Simon Fischer's Scales

March 26, 2012 at 04:35 PM · After years of waiting and daily checking, I'm happy to announce that you can now purchase Simon Fischer's Scales from his website: Long time coming!

Replies (35)

March 26, 2012 at 08:49 PM · Greetings,

This scale book ranks alongside Flesch and Galamian as one of the major works of violin literature.

It isn't just about scarles. Of course it has every scale you will ever need and then some, but it is also a fundamental training manual for the violin that opens a world of possibilities for fresh approaches and better practicing. If you have intonation issues you had better get onto this book right always.

Skip the iPad and spend this months salary on this books.

You won't regret it.



March 26, 2012 at 08:56 PM · Fischer's books are arguably the best of anyone alive. I will be getting this scale book for sure, even though I already have the Hrimaly and Flesch.

March 27, 2012 at 12:47 AM · Buri: right'o ....

[just listened to my recordings :-\ ]

April 29, 2012 at 10:45 PM · section one in the scales book is on tuning single octave scales and is lots of fun. However, one thing has me a bit stumped. He lists 12 major scales - which is of course for each chromatic note. For example the first note of Aflat major is played slightly flat.

There is not however a separate scale for Gsharp major. Are we supposed to play these the same? Somehow that does not feel right, I feel as if Gsharp major should be played slightly sharp with a more happy sound...

April 29, 2012 at 11:36 PM · Greetings,

you are right.

It is just a litlte bit redundant to print both.

Generally speaking beginners tend to translate these enharmoncally anyway.



April 29, 2012 at 11:56 PM · Thanks Buri - I'll go with my gut feelings on this scale then. I'm supposed to work up the three octaqve scales in semtone increments. Since we are working up I presume its G# not Ab.

OK so I'm a violinistic obsessive-compulsive hypernerd....

April 30, 2012 at 05:10 AM · Finally I can disagree with Buri :)

Elise wrote:

I feel as if Gsharp major should be played slightly sharp with a more happy sound...

More happy sound than what? When you hear a scale or a piece in a certain key, what will you compare it with?

Let's say that you play a piece in G#-major and you never use the open G-string, will you still be able to hear if the G# is sharper or flatter than a Ab? You have no clue how the violin is tuned.

And if you have the open G as a leading note (the seventh), is there a difference of distance between the the 7'th and the 1'th note in Ab-major and G#-major?

I say No.

April 30, 2012 at 06:04 AM · Greetings,

Mattias, one might consider tuning the fourth finger on d string to open a. placing the tird close to get the pitch of g sharp, or simply playing a on the g string with second finger and placing the first finger close to that's.

but surely if one argues that g sharp is the same as a flat then one is simply using tempered into nations. or are we being inconsistent only in this case?

if really necessary one might even sharpen the open g with the first finger tip tight against the nuts. (useful technique when your you g string slips )

the happy sound referred to is of courses, the gleeful tone of the examiner who asks for d sharp minor to throw the students.

incidentally, I have always thought of a flat minor as g sharp minor. it makes life so much easier.


can't quite remember

April 30, 2012 at 07:08 AM · Hi again :)

First "tuning the fourth finger on d string to open a."

Wouldn't it be more logic to tune to the open G, which is in the same key (the 7'th in the scale?) Instead of the open A which isn't?

And secondly, tempered vs equal has more to do with the ralations between notes in the scale than what pitch you start with that has more to do with what frequenzy you prefer (ex 440 or 445).

Or do I misunderstand you, again? :)

April 30, 2012 at 01:09 PM ·

April 30, 2012 at 01:48 PM · I would suggest that people should play scales very short and off the string - a demi-semi quaver up beat and a semi quaver for the note. This gives the ear no time to correct any intonation so you get to play in tune by default. No note lasts longer than .001 of a second.

It sorts out the men from the boys - or the boys from the girls!! (wink) (I just put that in to annoy Elise ... (wink))

April 30, 2012 at 10:23 PM · Greetings,

my vague point is that a should be in tune with the a string. And in general I want g sharp to be on the sharp side in relation to that note . (not much) Then in general Iprefer the a flat to be slightly flatters. Leading down towards the g perhaps. This follows the principle that notes with different names are differentl. I regard this as an essential part of understanding the nature of the violins. It does have implicationis for the character of the sound produces. I have often found in orchestra that when a whole section I is thinking enharmoncally to render a many flatted passage easier it may well have an in appropriately bright character. Simply asking the section to think mdownwards rather than up usually solves the problem.

