Scales seem to be in the air!
Lately the violin world seems to have been hit with an abundance of riches, when it comes to scale books: Several weeks ago LA Phil First Associate Concertmaster Nathan Cole announced that he was releasing a new scale book called Scales: the Road to Repertoire. Then just yesterday Mark Rush posted a blog on Violinist.com about his new book, Carl Flesch Distilled: A User-Friendly Approach to the Flesch Scale System.
And then by contrast, in our latest interview with violinist Vadim Gluzman, he admitted that he actually was not a fan of scales, that in fact his childhood teacher excused him from playing scales, allowing him to play excerpts from pieces like the Beethoven Concerto instead. This certainly seemed to work for him!
Personally, I practice, teach, and preach scales. I use the Galamian scale system, primarily because I was raised with it (thanks Jim Maurer, Gerardo Ribeiro and Conny Kiradjieff.) I find that scales work wonders not only for facility and intonation, but consistent practice of scales also help one's physical fitness and longevity on the violin. If I have time to do just one thing on the violin on a given day, I'll play a round of three-octave scales.
There are merits to many different scale systems, and I would be interested in hearing about which systems you are using and how they work for you. That is, if you play scales! Have you used the same scale system for many years? Are you just learning scales now? Do you practice scales consistently? Or do you find them not to be useful? Have you tried many different systems or pretty much stuck to one? Please choose the best answer for you in the vote, and then tell us about your experiences with scales. (If you pick "something else," please tell us about it in the comments!)
You might also like:
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.
Violinist.com is made possible by...
Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.