Scale Practice

May 16, 2004 at 10:29 PM · What should be the distribution of practicing time for playing scales and pieces ? Which books could be useful for learning double

stop scales?

Replies (8)

May 16, 2004 at 11:47 PM · GGreetings,

there are many discusison of this topic in the archives, including practice methods.

THe Galamian scale systen is pretty standard. You might want to work through the Hrimaly book first.

Flesch, fr me is more a way of keepong in shape for advanced players but many teachers use it instead of alaian. Ideally one should apply the the rythms and bowing patterns if galain ot the Flesch scales.

The Galamina double stops are not particlarly any more interesting than other books because, as Galamian himself point out in the introduction, there only a limited numbe rof useful ways of practicing double stops.

Perhaps the most useful grounding beofre getting into them is a lot of work on the Sevcik preparatory double stops book which I think is opus 9(?)

Cheers.

Buri

PS how much time you spend on scales dpeends on howmuch time overlal you pracitce so perhaps you could detail thta for us?

May 17, 2004 at 01:10 AM · I find a balance between Flesch and Galamian really helps. Rythm practice does wonders, and doing 2,4,6,8,12,16,24 and then an entire scale to a bow helps a lot. Buri has great advice, as always! I personally try to spend at least 90 minutes on technique a day.

May 17, 2004 at 01:15 AM · it depends on how much oyu play, and what strengths/weaknesses you may have but i agree with buri that galamaian is an excellent system assuming you follow his bowings and rythms. I personally do a galamian scale each morning for about a half hour with different bowings and such, then run through that key in the Flesch system and then go on to etudes etc. When i say run through i only do the thirds, sixths octaves and tenths.

May 17, 2004 at 02:12 AM · Didn't Heifetz once claim that if he had 4 hours a day to practice, he would spend 3 hours on Scale studies and one hour on actual etude/ piece playing? Obviously this isn't for everyone, but it's still something to think about.

I would definantly go through some Sevcik, and Hrimaly (or mogil..if your a viola nerd like me) before even thinking about the Flesch system if I were you. The Sevcik prepriatory studies did amazing things for my technique, and I still go through them now and again. I find that they are especially good at isolating every little type of shift/double stop that you may encounter in the future, and they really get you to know your posisitions and how being in each position "feels." The isea that sevcik studies are "prepriatory" is a little deceitful if you ask me...my 73 year old teacher has been studying the sevcik exersizes forever and I doubt he will stop anytime soon. Technical studies are meant to be studied and restudied over and over again in the course of one's lifetime, because technique is so ever-changing that restudying etudes and stuff helps to shed some new light on what you have studied and what you need to do.

May 17, 2004 at 02:38 AM · Greetings,

very true Brandon. I am not such a greta fan of doing all the bowing etudes although there are some fantastic exercises in there. But the opus 1 positon stuff is invaluable at any stage and for many diffenret puposes. I still find semi professional players -usually- weak in second and fourth (sixth)posiiton which is a real bugbera of mine. Rgeular work on sevcik should solve that problem at any stage,

Kreutzer is a lifetime`s study too. (as Heifetz was wont to say)

I cannot see any point inpracticing scales for more than an hour but I would have thought that wa sa fairly basic figure for anyone who wnats to be a pro. After that there should perhaps be another hour on specific tehcniques and exericses. Actually vice versa is often better,

Cheers,

Buri

May 17, 2004 at 04:16 AM · Anyone who knows me knows that this topic always gets me all excited! Mr. Friedman was big on scales as was his teacher. I am so grateful he took such great importance in showing me ways of practicing scales. They are very important for everything. I think it is crucial to cycle through all of the keys weekly including double stop scales. Every scale book has its good sides and bad sides. For instance I think Flesch is a wonderful book with a lot of material however it is almost too much material to fit into a 4 hour practice session. Heifetz never worked from a certain book, finding your own method(s) and fingerings I think is the best. Heifetz and Friedman both used this one piece called 'Wellenspiel' (Waves At Play) by Edward Grasse as a warm up sometimes before a concert. This is a wonderful piece to get a hold of.

May 17, 2004 at 04:39 AM · Greetings,

that piece wa smade available to Strad readers about three years ago.

Cheers,

Buri

May 19, 2004 at 10:52 AM · I find that having a set routine helps heaps. For example for my uni exams I have a certain number of scales that i need to know (modes, arppegios 2 8ve(minor, Major, 2nd inversion, 3rd inversion major, 3rd inversion minor, diminished, dominant), one string scales, one string arppegios (same keys), 3 8ve scale, 3 8ve arpeggios (same keys), 2 8ve scale in 3rds and 2 8ve scale in 8ve's, then a number of studies (Kreitzler (Sp.?) 2, 4 and 13)). By Knowing I need to know them, I can do them to warm up and i will spend an hour on them at least. Then I will start my pieces, and where possible spend an hour on each piece. Doing 3 pieces this year, towards the end of semester I don't know whether i'll be able to keep that up but we'll see.

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