Posts tagged “scales”

February 16, 2017

Why scales?

I recently asked one of my (woodwind) students why she thinks I make her practice scales. She didn’t have a ready answer, and I realized maybe I hadn’t been clear about the value of scales. Here are some reasons to practice scales (and arpeggios, and other methodical technical materials): To develop good¬†finger movement. Scales provide ...

January 31, 2013

Memorizing scales

metronome As I’ve mentioned before, my university students are subject to a scale proficiency exam. Most arrive at the university “knowing” at least some major scales, but most of them will also have to learn at least a few new ones and maybe put some old ones into a new format. ¬†For their exam, the scales ...

March 6, 2012

Full-range scales and arpeggios

My students at the university are subject to a department-wide requirement to pass a scale exam, in which they must demonstrate mastery of major and minor scales. The format of the scales, however, is left up to the individual studio professors. Most of the studios require scales to be played in octaves, but I prefer ...

June 3, 2008

How well do you know your major scales?

Can you play them… …in all twelve keys, smoothly and evenly, the full range of your instrument(s)? …with a beautiful sound on each and every note, and each note right in tune? …with poised, elegant phrasing?