Is it crucial to know every scale in every key?
I've heard a lot of the great pedagogues say it's important for serious students to be able to play scales, arpeggios etc. in every key. Heifetz in particular was very adamant that you can't become a fully developed violinist without this.
I haven't started college yet and obviously will ask my new teacher for her specific views when that time comes; but in the meantime would love to hear your opinions.
How do you practise scales? How many scales do you practice per day/per week? I'm interested in hearing anything about scales.
At the moment I am going through the Carl Flesch book, perfecting each key (takes anywhere from 1 day to a whole week in the case of F# minor!) However I'm wondering if there's a more productive way to go about it.
F# minor is much easier than F# major. Just saying.
One again Mary Ellen speaks the truth. You need all scales and arpeggios (including double stops) in your fingers at all times if you want to be a good violinist.
When I was a kid, my teacher would assign two scales a week -- a major key and its relative minor -- from Flesch. We rotated through the keys and with each rotation, we'd do more of the Flesch section for that key. Tempo increased over the years as well. (I did other scale books, like Galamian, earlier on, too.)
well ... i think it's crucial to know the *fingering patterns* for the scales/arpeggios more than the exact notes. i.e. if you are playing the Galamian scale, it starts with a turn (I III II I) which is usually just 0210 or 1321, and ends with 121212344, so it's not hard to figure out what goes on in the rest of the scale.
"As an adult, I've found it more useful to do intonation exercises in the keys of the repertoire that I'm working on". Yup. That is the principal benefit of scales anyway, before developing them into patterns etc.
Very necessary, we use Sevcik at the very beginning of study and within two or three years all scales shall be practiced at least once, but in order to perfect it takes long time.
Well, which scales would you exclude? There might not be that many pieces in some keys, but there are pieces in C Major that travel harmonically into the darndest keys. I think it's more than finger pattern. It's also how scale intonation (high leading tones, etc) interfaces to an instrument whose open strings are fixed.
A couple of comments concerning scales and fingerings by Ruggiero Ricci, from an interview in "The Way They Play" by Samuel Applebaum & Henry Roth:
Yes, music is written in all of the keys; the Pianist-Composers especially like to use the black keys, which is annoying for us string players. Use one key per week for learning, then one key per day for review, using some kind of rotation system; circle of fifths, or 1/2 step higher each time. The best fingering changes with the musical context; rhythm and bowing matters. Too demonstrate that to yourself do a three-octave scale in both dotted and reverse-dotted rhythm.
If you can learn one key of Flesch scales per week my hat is off to you.
Scales and arpeggios only; not the double stop scales.
What repertoire level is the typical student at when they can start learning one new scale a week? I presume they spent a lot of time on the core keys before branching out.
You don't have to know every scale. You only have to know 2 scales: major and minor. If you know where the half steps are, you can play ANY scale. For example, if you start on a 1st finger anywhere, you should be able to play any scale by simply putting the half steps in the right place. Shifts? Put them on half steps if possible. Look at Galamian: most 3-octave scales start on 2nd finger and have very similar fingerings.
Thank you everyone, as usual all have been very informative. I have decided to focus on 1-2 keys p/w unless teacher disagrees.
When I was a classical student (when I was in UK) I practiced major, melodic minor, minor and chromatic up and down, up and down...
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