As far as the scale is concerned I am not that bothered by the enharmoncally thinking but the point is worth discussing, probably more so in Swedish.



April 30, 2012 at 11:28 PM · Buri:

Nu DET kan jag gora! Och du?


May 1, 2012 at 01:10 AM · dekiru yo.

May 1, 2012 at 01:28 AM ·

May 1, 2012 at 02:36 AM · Can't use Chinese characters here, not fair!

May 1, 2012 at 03:41 AM · Yixi san,

you are a Chinese character!



May 1, 2012 at 04:27 AM · Buri - Regarding the G# vs Ab note, that is an argument I can buy :)

Thanks, arigato, tack, danke and xiexie!

May 1, 2012 at 05:33 AM · Hejsan Erik - jag var foddes i Goteborg men familien flytad till England nar jar var 6. Och du?

But I don't have the characters handy. Actually, thats just a smokscreen as my swedish is now pretty awful! But the accent is still pretty good :D

[I don't think Buri got a word of that ;) ]

May 1, 2012 at 05:54 AM ·

May 1, 2012 at 10:32 AM · I hear Simon is having special treatment to get rid of the scales ... he's also fed up with all these foriegn musical terms - especially in Swedish. Do you know what they call toilet paper in Sweden?

Krapp paper ... (And don't talk about playing in the pit ...)

May 1, 2012 at 10:45 AM · That's what we need:

tear off scales on toilet papers.

Watch out for the sharp ones......

May 1, 2012 at 12:36 PM · Just don't use rosin Buri.

Erik - oops on the name but you are right surely in context. Thats amazing about how you learned - you're way better at it than I am even with my innitial immersion training. I guess it was predictable that I would end up in Canada - the climate is like Sweden and the terrain is identical, while the cities are like England in the 60s or so. The near-ideal mix between my two origins.

Peter - and do you know what they call the toilet in the US? 'Bathroom', 'restroom', 'washroom', 'the plumbing' - in short, anything except 'toilet'. Come to think of it, we may get censored for unsavory words....

May 1, 2012 at 12:39 PM · BTW - what the heck was this topic about anyway? Scaly toilet paper???

Ah, I do have a suggestion. To make it consistent (a la Fischer scales), perhaps the violin should be retuned for each key change... This could be rapidly achieved with something like a tremelo lever on a guitar.... :D

May 1, 2012 at 06:08 PM · Elise, if you play G-sharp major slightly more sharp than A-flat major so that is has a happier sound, how do you play G-sharp minor? I suppose if you played it a bit sharper than A-flat minor then it might sound slightly less sad...

May 1, 2012 at 09:02 PM · Greetings,

perhaps one should just smile when playing one and frown during the other?



May 1, 2012 at 11:35 PM · CHarlie. Yes, I've fallen trap to a too limited use of vocabulary. Gsharp is positive and forthright. G sharp minor is sad and woeful. Aflat is dark and intense, broody, emotive, sensitive but not soft, makes you stop to think, stop to reflect - gaze into that glass of 2005 burgundy and wonder why you did not take a year off for that trip to Patagonia for the llama races as you had always intended....


May 2, 2012 at 04:13 AM · I preferred the limited edition.


May 3, 2012 at 01:37 AM ·

May 3, 2012 at 02:55 AM · Eric! How did you do this?

May 3, 2012 at 05:56 AM ·

May 3, 2012 at 06:11 AM · Nah, it doesn't work on my iPad, but thanks Eric, I will try on a different machine later.

May 3, 2012 at 06:11 AM ·

December 23, 2012 at 09:49 PM · It took over two months for me to get my copy of Scales as it was on backorder. However, it was very much worth the wait!

The notation and clear instructions provided as to how to perform the exercises are invaluable and very eye-opening. I have a problem at time with my bow hand running faster than my string hand, so the reinforcement regarding finger placement and timing provided in section 1 of the book is going to be a huge help. I can't wait to progress further in this book and see what other useful exercises are in store!

December 24, 2012 at 12:29 AM · I'm living with a library copy till mine arrives.

I do wish it was in a spiral-bound format so the pages would lie flat. Otherwise, awesome.

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