Scale books

February 3, 2005 at 05:26 PM · I'm working on more advanced repertoire, and I'm working on playing in higher postions. The normal everyday scales I play are just the basic open string major scales. Since I'm starting to advance more, I'm thinking I need harder scales. They definitely help me with intonation (I don't know about others), and with rythmn. My question: Can any of you recommend good books with advanced scales? All feedback will be appreciated.

Replies (27)

February 3, 2005 at 05:44 PM · Galamian Scale System has everything you need in it.

February 3, 2005 at 06:17 PM · My favorite, available at, is Gammes Pratiques by Nadaud. Be sure to get the Bozza edition. My two most recent teachers have pronounced it superior to any of the commonly available and used books in the US such as Flesch and Galamian. It is not very expensive ($15).

February 3, 2005 at 09:16 PM · Try also scales by Elizaveta Gillels (Ask Buri, he knows exact title). I like finger patterns in Gillels's scales. Personally I prefer Flesch, especially his double scales, but I'd recommend you start Flesh later, when you are familiar with Gillels or Galamian, Tom mentioned about. Don't know about Grigorian scale book, I mean if it's in print, but if you can find it, it would be the best for you now.

Good luck.

February 3, 2005 at 07:11 PM · Sara, when I was playing the pieces you are working on now, my teacher gave me Barbie Barber's Scales for Advanced Violinists. I think it is a good book to do before Galamian, unless your teacher is going to help you do the Galamian style of scale work.

February 3, 2005 at 07:40 PM · Carl Flesch "Scale System" is kinda like the bible of scales... I used to hate Flesch but have learned to love him. Flesch is your friend...

February 3, 2005 at 09:13 PM · Hrimaly Scales are fine, I use them widely in my work; but Sara's question sounds like she needs something more complicated. I mean set of arpeggios, 7th-chords and doubles.

February 3, 2005 at 09:24 PM · You can change it up today without a book, if you like. Be creative. I understand your question is about finding a good book, and I use Flesch. But even that is limited. Assign yourself two octave scales starting on different fingers than you usually use (Ex: C major in 2nd or third position, or D Major two octave in fourth position). See if you can master that. If that's too easy, try one-fingered scales, one octave on one string. I stole these ideas, I admit, but in using them on my students, I've found they are a helpful bridge into the world of multiple-octave scales involving shifting.

It's good to see you taking active interest in scale study. For me, they are the single most effective way to improve my orientation on the violin.

February 3, 2005 at 11:53 PM · Greetings,

didn`t I write a long column on scales somewhere back in the mists of time?

Check out Buri`s studio if you can find it...



February 4, 2005 at 08:59 AM · You caught me plagiarizing, Buri! Sorry. ;)

February 4, 2005 at 10:53 AM · Greetings,

no-one I'd rather be plaigarized by,



February 11, 2005 at 03:39 PM · Hi,

I am partial to the Flesch, although the double-stop rountine is a bit much for me. A good one that some of my students introduced me to is the one by Robert Skelton. It is quite complete and practical with the Galamian style layout (and turns for scales) and all the basics (four of the Flesch arpeggios) and all the double-stop scales and more importantly the one and two octaves scales. I find it interesting and a good one especially for younger students.


February 11, 2005 at 04:27 PM · Flesch scales. 'Nuff said

February 11, 2005 at 08:49 PM · Flesch is really like the violinist' bible there is really no other scale book that it can compare to. Just keep at it, and it can really take your technique to another level. I recomemend the Max Rostal edition.

February 26, 2005 at 08:33 PM · I have used both the Galamian and Flesch systems and found that each has its merits. The Flesch is especially useful in the earlier stages when mastering the mechanics of the left hand. I found the rhythmic and bowing patterns in the Galamian helpful (especially the rhythmic patterns in assymetrical meters--e.g. 5/8, 7/8--and various "tuplet" groupings). Practice these along with the left hand patterns in their infinite combinations and you will feel confident about mastering almost any rhythm you are required to play!

February 27, 2005 at 06:34 AM · Someone told me that the Galamian way is more "modern" than the Flesch way of practicing scales. What do you folks think about this?

February 27, 2005 at 04:21 PM · I think the Flesch scales would give you what you need, but they are tedious. How about playing an etude instead of a scale?

February 27, 2005 at 05:26 PM · Flesch is very good, though it would have been great if he had included scles in four octaves instead of three.

February 27, 2005 at 05:29 PM · If you want four octave scales, please see my recommendation of the Nadaud scale book.

February 27, 2005 at 05:50 PM · Is it possible to do Flesch and Galamian at the same time?

February 27, 2005 at 11:35 PM · Greetings,

Nick, certainly. Highly recommneded. Use the Galamian rythms and bowings on the Flesch scales...



February 28, 2005 at 12:14 AM · Buri, those prunes are really fresh, especially doubles!

February 28, 2005 at 12:50 AM · Greetings,

Rita- basic law of nature: double prune input trebles output,



February 28, 2005 at 04:16 AM · WOW! LOLOLOLOL I just imagine double pruned, Flesched-Galamian's artifical harmonics...

February 28, 2005 at 09:57 AM · Hello!

Norway calling. It's been a while since we had a long discussion on what art is. Do you remember? Anyway, I have a suggestion about scales. First, all suggestions you get here are probably good, but if you want to work in higher positions, develop your intonation etc., I would also suggest a slightly different angle than the regular one. Buy Nicholas Slonimsky's Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns, open the book at any page, play a scale (one octave) without the use of open strings, and transpose it all over your fingerboard. Play with the scale, have fun with it, play it backwards, improvise with the notes in the scale, try different rhythms etc. You'll find scales there that does not exist in neither Flesch nor any other regular classical scale book. You get in touch with your auditive and cognitive apparatus in a different way than usually, which will help a lot in developing your musicality.

All best, Stig Roar

February 28, 2005 at 12:27 PM · Buri -- the key is figs, not prunes. Prunes are so 20th century!

March 1, 2005 at 06:36 AM · Buri, I'll have to give it a whirl. As soon as I feel better. I'm kindof under the weather which is cold and snowing.

Tom, what you don't seem to understand is that prunes are so out that they're in again. :)

March 1, 2005 at 06:43 AM · Greetings,

Nick, prunes are always in and out,



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