Call me a little crazy, but I actually enjoy playing scales.
I usually play acceleration scales, and I find them to be a perfect way to warm up both the muscles and the ears, and to loosen the whole body for playing. Generally I stand, and while playing them I shift my weight from the right to the left and back.
A very long time ago, my teacher actually taught me this idea of swaying a bit, coordinating it either with or against the bow - either way works, and you can just switch off.
I warm up with three-octave Galamian scales. Of course, things get a little more intense when playing more complex scales, for example, double-stop scales. But I do think that scales can be almost meditative, and they are certainly helpful for keeping in shape.
That said, I do understand, when people find scales to be a rather not-enjoyable but necessary evil. I mean, the reason we want to play is to make music, it would be nice not to have to spend 10-20 minutes on scales and just cut to the chase! And many players do just that, leaving scales to just the occasional practice, or just getting their scale practice through playing repertoire that happens to have scale.
How do you feel about scales? Do you enjoy them? If so, was there a time when you felt they were drudgery, and then changed your mind? Do you find them to be a chore, but do them any way for their benefits? Or do you find this whole business of scales to be over-rated? Please participate in the vote, and then share your thoughts.
You might also like:
* * *
Enjoying Violinist.com? Click here to sign up for our free, bi-weekly email newsletter. And if you've already signed up, please invite your friends! Thank you.
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.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.