20 04:16 PM.
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How did this book help with scales ?

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I also a follow a piano teacher on Youtube that has a lot of tips on basic piano technique. I can link some videos of hers on scales and arpeggios, in case they might help as well:

Arpeggios:
https://youtu.be/Q_9pcGNAxu4

Scales / Warm-Up:
https://youtu.be/qAAQk3FhQt4

Chromatic Scales:
https://youtu.be/kYz7DsICspA

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Czerny op. 821 is great but it's definitely more than grade 3. Maybe the early ones are about grade 4-5 but the later ones are more like grade 7-8.

I did some with my teacher and like them because the shortness of the exercises means you can learn each quickly and focus on the technique.


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